Very surprised!!!. Went to 2nd location, Chattanooga TN. Food was excellent....but was surprised that chips & dip were not a free addition that is most always served at Mexican Rest. Staff was great :) Plan on going to the Nashville location soon.
Wife Loves It, I Just Like It.
Not a bad place overall. I have heard some people rave over it, but come on now, in the end it's a taco place, so don't go in thinking you're eating fine cuisine. My wife loves it, primarily because the atmosphere is charming and it is a pretty trendy place to go right now to meet up with friends for a fun night out since it's in the Music Row area. I'll give it that. Nice atmosphere for sure.
One negative is parking. They used to not charge for parking in the lot up the street, but someone wised up and put a pay machine in that charges you $2 per visit. Not too bad, but still, it's a gravel lot in a neighborhood, not downtown Nashville. You can live with it, but be prepared to pay to park. And for you sneaky ones, forget about parking in the store lots across the street unless you are breaking a 3 day fast.
It's 30 minute only parking over there, and they will check, so don't waste your time. I suggest using the valet, since you're going to pay anyway.
I focus on the food. The tacos are hit and miss. Let's do the negatives first. Okay, I don't get charging for nachos at a taco place, but they do here, so don't expect that courtesy free basket of warm nachos to be coming when you sit. Pay up. Also they charge a jaw-dropping $7.99 for a side of guacamole...yes, that's correct (apparently it is either made by Bobby Flay in person, or they come feed it to you by hand). I like the Taco Royale, the Memphis, but I don't care for their Baja Fish or shrimp tacos to be honest (the fish and shrimp just didn't taste fresh - maybe it was just a bad day). There was also not a great deal of flavor in the chicken in the Royale, which I expect to be bursting with flavor. Instead it was almost like it was just plain old boiled chicken chopped up with no seasoning (kind of bland for a southwest dish). There seems to be more lettuce and fru-fru on the tacos than meat, which I find a little on the cheap. Still, the tortillas they use are very good and the sauce they had on top of the Royale added that much-needed zesty kick a Mexican dish needs to be...well, Mexican.
The real bonus here to me is that the sides are all wonderful if you like something a little edgy. The turnip greens are great, and in this part of the US your cooking ability is measured on whether you can properly cook turnip greens. The corn slaw is HOT, they are not joking, so be prepared, but if you like heat you'll enjoy it. My wife loves the Mexican street corn best, so it's worth checking out too.
Also, they have wonderful drinks to choose from and an assortment of imported beers if you like. After you have a couple you won't even remember paying $8 for guacamole, right?
A Step (or Two) Above the Rest.
They're located in a mostly residential neighborhood, definitely tucked away, even going there at all will make you look/feel like a Nashville insider. There's a few shops in the same strip to poke around in before/after the meal. Great outdoor eating area and a very cool interior, very date-worthy without being pretentious/stuffy. Nice bar area that's well-partitioned from the dining area, excellent design elements in general, won't give too much away so you can enjoy the surprises, again, not pretentious at all, just really cool.
The food: First of all, A+ for having an actual vegan menu, particularly one that's greater than 3 lines long. I didn't personally have a meat dish, but my dining companion (a 6 year old who's quite picky) really liked her chicken taco and actually ate the whole thing (very rare occurance). So much to say about the food in general. Everything was very fresh; terrific ingredients. I had the vegan jerk taco and the freakin' vegan taco, and I can say without qualification that it was the best vegan food I've had, ever. The smoky chipotle table sauce, I actually bought a bottle right there it was so good (contains honey as an fyi for vegans). I never do that. Drink selection was great, this is really the place to go for a truly great margarita (they even make their own sweet and sour).
It's one of those places where the dining experience was so good, I can't really properly explain it. I thought when we got Chuy's in Nashville, we were really starting to get somewhere. I realize now just how much I was missing by not going to Taco Mamacita. I implore you to refrain from making the same mistake. Please go there regardless of whether you're veg or not, again, their meat passed the toughest test I know of. Prices were very reasonable, tortillas that actually taste good and freshly made, all the vegetables are fresh, great side items, really not doing this place justice in this review, just go there.
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