Summer Of Taco review: Taco Mamacita

I heart the taco of Little Mommy.

-Aaron Collier, overheard in a conversation

There has been nothing finer to date this Summer of Taco than Taco Mamacita — I mean this too. They are miles away from being what I would consider (IMHO) to be the genuine mexican taco, but the quality of their tacos exceed gourmet quality, and that’s cool — its what they do, its what they specialize in. And they do a damn good job of it too.

While I was chillin with the Chattarati crew, we ate one taco to benchmark the rest — the Taco Royale, which i’ll get to later. I ended up buying three tacos there, and I will review each with meticulous detail.

Keep in mind the scoring system has changed a lot — this will be the last review I use decimals in a review, as Chattarati has shifted to promoting pure integers. You can always round up if you aren’t satisfied :)

The Baja Fish

I’ve never had a taco with fish, so this was a first for me — a popping of the taco “cherry” if you may put it. Anyways, the quality was incredible — the fish itself was breaded and fried(?) to perfection, and the greens — the pico de gallo, cabbage, radishes added to it were at the peak of freshness.  I was very unclear on what made up the taco, but it didn’t matter because I nary had bothered to identify it before sinking my teeth  into it. When it was all finished, I had remarked to my neighbor on the table that I liked it the best.

Anyways, enough chatter — I rated it like this based on Chattarati’s scale

  • Presentation & Experience: 4
  • Construction: 4.25
  • Quality of Ingredients: 4.5
  • Flavor Balance: 4.25
  • Creativity & Authenticity: 3.75
  • Average Score: 4.15

I eat vegetarian…I really do.

Ok, so maybe nobody takes my reviews seriously — but I felt obligated to do a review of a vegetarian taco. So I chose to order a Black Bean taco to go with the massive amounts of animal-driven protein as well.

I’m not an expert on vegetarian or vegan cuisine so I won’t try to be — but the quality of the black bean cake used in the taco matched that of the greens. It was also fairly spicy on its own, but I chose to add some of the restaurant’s own chipotle sauce (serious stuff, btw — its like thai food hot, it smolders over burning and it enhances the flavor of everything else) and I was vegetarian heaven. A perfect excuse to join us during the Summer Of Taco. If anything, the Vegetarian Taco is as delicious as the black bean.

  • Presentation & Experience: 3.75
  • Construction: 4
  • Quality of Ingredients: 4.25
  • Flavor Balance: 4.25
  • Creativity & Authenticity: 3.75
  • Average Score: 4

And now…the undisputed King of Tacos:

A taco in a taco…brilliant.

-Veronique Bergeron

A taco inside a taco — yes, its like Xzibit pimped out my dinner and instead of laying my hand on my face in disgust my mouth rocked with the taste of a thousand epic wins. Seriously, though, this taco might be the undisputed king at the moment in this year’s summer of taco. It’s more than certainly deserving of some form of royalty. I mean, look at this fucking thing:

The Taco Royale in all of its glory

The double flour tortilla inside  a black corn tortilla temps the mind — did they do it to reinforce the layers of chicken, lettuce, black bean cake, cheese, salsa verde, cilantro and chorizo that await the mouth and the mind? Did they do it to just look awesome? What does matter is the experience. This taco represented at best what Taco Mamacitas wanted to deliver to the customer. The medly of chicken and chroizo enhances the audacity of the lettuce and the salsa verde. Every bite is a step into heaven. And then, sadly, it ends. I was prepared to buy another one, but I was a bit strapped for cash and I had to say no. God, I fear that my love for this half pound of meat and greens has a stronger hold on me than that “fling” I was in during high school…ok  I need to seal the deal, get focused man…

  • Presentation & Experience: 4.5
  • Construction: 5
  • Quality of Ingredients: 5
  • Flavor Balance: 4.75
  • Creativity & Authenticity: 5
  • Average Score: 4.85

It’s at this moment it hits me — Taco Mamacita isn’t trying to make something that is authentic to tex-mex — they’re going all out on their tacos. These bad boys are high dollar restaurant quality — the build quality, the presentation (even though I rag on them here, its still unlike anything i’ve ever had before), the flavor balance… they’ve perfected the art of the perfect taco. And I can’t think of a single negative thing to say about the quality of their food to date. It’s incredible. And, it was pretty cheap as well — I ate well and hearty for 11 dollars. I was a bit strapped for cash and every bite of these three taco felt like a full blown return on investment. I’m certain many more who came before and after me will agree.

The Exciting Conclusion

Taco Mamacita might very well be the undisputed king of tacos in Chattanooga. If you are in need of a break from the status quo, or want to explore new grounds in tex-mex, you need to get your ass on the ball and hit this place up. I walked in a very hungry man — and walked out satisfied beyond any level i’ve ever felt before.

And hey, they have a full bar so it never hurts to go all the way in your meals, does it?

Three cheers for the Summer of Taco! Too bad that's bottom-barrel tequila

I look forward to where destiny brings me next in this weird summer. Many thanks to the guys at Chattarati for throwing down as always.

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