I walk into *Morenita’s Mexican Restaurant, in Idaho Falls, Idaho and look up at the board in some bewilderment. The server in the little window takes one look and hands me a menu in English.
“How do you know I don’t speak Spanish?”
“Just a wild guess.”
Lovely Jessica, whose mother, Bertha, started the business in 1991, then patiently explains all the things that make this much more than your typical taco joint. It’s a long list, starting with the fact that nearly everything’s made from scratch, including half a dozen salsas.
For example, the monstrous and ridiculously cheap ($4.50) tortas, or round Mexican sandwiches, use genuine telera bread; heck, Bertha once owned a Mexican bakery. There’s a melted jack cheese concoction called a mulita and a cheese-stuffed corn tortilla, called a pizope, which they invented.
So much to try, but I opt for my standard Mexican test—the simple taco. But even these have a twist, the chuche featuring a crisply grilled tortilla that can’t hide its hand-pressed freshness. The knockout winner, though, is a ranchero taco that includes whole beans, avocado, queso fresco and an outstanding lomo, or sauteed pork loin.
They’re so good, I go back for a third, nearly breaking the bank at $2.25 for this additional pocket of heaven. The verdict? Some of the best tacos I’ve eaten in the western U.S.
Morenita’s Mexican Restaurant
450 Whittier Street, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Monday to Thursday 10 am-9 pm, Friday-Saturday 9:30 am-9 pm, Sunday 9:30 am-8:30 pm
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