Mama’s Mexican Kitchen

Written by on October 31, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Belltown
How I heard of this place: Open since 1974, Seattle’s oldest Mexican restaurant seems to be a Belltown staple. I have been coming here since first moving to Seattle in 2002, albeit only about once per year. I believe my friend Sadiq introduced me to the quirky establishment, and the Entertainment Book keeps me coming back each year for late night Mexican fare.
Type of cuisine: Elvis-inspired Mexican food with Northwest inspiration – enter spinach quesadilla. Anything you fancy from burritos, also available with ranchero sauce, to fajitas, nachos to combination plates including rice and beans. Vegetarian options also available (and they only use vegetable oil).
Ambiance: Eclectic. Quirky. Cluttered. Those are the first words that come to mind when talking about Mama’s. The space is mostly red (some green and even exposed brick) with brightly painted walls. Nooks and cranny’s form the space in this maze-of-a-restaurant that includes the famous Elvis room. The Elvis room can be reserved for fans who appreciate everything Elvis. Rumor has it that Mama and Elvis once shared a margarita, hence the tribute to and complete Elvisness of the room. Paintings, pictures, signs – neon and otherwise – deck the entire restaurant, giving it more kitsch than refinement, while offering a casual and easy place to dine. Booth seating as well as table/chair areas are available for diners. Few windows make for a dimly lit space at night and during gray days. Outside dining is available for less wet days.
What I ordered: My go-to at Mama’s is the veggie nolasco burrito ($8.75), which comes with your choice of beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, tomato, olives, and onion, smothered in Ranchero Sauce and baked, before being topped with guacamole and sour cream. On this venture out, myself and one dining companion decided to try the “Elvis Presley” $8.95). “This carne asada unit will have you hopping around in your blue suede shoes.” Served with cheese, avocado and beans, the large burrito came on a hot plate just minutes after being ordered! The dining companion seated between the two of us that ordered the Elvis, selected the spinach and black bean quesadilla ($6.95) off of the appetizer menu and was served with chipotle sauce (smoked chili with yogurt). She also ordered a side of pico de gallo ($3.95): relish of tomato, onion, fresh jalapeno and cilantro, marinated in lime juice. Seated across the table, we had one order for the cheese nachos ($6) with the addition of beef ($1.75), another order for the chili verde ($8.95) burrito (cubed pork in a green sauce) and the final order placed (to go) was for a beef and cheese burrito ($7.25), which also included chips and salsa. Our table scarfed the chips and spicy salsa we were served upon being seated!
What I loved: While I could have used more than one slice of avocado, the fresh, perfectly ripened avocado made my day! The salsa served with the corn tortilla chips to start was probably my favorite thing sampled on this visit. The pork in the chili verde was juicy and tender and marinated well. The nachos, cheesy and toasted, just the way we like ’em! On future visits, I will probably go back to my veggie nolasco burrito, or the fajitas.
Why I loved it: I did love that the portions were large (I have enough for lunch, today) and that the food was served quickly and hot! I especially loved our server’s Halloween costume: a potted plant!
Cost: Low to average ($5.95 – $15.95 per entree)

Be Sociable, Share!


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *