Moore's a family affair

Nov 5 2010 - 12:44pm

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Hooper residents Butch Robinson and his son Carson drink coffee along with Jay Cevering and Michael Hayes at Moore's Family Restaurant in West Haven.
ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner
French dip sandwich at Moore's Family Restaurant in West Haven.
ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner
The butterscotch pie at Moore's Family Restaurant in West Haven.
ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner
Hooper residents Butch Robinson and his son Carson drink coffee along with Jay Cevering and Michael Hayes at Moore's Family Restaurant in West Haven.
ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner
French dip sandwich at Moore's Family Restaurant in West Haven.
ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner
The butterscotch pie at Moore's Family Restaurant in West Haven.
ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner

Maria Valenzuela's family has been in the restaurant business for more than a half a century.

Her father and his three siblings started working at a chain restaurant in their youth. Later, her parents, David and Anita Moore, bought the Park Cafe in Ogden and turned it into Moore's Family Restaurant.

Thirty-two years ago, they purchased Dick's Cafe in West Haven and converted it to a second Moore's Family Restaurant.

Maria Valenzuela remembers working as a dishwasher in her parents' restaurant when she was 12. From there, she worked her way up to becoming a cook and a waitress. In 2000, she started running the West Haven location and is now the owner.

Most of the recipes are originals developed by her mother and father. Every dish served is made from scratch. "I enjoy it. I love the people and I love cooking," Valenzuela said.

Some of the popular breakfast items include the House Special ($7.99), biscuits with sausage gravy, two large eggs and hash browns; or the Buttermilk Pancakes ($5.49).

For the holidays, the restaurant is offering its pancakes, waffles, scones and old-fashioned oatmeal with fresh pumpkin mixed in.

In the spring, Moore's will do the same with fresh strawberries.

Regulars look forward to such treats all year.

On Fridays, the hand-seasoned, slow-cooked Prime Rib (market price) is a top choice, and the homemade Clam Chowder ($3.99) is the most popular soup.

On the weekends, Valenzuela's specialty Turkey Souvlaki is served ($8.99/lunch, $9.94/dinner). It is the one contribution to the menu that is uniquely her own.

Valenzuela's other personal favorite is the flame-broiled steak, like the New York ($13.99), served with soup or salad, veggies, a fresh dinner roll and choice of potato.

Moore's sell lots of hamburgers and holds a weekly contest in which customers submit designs of their own creation. The winning combination is served as the house specialty burger all week. The winner of the contest also receives a $2 discount all week.

The customized burger ($7.75) comes with hand-cut fries and a salad.

Monday's special is Turkey Pot Roast ($7.74/lunch, $8.74/dinner). It is popular with the regulars and is served with mashed potatoes, veggies, and soup or a salad.

Moore's also prepares its own desserts. Even the pudding for the cream pies is made from scratch. Flavors include banana, coconut and German chocolate ($3.24/slice).

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