Memorable | One of the Best
Sion’s Mexican Restaurant
Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom
****THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED****
Sion’s looks exactly like the sum of its split personalities. It’s a diner in a parking lot of a dive motel, and it’s also a perfectly preserved circa 1986 “hot plate” Mexican restaurant. This means Folger’s coffee with chips and a thin tomato-based salsa to start breakfast. You can order fajitas on a sizzling platter or fajitas in your omelet. The booths are comfy and the walls are decorated with a mural depicting idealized pueblo life. Places like Sion’s may be charming, but usually deliver only passable food. Sion’s food is worth a special trip because it excels at the important little extra things. Corn tortillas are homemade. Meats are long braised until tender. Sauces are delicate and balanced.
The breakfast specials section of the large menu contains Sion’s biggest draws. Most important are huevos moltulenos. This is the perfect Mexican breakfast, originally from the village of Motul in the Yucatan. It features the layered construction of huevos rancheros but uses a thicker, fire-roasted salsa instead of normal ranchero sauce. The smokiness of the salsa is complemented by a strip of bacon, which also adds crunch to the egg stack. The delicious pile of eggs, bacon, salsa, and tortillas comes with a side of cheese-covered refried black beans, Spanish rice, three coins of fried plantains, and a single chicken flauta with a dollop of guacamole. It is a hearty breakfast that is as peculiar as it is satisfying.
The most surprising item on the menu are huevos ahogados (drowned eggs: it doesn’t sound as tasty in English). Normally, the eggs are drowned in salsa, making it something like a Mexican shakshouka. Sion’s way is unique. Lovely poached eggs bob around in chipotle-laced chicken stock with chunks of fresh avocado and rice. It’s somewhere between classic huevos ahogados and tortilla soup, or maybe egg drop soup. It comes with a welcome little side of Sion’s tasty black refried beans.
Chilaquiles, our go-to Mexican breakfast, are not so successful: too soggy. While we appreciate the thin, crisp chips Sion’s serves when you sit down, they’re not hearty enough to stand up to soaking with sauce. That said, we ended up finishing the plate. The salsa and salty chile-laced chorizo on top are too tasty to resist.
A little local secret: Sion’s does the South Bay’s best burritos. A breakfast burrito with machaca takes up a whole plate. It is filled with softly scrambled eggs, delicately seasoned shredded beef, gooey cheese, and creamy refried beans. We got it wet — smothered in ranchero sauce and shredded cheese. But our advice would be to stick to dry burritos. The sauce on the burrito is pretty bland.
Sion’s is a friendly, regulars’ spot that aims to please. Until we come back, we will dream about how the burrito might taste covered with Sion’s table salsa instead of wet and how good the moltulenos might be with hash browns instead of rice and beans. These tasty possibilities leave us eager to return. This is how Sion’s has ensnared a local following over the decades.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|