Walking down MLK Jr Boulevard, one could easily miss this unassuming restaurant if not for the fake cactus beside the door. From the outside, La Bella Morelia does not appear to be an entrance into the world of authentic mexican cuisine.
However, when I walked into La Bella I could see its true character. I immediately noticed the vibrant and lively atmosphere; the restaurant was almost full of people who were working, talking and eating tacos.
On a huge blackboard above the counter is the list of all the different tacos that La Bella makes, and they have a huge variety including tacos with beef tongue to some with spicy cactus.
Freshman Emily Bartlett tried one of the lengua tacos with cow tongue in it.
“The tongue is really, really good. It’s nice and tender,” Bartlett said.
The tacos had the perfect balance of meat and toppings. Each taco felt unique because of the different ingredients, and it was easy to try a variety.
“They were well balanced, there was plenty of meat. My favorite was the marinated pork [al pastor] tacos. I especially liked the green salsa with a squeeze of lime; the flavor of citrus and spice was wonderful,” said Fabian Kopp, a sophomore International Affairs major who ate with us.
The Option for Authenticity
The great thing about the tacos at La Bella, is that you have the option of having very authentic tacos or tacos more along the lines of Tex-Mex.
Tacos come on either normal flour tortillas or the more authentic corn tortillas. Every taco can be served like a Mexican street taco with just the meat and cilantro, or for fifty cent more served deluxe, topped with lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese and sour cream.
At two dollars a taco, the price for quality is excellent.
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I found that the service was a little slow for just tacos, but we did go at a busy time of day. Also, you have to pay the bill up at the counter, which is not a bad thing, it is just something that I wish I had known ahead of time.
La Bella does not go easy on the spice. Our waitress brought bottles of salsa roja and salsa verde to our table and both definitely had a bite! Although I love spice, not everyone does.
Sophomore Journalism Major Ethan Thompson put some of the green sauce on his tacos without knowing how spicy it was. He was not pleased, and immediately needed to drink water. While I like the option to go spicy, it would be nice to be warned.
Nothing was bad!
La Bella Morelia is a fantastic choice for those looking to go for an authentic cultural experience and for those who just like tacos.
The food is simple, unpretentious and filling. While I cannot say that they have any food that is mind-blowing, the food was great quality for the price. Overall, La Bella is a fun experience that I highly recommend.
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