You would walk right past it if it wasn’t for the lit-up sign. There are only four tables out front, illuminated by street lights and strands of chili-covered Christmas bulbs. Once inside Mama’s Ladas, you enter a cozy bit of Mexico. The brick wall on the right, covered in photos of friends and family and art, is accented by rustic lights.
There are roughly six tables, but that only adds to the appeal of the interior. Wine glasses hang upside down, and the strands of lights give a colorful undertone around the room. To the left is the open kitchen where both chefs work. The smell of burritos and chips and salsa fill the air alongside the upbeat tunes flowing through the speakers.
The one waitress was busy but never failed to give a smile and ask how we were doing. Our water glasses were always full and our food came promptly. It was honestly some of the best guacamole I have ever had. If you are more of a chips-and-salsa kind of person, you’ve been warned: this is not your average Pace from the grocery store. This salsa contains olives and mushrooms which, when added, give a different type of flair to the traditional Mexican dish.
Their main dishes, in contradiction with what you may think, are burritos, which come in beef, chicken, and broccoli and cheese. I had the pleasure of eating a beef burrito, and even though I love spice, I made the mistake of adding hot sauce before trying my food first.
It definitely added a kick to it.
To all of you who do not have the taste buds for hot and spicy: take caution and order water. Lots of water.
However, the portion size was perfect for me. Mama’s Ladas gives the option of a half- ($6 for one burrito) or full-size plate ($12 for two burritos). On top of the appetizers, the full-size plate was the perfect size.
As I mentioned before, water is a great asset to the meal, but that is not their only beverage, as they have teas and soft drinks as well. For all of you 21-year-olds out there, they do have quite the beer list (although their Sangria drinks better complement their Mexican style).
The staff is small but efficient at what they do. The waitress knew people by name and was very friendly to new faces. There was a saying that hung above the door as you walked out: “Enter as strangers … leave as friends.” With the family friendly atmosphere that surrounded the building, Mama’s Ladas gave that saying a life of its own. While in the middle of our meal, my friend and I both exclaimed that we would be back. Mama’s Ladas is the whole package.
Mama’s Ladas is located at 116 W. 11th St.