Mexican Mama’s Restaurant, conveniently located at 1350 Myers Avenue next to Riverside Conoco, really lives up to its slogan. Since opening in late September, the cheerful, impeccably clean restaurant has developed a loyal following drawn by the “made from scratch daily” policy and the relaxed, family atmosphere. Owners Tim and Irene (Mama) Grady take great pride in their authentic Mexican cuisine and rightly so; I tend to think of their menu as “Mexican comfort food.”

On my first visit I ordered two dishes which definitely fall in the “comfort food” category: Mama’s Meatball Soup and a Torta. The soup combined meatballs with rice and vegetables in a perfectly-seasoned, rich, savory broth. The Torta, new to me, is a traditional Mexican sandwich made with fresh grilled Mexican bread, grilled steak, Pico de Gallo, avocado, American cheese, and Mama’s special homemade dressing. A grilled jalapeno pepper and onions are served on the side, but I quickly added them to the hefty sandwich. Perhaps the best way to describe the Torta is “Mexican Cheese Steak,” with a nod to Philadelphia. Other house specialties include the “Bigger than Life!” Super Burrito, filled with your choice of grilled steak or chicken, beans, rice, cheese, Pico de Gallo, and homemade salsa and Mama’s Super Nachos, also offering a choice of grilled steak or chicken. All orders are served with a substantial basket of tortilla chips and homemade salsa that packs just enough kick. Be sure to check the daily specials; you never know what Mama will be up to, but you can be sure it will be “made from scratch” that day.

I was especially impressed with the Chimichanga plate, your choice of beef or chicken. My beef Chimichanga featured perfectly seasoned ground beef in a “just crispy enough” wrap. All of the featured plates are served with ample servings of Mexican Rice, beans, and Mexican Salad (with Guacamole. Other plates include Burrito, Quesadilla Rellena, two Mexican Taquitos, two Enchiladas, or two Tacos. The plates are especially reasonable, priced from $4.75 to $5.70. The prices at Mexican Mama’s are surprisingly low given the quality of the food and the size of the servings.

Mexican Mama’s is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  The restaurant seats between thirty and forty. Take-out orders are welcome; call 870-698-1085 to place your order.

Tim and Irene Grady and the rest of their staff are delightful people who will make you feel like family the minute you walk in the door.   Be sure to tell them I sent you.   

Bob Pest