For Moreno’s Mexican Restaurant, the opening of a second restaurant in Pearland was an opportunity the family establishment could not pass up.
Owners Rosalio and Maria Moreno first moved the restaurant to Friendswood in 2005 after initially opening in the Galveston Bay area. In October 2018, the Pearland site became a reality.
“We kind of wanted to come home,” said Elizabeth Moreno, manager of Moreno’s in Pearland and daughter of the original owners. “Our family itself is local, so whenever the opportunity arose, we would take it.”
While the restaurant’s signature parrilladas and menudo were established in Friendswood, Pearland was a new market. The reception in Pearland was welcoming but came with a learning curve of the city’s different ethnicities and dietary restrictions, Elizabeth said.
Initially, Elizabeth was reluctant to move to Pearland because it seemed bigger than she wanted to manage, she said. Elizabeth didn’t start out as manager of the new location, but it came naturally to her, she said.
Recently, Elizabeth tried to add new items to the menu. Even though the two restaurants are about 10 miles apart, there may be differences in what attracts customers in different cities. For example, there is more love for seafood in Pearland, she said.
She’s always looking for new ways to incorporate items and expand offerings, she said.
“TikTok drinks are coming in left and right,” Elizabeth said. “All of a sudden there’s a shortage of watermelon pucker because everyone wants a Mexican candy, so you absolutely have to communicate with your customers, talk to them, see what they like.”
Elizabeth’s goal for her parents’ restaurant is to become a place where people can go for a platter, a drink and feel at home, she said.
“From carnitas to barbacoa to menudo, we try to make it look like grandma is in the back making your menudo,” she said.
Moreno’s Mexican restaurant
5420 Broadway Street, Pearlland
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9am-10pm, Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 8am-9pm