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.