It’s Sunday afternoon and you’re craving Mexican food. As wonderful as Mojo Burrito’s $1 tacos are, they get a little old after going forty-six weeks in a row (not that I keep count). If you are looking to change it up and live life out of your Mojo comfort zone, Taco Mamacita on North Shore should be your next stop.
With free parking and located only two blocks from the walking bridge, this restaurant is in a prime spot to hang out downtown for a while or get your food to go and eat it in Coolidge Park. While it might not be $1 tacos, it is still affordable and uniquely flavorful.
The real thing that sets Taco Mamacita apart from the plethora of Mexican restaurants in the Chattanooga area is an item that is not on the menu. Be friendly with your waiter and then ask if you can order some of their tacos in nacho form. It is a glorious experience.
Get the California Club Taco made in nachos for a twist on traditional Mexican flavors with roasted chicken, bacon, guacamole, pico de gallo, and a chipotle cream sauce for a twist.
Feeling something different? The Oy Vey is a little funky with smoked brisket barbeque, ranchero sauce, regular fixings, and homemade escabeche which adds unexpected pop of freshness.
As far as regular tacos, they mix it up by combining cuisines with tangy creations such as the Korean BBQ Taco – braised short beef rib, red pickled onion, and Sriracha cream sauce – need I say more? The Loaded Gyro Taco successfully melds Greek and Mexican flavors with thinly sliced lamb, pepperoncinis, cucumber, feta, and baja white sauce to tie it all together.
As great as their tacos are, once I discovered you could get selected tacos in nacho form, there has been no going back. The portions are enough for leftovers and the balanced, unique flavor combinations make ordinary Sunday tacos into something new and memorable.
The wait staff are characters who add to the overall experience and are part of the reason to keep coming back. I still remember one waitress from six months ago named Katie who kept us laughing so hard that each time I go back, I peruse the restaurant trying to see if she is working that night.
One drawback to Taco Mamacita is that its popularity often makes it hard to get a table – definitely a good idea to call ahead, not go at prime dinner time, or kill time at the Family Dollar next door sniffing candles (not that I’ve done that). With spring approaching, the option for eating outside with soft string lighting and their barbequed meats makes it feel like it is the middle of summer.
End the night with a stop by Milk & Honey next door for a new flavor of gelato or a quick walk over to Clumpy’s for homemade ice cream and a stroll across the walking bridge to work those nachos off.
Overall, Taco Mamacita provides an exceptional new take on ordinary flavors and is a good staple restaurant from anything from a spontaneous Sunday lunch to a Saturday date night. Go ahead and add it to your weekend plans by making a reservation, befriending your waiter, and leaving filled with nachos.