In a bit of pre-Christmas festivities that screamed out for Egyptian and Mexican, my family spent an afternoon seeing the Mummy exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and then headed over to Cary Street for a late lunch/early dinner at Nacho Mama’s. We wanted a unique experience, one that both boys would like, and something we hadn’t tried. We were not disappointed.
Carytown has always had that eclectic feel. We were certainly not disappointed with the festive atmosphere at Nacho Mama’s. Because they’re located in an old house the restaurant is a mixture of old town Richmond and bright festive Mexican décor. It has a funky, playful side and is a great location for post meal window shopping a few days before Christmas.
Nacho Mama’s has been a staple on Cary Street since they opened over 15 years ago. Established at 3449 W. Cary Street in September of 1996, Nacho Mama’s has been the recipient of many awards including Best Margarita in Richmond, Best Patio and Best Carytown Restaurant.
Since we were there late afternoon, we didn’t have to wait for a table. But of course, like most locations in Carytown that changes later in the day and evening. We were escorted to a table in the upstairs room where we could dine in comfort and watch what was happening on Cary Street.
In a celebratory mood, the adults in the crowd took at look at the bar menu first. I went standard with a Dos Equis, but my wife and older son went straight to the margaritas. My wife opted for the Raspberry, and my college-aged son went with the VCU Margarita, which is a mango flavored frozen margarita with blueberry liquor that swirls up through the glass. My son thought it was good, but wasn’t a fond of the blueberry flavor. It did however inspire a young gentleman at the next table to order one in celebration of his 21st birthday. But don’t stop with those flavors. There are many more margaritas to choose from. Some patrons say that’s the best thing Nacho Mama’s has to offer. I may have to go back just to check that out.
Chips and salsa are standard fare at Mexican restaurants and Nacho Mama’s does not disappoint. While the salsa was not overly impressive the queso was an amazing blend of flavors. We ordered a second round of chips to go with ours. Our afternoon was pretty casual, but we were still in search of a meal. Still, I could see many a fine hour spent there with the chips and queso accompanied by a margarita of choice.
The menu at Nacho Mama’s is a blend of Tex Mex, Cuban, Caribbean, Californian and American. So there’s plenty to choose from. And that includes your standard burger for the not so adventurous among you.
The younger son went with an a al carte choice of three tacos, pork, chicken and beef. After filling up on chips and queso, he couldn’t eat them all but happily took one home for lunch the next day. My wife chose a combo and older son went with the enchiladas. He liked them, but was not a fan of the salsa verde.
I was well pleased with the Arroz con Pollo which is season chicken sliced and served over a bed of Spanish rice then topped with queso and pico de gallo.
Nacho Mama’s has lots of special events to draw you in, including Monday’s when beverages are $3 all day long.
I don’t know that I’d put Nacho Mama’s on the list of the best Tex Mex/Mexican food I’ve ever had. But the food was great and the atmosphere even better.