"Funky fusion" Mexican joint Taco Mamacita opened today in the Edgehill Village space vacated by Rosario's.
The "very eclectic" taco restaurant is a spinoff of a popular Chattanooga eatery. It's owned by Mike Monen, a former partner in the Sticky Fingers barbecue chain, his wife Taylor Monen, and managing partner Chad Phillips.
The Monens completely gutted and expanded the Edgehill Village corner lot that once held Rosario's. The restaurant now seats 150.
Mike Monen studied with one of the luminaries of Mexican cuisine, New York chef Roberto Santibañez, to learn classic Mexican technique. Then he got creative with fusion elements. The menu includes things as basic as fresh chicken tortilla soup (prepared tableside) or as novel as the Asian-influenced General Homeboy taco (panko-breaded shrimp with sweet Thai chili sauce, shredded Napa cabbage, sliced radish, green onions and cilantro).
Another specialty is Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken, with lime juice and seasonings. Virtually everything on the menu appears to be $12.99 or less. (The Peruvian feast, which includes chicken, salad and two side dishes, feeds 3-4 people and is $26.99.)
The restaurant also lures the thirsty with signature cocktails made with premium tequilas and fresh-squeezed juices.
As for beer, Taco Mamacita will start out serving only a select menu of high-alcohol beers, including local Yazoo Sue on draft. The Monens are confident they will eventually get permission to serve regular lower-alcohol beer, which due to complicated local laws is a separate, and often more difficult, process.
Taco Mamacita is at 1200 Villa Place (730-8552).