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Taco Mama opened their doors to the public on Tuesday and I was able to give them a try, in fact I wanted to try several items.  My initial fears about the street parking didn't pan out as I was able to find a parking place not too far from the front door.  The times I visited wasn't that busy, at least for an opening day and while there always are some opening jitters among the employees things wen't fairly well in that area.

I was able to try the Chicken Tacos, both grilled and shredded chicken, as well as sampling the rice, the queso, and chips and salsa.  Later in the day I returned to try the beef burrito so as to get a sampling of a few of their items.  The only item I wasn't able to try was the steak taco and steak burrito.  I also, due to not being. a person that drinks, am not able to provide a review of their mixed drink offerings.

I'll start with the Beef Burrito.  It was definitely enough for one to eat and I chose the queso as the side which meant I got a larger size, which was good, because when it comes to chips and queso or chips and salsa I have to give Taco Mama my highest approval rating.  That's right I believe Taco Mama, at least for my part, has the best chips and salsa as well as the best chips and queso (Cheese) dip.  Bear in mind that I can't tolerate spicy so my rating is for mild meaning that it's not "hot" spicy.  If you want spicy (hot) salsa then you can have it but you have to get their mild and spice it up yourself with the condiments they provide at the table.  My choice of Taco Mama for best Queso an Salsa is based on their MILD offering as they do have another, much more spicy, salsa if you want to ask for it.  I also love the thin chips that Taco Mama serves but then Taco Garage also serves the thin chips.

Above are the table condiments and spices as well as their number system they use to get you your order.  Below the Beef Burrito plate w/salsa & Queso

I also had the Chicken Taco, both with grilled Chicken and shredded Chicken and while it was good I have to say it wasn't close to or didn't approach the Chicken Tacos at Taco Garage.  While the chips and salsa was favorable at Taco Mama the Taco Garage has the best Chicken Tacos in town, at least in my opinion.  

All in all Taco Mama, I believe, had a successful opening but I'm still wondering about how the "street parking" will work out especially for handicapped patrons.  Interior there is plenty of seating but only tables with some high top tables.  Table seating is mostly for parties of 6 but also there are some 4 seat and an 8 seat table available.  Below are some other photos of the parking and interior of the restaurant.

Photo above is of the entry door and front of the restaurant and the photo below is showing the upper attic area of Taco Mama with the insulation and all.

I'm sure Taco Mama will have a following and will definitely be popular with the UNA College student crowd that may live in the apartments not too far away or be popular with those because of it's close proximity to the Singing River Brewery but I still think the verdict on Street Parking only is yet to be written.  As for the quality of their food I give them top marks for their queso, their salsa and chips.  Their Salsa is some of the best I've tried anywhere and it's totally mild so those, like me, who like mild salsa will find it more palatable than say Rosie's, Taco Garage or the other Mexican venue restaurants in the area.

I wasn't able to sample/try the steak taco/burritos but that's for another time/day if I choose to go back.  As for their beef tacos/burritos their beef taste fairly close, in taste and seasoning, to El Pollito Loco, at 7-Points area and for many that will be a good thing.  As for me given all involved I'd have to say that my preference and choice would lean toward Taco Garage over Taco Mama but Taco Mama has a good concept and product.  

  Taco Garage                              Taco Mama                                 Rosies

Best Crinkle Fries                       Best Chips & Salsa                   Best Ground Beef

Best Chicken Tacos                 Best Cheese/Queso dip.               Best steak 

Best Sweet Tea                                                                                 Best Salads

Best Budget Friendly                                                     

Be as the Bereans ( Acts 17:11 )


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Jack Hammer posted:

I didn't say that, what I will say is the John is a liar.

That was the point of the post. It's a simple question. What did you mean by mentioning getting Hep C after I mentioned Fiesta and the Crazy Little Chicken? Anyone reading your post would assume you knew something about those or other restaurants. I've not heard of anyone getting any kind of hepatitis at a restaurant and I'm pretty sure you have to swap bodily fluids to get Hep C.

I made another trip to Taco Mama for the purpose of trying the remaining two beef/steak tacos that they offer.  I had already tried the beef taco and thought their beef taco was closest to El Pollito Loco, at 7-Points, but I had not tried the remaining steak/beef offerings.  

Today I ordered the Barbacoa and the Tenderloin Taco.  The Barbacoa is said to be braised beef slow cooked for hours and that it taste like.  To me it was like a Pot Roast Taco and was my favorite of the meat tacos that Taco Mama offers.  The Tenderloin, or Steak, taco was strips of tenderloin steak cooked on their grill and although it was good I thought the braised beef was better.  

Taco Mama is still experiencing a huge opening and most of the prime hours the line, to order, is stretching out the door to the street or wraps down the sidewalk.  Part of this is due to limited seating inside and another part of the line is due to slow ordering process.  Although they try and maintain two registers going to order at, at all times, the line is still quite long and takes a while to negotiate.  Seating in the restaurant is table only, with some tables on their patio, and there are a very few two person tables, about 5 or 6 four person tables then several 6 person tables and 2 eight person tables (I believe).  

I still (being a person that doesn't like hot spices) believe they have the best mild salsa of any place I have tried and their Cheese dip (Queso) is very good although is matched by Rosie's Cantina and Taco Garage.  

For overall dining experience (restaurant experience) you can't beat Rosie's Cantina as you can get dessert and parking is very good.  Parking at Taco Mama still may be an issue but once the opening crowd lessens I really thing that the street parking only may work alright for them.  What is an ongoing disaster though is handicapped access but that is mostly due to unavailability of handicapped dedicated parking.  Once in the restaurant though the handicapped shouldn't have any issues, it's just getting into the restaurant.

Having tried most of the Mexican Restaurants in the area my pick for the best would be between:

Rosie's Cantina, Taco Garage, and Casa Mexicana.  That is not to say the others aren't any good because they are and in fact everyone has different taste and to another they might like Taco Mama better or Fiesta Mexicana.  Of the Fiesta Mexicana (local) chain I like the Cloverdale Rd location best but the 7-Points location is a close 2nd.  Casa Mexicana I like Mall Rd then Muscle Shoals of their locations.  I am not a fan as much of LaHacienda or La Trojas ranking LaTrojas last due to their customer service or service in general (or lack of it).  If La Trojas service was up to the quality of the food I've had there I would rank them quite higher.  

Best Queso (Cheese Dip)  3 way tie Rosie's, Taco Garage, or Taco Mama

Best Chicken Taco - Taco Garage (hands down, no competition) 

Best Steak Tacos - Rosie's Cantina 

Best Beef Taco - Rosies Cantina 

Best Desserts at a Mexicana themed Restaurant - Rosie's Cantina

Best value/price - Pretty much all of them because it depends on the way you order.

My personal picks :  Either Rosie's Cantina or Taco Garage and if I tire of those then I'll choose Casa Mexicana.  



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