Mama Mexico Brings the Fiesta

I have found pretty good cheap Mexican food in the city, and great high end Mexican food. But I want something in the middle. Somewhere I can have waiter service and good atmosphere, but where I can still order a good ole enchilada and a frozen margarita. Not frou frou, not divey. That’s what led me to Mama Mexico.
 Mama Mexico is a brightly colored casual restaurant that (despite this picture) is extremely popular. When you go in there, expect to encounter boisterous families, friendly servers and (the only part of this restaurant that I truly detest) a mariachi band.
Frozen Margarita
I don’t know how I am going to write the rest of this post, because this one margarita got me tipsy. The first sip was powerful, but the rest of it went down smoothly. Sweet, pleasantly tart, and enough tequila to make it count – this is delicious and a great value. My dining partner got the coconut margarita, which was even better. 
 Chips and Salsa
All Mexican restaurants should serve complimentary chips and salsa. They just should. Though this salsa was a bit watery and insipid, the chips were fresh and blessedly unsalty. Very much appreciated.
Who doesn’t love tableside guacamole?! Something about the theatricality, the festivity of it, puts you in a great mood. You might not even notice when the mariachi band goes behind you and starts playing Mexican folk music (of course, when you do notice, you might blush profusely and down your margarita while you break out in a cold sweat. What, that’s just me?).
 The guacamole was made to our specifications, with plenty of heat and a good kick of lime. Citrusy, spicy, and creamy, with few hits of cilantro, this was actually as good as the one I make at home. Expensive, of course, but this is New York in the wintertime, people. Eating out of season has its cost. 
Chicken Fajitas
This classic American-Mexican dish really hit the spot! The cast iron skillet came sizzling to the table, so hot that it would have burned the tablecloth had it not come on its own trivet. Marinated in a garlicky, tangy sauce, the chicken was tender and juicy, with a caramelized exterior. The onions were soft and sweet, the peppers were crisp, and when wrapped in a soft flour tortilla with some of the restaurant’s excellent vinegary hot sauce, this dish was all I wanted. The refried beans and rice were nothing to write home about, but the rest of the dish was so satisfying, I didn’t really mind. 
Mama Mexico might be my go to Mexican place, for now. The prices are moderate, atmosphere is homey but not dumpy, and the food is just what you think of when you envision classic American-Mexican food. 
Now if I could just pay the mariachi band to ignore me forever, we might REALLY have a hit on our hands.
 Mama Mexico on Urbanspoon


  1. I got to be their Quincianiera last March. It was a hoot – they fed me and feted me…love this joint for a crowd and good with kids too. Let me know if you want to go again – it's in my 'hood…

  2. I walk by that place almost everyday, but have yet to actually dine there. I hear good things about the food, but that marriachi band is certainly a deterent!

  3. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Dee-I am up there a lot! We should really do a dinner date!
    @Ada-oh, I just get so embarrassed! The food was fantastic, though!