The second thing one of my coworkers said when I asked him about Huaraches Moroleon was, “It’s small and there’s always a line.” This was not by any means a dig, as this Mexican restaurant is one of his favorites, just like it is for many members of the C-U community (the first thing he said was, “Ooo!”). SP reviewed Huaraches Moroleon way back in 2012, but we thought it would be worth it to take another look at it since it is such a popular eatery.
Indeed, I had a slight panic when I thought I was not going to be able to find a place to park. With the location of the restaurant, I wasn’t sure of anywhere else to park, since it’s practically in the middle of a residential neighborhood. I was able to squeeze into a spot that I’m not confident was intended for actual parking.
But I knew this was already going to be good when a basket of warm, crispy chips were brought to my table as soon as I took a seat. Paired with the chips wasn’t just a regular bowl of salsa. No, there was a variety of salsas to try. Salsas, as in plural. There were four full votives and little cups to use in order to try them all with the chips. And try them all I did. The salsas were varying levels of spiciness: a mild and fresh salsa verde; what you would think of as a standard, chunky salsa; a bold, smoky one; and lastly, a rich, hot hot hot salsa. I’m a person who can appreciate spice and hot flavors, but that appreciation only goes so far, because I cannot handle spicy. I will admit that I am a wimp. However, having said that, I could certainly understand why some tougher folks would find that hot salsa to be delish. My favorites were the salsa verde and the chunky salsa. I savored those dips with the crunchiest housemade chips. In my book, the crispier the better, and these chips could hold their own and weren’t merely a vessel for the salsas.
Perusing the menu proved to be difficult, only because I could not decide what to order. I was already in a quarter-basket of chips, so I decided to go with a classic: The huarache, al pastor ($7.50). It was the first item on the menu and there was nothing on it that I didn’t love. The huarache is a handmade tortilla with cheese, onions, and cilantro (which is delicious and I feel sorry for you if you don’t like it). It’s topped with a grilled pineapple ring (there are few things tastier than grilled pineapple, in my opinion) and comes with a side of lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream. There are several options for your filling: al pastor, carnitas, chorizo, chicharron, steak, barbacoa, ground beef, chicken, or nopales/cactus. I stuck with the classic al pastor.
My meal thankfully came out before I totally gorged myself on chips and salsa, just in the knick of time. When I opened the tortilla to take a look at the deliciousness that lied within, I almost literally gasped. It had Grade A Cheese Pull. You know, cheese pull — that stretch of glorious, melted cheese. That’s my life, feeling strong emotions over melted cheese. The meat was perfect and the tortilla was a bit crispy, which is how I prefer it, although some might not. My only wish was that is was also topped with melty queso. Always more cheese! I also could have gone with some more grilled pineapple to include in the huarache, but I enjoyed what I was given just fine. My post-Thanksgiving ability to overindulge was encouraging me to finish the whole thing, but I managed to maintain a semblance of self-control (more on that in a bit) and saved half to take home, along with chips, of course.
But this review doesn’t stop with the yummy huarache…I ordered dessert. I asked for the caramel churros ($4.75), and O.M.G. There were six, warm, crispy, amazing churros. Topped with whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, and a diced strawberry, I did something almost shameful. I would like to tell you that I did not eat them all to become an exclusive member of the clean plate club, but…that would be a lie. Because I did. I and I alone ate every last bite of those sweet, warm churros. I wish I was more embarrassed than I am to admit this to you, but that would be such a disservice to those churros. They were worth it.
And that’s what eating at Huaraches Moroleon is: worth it. With amazing variety on their menu and a friendly staff, the only thing you’ll be sorry about is if you ever have to wait in line. But you know the line will be worth it. If you’re really set on getting Huaraches Moroleon and you’re not wanting to wait, you can always order carryout. The traffic of people coming in to pick up orders was just as steady as those people coming in to dine. Luckily, everyone that night was able to find a spot, even if that meant pushing tables together. The food isn’t only delicious, but also affordable. Treating yourself to dessert is, again, worth it, because my entire bill was just as much if not less than some main dishes alone that you find at other similar restaurants.
So even though “it’s small and there’s always a line,” there’s a reason for that: It’s worth it.
805 Philo Road
M-Th 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
F + Sa 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Su 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Photos by Remington Rock