A rocky start for Mamacita's | Eat Arkansas

Monday, June 3, 2013

A rocky start for Mamacita's

Posted By on Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 9:18 AM


Opening a restaurant is not easy; running one isn't either. This is especially true for a place opening in a location that might be considered "snake bit" after housing everything from Korean food to breakfast food over the past couple of years. And as much as I hope that Mamacita's, the attractively decorated Mexican cafe that opened this past week at the corner of University and Kavanaugh, will be the one to break the curse of that location, they've got quite a ways to go before they can hope to do it.

The wait staff at Mamacita's is friendly, but they obviously haven't gotten down how they want their floor to move. Our glasses sat empty for quite some time while multiple servers stood huddled behind the bar, and I had to grab some silverware from an adjacent table after being unable to get somebody's attention. Our food came out from the kitchen quickly, though, so we'll cut them some slack due to first week jitters. The menus were hopelessly full of strange typos, offering dishes served "smotehered" with "mashrooms" and "chicken slaices" — another sign that things might be going off half-cocked.

Worse than the inconsistent service were some glaring problems with the food. The two salsas that hit our table were described as "mild" and "hot," but we found the mild to be pretty tasteless and the hot to be more salty than spicy. This heavy-handedness with the salt shaker extended to our entrees, with the grilled flavor of my carne asada and chorizo tacos being overwhelmed completely by salt. In addition, having requested my tacos be served with just onions and cilantro, there wasn't a single bit of onion to be found (although the cilantro was nice and fresh). The wife's chicken burrito wasn't much better — the chicken was cooked well, but the overall plate was far too salty. In addition, the queso poured over the top of the burrito was thin and watery, adding very little to the overall dish.

I don't like coming down hard on a restaurant trying to find its legs, but there's nothing about Mamacita's that differentiates it from dozens of other Mexican joints across the city. Indeed, the over-salted food we ate at the place is not nearly as good as the fresh food served up at many local taquerias for a fraction of the cost. The restaurant itself is an attractive dining space, so I hope the place makes some needed adjustments — otherwise, I fear they'll be just another culinary casualty on the corner.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Michael Roberts

Readers also liked…

  • A sneak preview of Fourquarter Bar in Argenta

    A look at Fourquarter Bar in Argenta, brought to you by the folks behind Midtown Billiards. Beer, barbecue and killer cocktails abound!
    • Feb 23, 2016
  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.



  • Arkansas Times' photographer Brian Chilson was at Midtown today to check on progress being made towards their grand opening scheduled for July 7.
    [content-1]The owner, Maggie Hinson, will be handing out markers so patrons can "mark their territory" on the walls of the new location.

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation