If you’ve ever made a trip to Smiley’s Flea Market on Ga. 247, you’ve probably tried the food at La Bella Morelia. Now housed in an un-air-conditioned space at the corner of Broadway and Poplar, this little authentic taqueria has taken a step up into the downtown restaurant scene.
Don’t come in expecting a basket of chips and salsa, Mexican Muzak, and a mile-long menu. Instead, choose from eight different proteins served in enchiladas, tostadas, tortas, burritos, quesadillas, tacos, or gorditas. Also, there’s chicken, grilled steak (azada), marinated pork (al pastor), spicy sausage (chorizo), pulled pork (carnitas), cow tongue (lengua), beef barbecue (barbacoa), and pork skins (chicharron). Nothing is more than nine dollars.
As a refresher, tostadas are open face hard tortillas topped with beans, lettuce, sour cream, avocado and your choice of meat. A torta is a sandwich made with those same ingredients on bread. A gordita is a hand made tortilla stuffed with that same delicious stuff.
If you’re looking for something different, try a pambazo, which is bread soaked in red sauce, topped with potato, chorizo, lettuce and sour cream for $4.50. Or maybe you want to try a Mexican hot dog with pico de gallo and jalapenos for $2.50 each. There’s also the puerco en salsa roja which is exactly what is sounds like — pork in a red sauce. You could also try steak and onions, chile relleno and chicken mole.
Jamaica (hibiscus juice) and horchata (a cinnamon concoction) are available to drink, along with bottled jarritos in flavors like pineapple and grapefruit. The freshly made guacamole is some of the best in town and the prices can’t be beat.
If you go soon, you might be able to order their whitefish ceviche, a coastal specially made with raw seafood “cooked” in lime juice. At lunch time, try to hit it a little early or a little late, as it can get bustling quickly. If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food, cheap prices, and a little adventure, this is your spot.
La Bella Morelia
Address: 499 Broadway
Website: Facebook page
Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Payment: credit card, cash
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Price range: $2-$9
Restaurant reviewer dines anonymously at Telegraph expense. New restaurants must be open at least two months before a review. Reviews are not related to advertising.