The 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 location became a reality.
“We kind of wanted to come back home,” said Elizabeth Moreno, manager at Moreno’s in Pearland and daughter of the original owners. “Our family itself is local, so whenever the opportunity came, we went to grab 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 tentative in moving to Pearland because it seemed bigger than what she wanted to manage, she said. Elizabeth did not start as the manager at the new location, but it became natural for her, she said.
Recently, Elizabeth has tried to add new items to the menu. Even though the two restaurants are roughly 10 miles apart, there can be differences in what attracts the customers in the different cities. For example, there is more love for seafood in Pearland, she said.
She is always looking for new ways to incorporate items and expand offerings, she said.
“TikTok drinks are coming up left and right,” Elizabeth said. “All of a sudden there is a shortage on watermelon pucker because everybody wants a Mexican candy shot, so you definitely have to be communicating with your customers, talking to them, seeing what they like.”
Elizabeth’s goal for her parents’ restaurant is to become a place people can go enjoy a platter, a drink and feel at home, she said.
“From the carnitas to barbacoa, the menudo, we try to really make it feel like grandma is in the back making your menudo,” she said.
Moreno’s Mexican Restaurant
5420 Broadway St., Pearland
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-9 p.m.