With the opening of the new Mo’s Breakfast + Burger Joint in Almaden Valley, I was given the task of seeing how it compares with Mo’s original Campbell location. After visiting both, and with the new school year upon us, I thought it only fair to break out the professor’s cap. Full disclosure: I visited Mo’s Almaden (MA) for lunch and Mo’s Campbell (MC) for breakfast, so this won’t be a direct apples-to-apples comparison, but as they say—my class, my rules.

Hard to beat Mo’s downtown Campbell location. Their patio makes for terrific people watching. Also, as an added bonus, diners are situated just a few feet from the much-vaunted Campbell Farmers’ Market on Sundays. The only real downside can be finding—and sometimes paying—for parking. Mo’s Almaden is located in a shopping center deep in The ’Den with plenty of free parking, and it has a really cushy al fresco dining setup complete with padded patio chairs and a cozy fireplace. They also have a full bar setup that serves wine and all manner of spirits. The only drawback here is the interior can get quite deafening with a full house. MC: B+ MA: A-

Mo’s Campbell seemed to rely on much more of a team effort in serving patrons, and while there were no real faux pas, I did feel like I constantly had to flag someone down for beverage refills. Sabrina, our server at Mo’s Almaden, did a terrific job of making sure all our needs were met. MC: B- MA: A

What better way to start out your day at Mo’s Campbell than with their signature Bottomless Mo’mosa ($14), which is a bit boozy. But after three or four sips I didn’t mind much. Since everyone in our party ordered burgers for lunch at Mo’s Almaden, we thought it appropriate to compliment them with shakes. Their real ice cream shakes come in only the classic vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. The shakes might have been the low-light of both meals as they were just OK, and lacked any real pizazz. The chocolate tasted like they poured Hershey’s syrup over vanilla ice cream, and the strawberry was “strawberry” in name only. MC: B MA: C

We sampled several breakfast items at Mo’s Campbell, including the Mo’tatta ($11.50)—a nice, light breakfast with the arugula, parmesan and ground turkey. The definite highlight, though, was the Nutella + Bacon-Stuffed French Toast ($12). Few things in life really live up to the hype, and this one was pretty incredible. Mo’s Almaden has a bevy of creative burgers, but their Hangover Hamburger ($13.50) topped with bacon, chorizo, sunny-side-up egg and wrapped in a brioche-style bun is the kind of heart-stopping excess that calls to me in my dreams. MC: A MA: A

Unlike his father, my 5-year-old had the foresight to order the exact same thing at both locations, Kid’s Chicken Tenders ($6). I’ve got to say the dishes at both places came out looking and tasting remarkably similar. Of course, for scientific reasons, I had to sample it as well. The chicken tenders come fried up flawlessly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. The price point on their kids’ menu is fantastic. MC: A MA: A

After crunching some numbers, both Mo’s Campbell and Mo’s Almaden come out with very solid GPAs of 3.4 and 3.6, respectively. They both scored outstanding marks on the culinary portion, with Mo’s Almaden getting the slight edge for its stellar service. This new Mo’s will definitely be a welcome new addition to the culinary-starved area of Almaden Valley.

Mo’s The Breakfast + Burger Joint
5925 Almaden Expwy, San Jose