Thursday, August 11, 2011

One Hot Mama(cita)

Earlier this week during one of our "heat advisory" days we spent the morning hours on the beach at Station 22 of Sullivan's Island. We were open for lunch plans and decided to test out a new place, Taco Mamacita. Our family loves good Mexican, and I am becoming a fan of gourmet tacos and unique salsas. I had heard good reviews on Mamacita's so off the beach into the cool sanctuary of an island style Mexican joint we went.

I was blown away by Taco Mamacita from the moment we walked through the doors. Whenever you walk into any workplace, whether it is a store, a factory, an office or a restaurant, I can tell if the people who work there are happy and satisfied, and at TM I immediately knew we had made a good choice. No less than 4 employees greeted us with genuine smiles and happy salutations within our first 5 steps into the cantina.

The Taco Mamacita web site proclaims "the Taco Mamacita story is one built around a passion for food and customer service" and I can see that they walk the walk. We had an excellent server who obviously knew what she was doing. Any question about the menu that we posed to her was answered not with a rehearsed recitation of the menu description, but instead she provided a concise but animated commentary on the choice. You could tell that she was not only passionate about the menu items, but also confident that her guests would not be disappointed with her recommendations.

We kept it simple with appetizers, just some chips and salsa although we did try, in addition to the standard roasted tomatoe salsa, the mango salsa which was absolutely out of this world. Taco Mamacita is well provisioned with a generous selection of draft and bottled beers to take care of even the most thirsty of critters. The real enchilada at Mamacita's is the tequila bar. I counted over 76 different bottles of tequila including a handful of extra-premium brands. I am sure that the bar uses fresh fruit juices in many of their concoctions because I watched as one employee fed a continuous supply of whole oranges into a fresh juice squeezer so I am betting the Sangria is AUTHENTIC.

During the course of our lunch we encountered at least 6 different employees checking in on us, filling and re-filling our drink glasses, replenishing our chips and just making sure that we had everything that we needed or wanted. Once again, not the level of service that is usual for a restaraunt with entree prices under eleven bucks. We tried four different tacos as well as a selection from the enchiladas portion of the menu. They offer a great special, any 2 tacos and a side item for just $8.99. The tacos were very tasty and generously stuffed with combinations of ingredients that were perfectly matched for flavor. One of our favorites was the Sloppy Jose, Mama's version of a sloppy Joe, made with ground beef that was both sweet and spicy, jalapenos, monterey jack cheese and sour cream. It was a definite yum. I also enjoyed the Blackened Mahi taco which was recommended by our server. At first bite I experienced a mild tasting chunk of grilled Mahi, seasoned perfectly along with a wonderful hint of pineapple mixing with a slight bight of jalapeno from the jalapeno corn slaw that complimented the taco.

Noah ordered the Enchiladas Suizas, which were done just the way I love them, filled with a hearty portion of pulled roasted chicken and finished with a generous portion of sour cream, and monterey jack and a creamy tomatillo sauce all over.

We enjoyed the sweet potatoe fries, although, they were pretty standard and not out of the ordinary. The green chile rice was good, even better with some of that delectable Mama's sauce drizzled in (more on that stuff in a moment). And while we didn't try any of the mexican sweet corn I did see some on another patrons table and it will definitely be on my plate during the next stop at TM's. In fact, I already know what I am ordering on my return visit. The Peruvian Chicken Dinner with Chipotle Turnip Greens and Mexican Street Corn. What is roasted Peruvian Chicken? According to the menu, "it's the most unique and flavorful chicken you will ever taste. We start by bathing it in fresh-squeezed lime juice, then the skin is rubbed with seasoning to give it just the right blend of sweet and spicy. We then slow roast the chicken until the skin is slightly crisp. Voila, the best roasted chicken you have ever tasted." And you know, based upon my experience, the folks at Mamacita's don't just talk the talk they walk the walk so I am taking them at their word.

Now, back to this stuff, Mama's Sauce. Of course, I am a big fan of pepper sauces of all types. On the table next to one of my favorite stock nectars, Chalupa Sauce, was a plastic squeeze bottle, you know the kind that you use for ketchup for Fourth-of-July picnics, labeled with the words, Mama's Smokey Chipotle Sauce. I don't know what is in it because the label under ingredients playfully says, "Mama's Recipe." In a word, the stuff is UNBELIEVABLE, enough said. Once again, the server was spot-on when she came back to check if we would like dessert, which we declined by the way, and she smiled and knowingly said, "how'd ya like that Mama's Sauce?"

I will definitely be back to Taco Mamacita's located on Sullivan's Island, right next to Dunleavy's Pub on Middle Street, if you go to Sullivan's Island across the Ben Sawyer Bridge you can't miss it, you will practically drive right into it before you hit the Atlantic Ocean. I might add, their story is really cool, Taco Mamacita's is independently owned and operated, there are three locations: Nashville, Chattanooga and Sullivan's Island. So, if you're not at or near one of those three places, I'm so sorry, maybe you should come on down From The Land of Palm Trees, and spend a little time on a great beach and enjoy a great meal at Taco Mamacita.

1 comment:

  1. We have never visited sullivans island, although we have mentioned it on several ocassions, being that food (unique good food) is in a close tie with breathing on our priority list we just may visit before we know it!


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