The West Village Green shopping strip on Newbridge Road in Hicksville got a little spicier last month with the opening of I Am Nacho Mama, the homiest Mexican restaurant Long Islanders will be lucky enough to dine and get their taco fix in.
It started with a father being told he had to let other people try his food. Then the father, with help from his son, started a food truck in East Meadow near the Mitchel Homes. But come the lull of business in the wintertime, it was time to take it a step further.
“That’s when we figured the next step would be to bring it into brick and mortar,” said I Am Nacho Mama owner Carlos Juarez. “Because we had that great response from the people, they loved the food.”
With everything from nachos, tacos and bowls to burritos, empanadas and even ribs, Nacho Mama has an eclectic Latin American menu featuring both the traditional and the unique. Take, for example, the Mama Cuba—a designated “Food Truck Favorite” and a top-three recommendation from Juarez. Teeming with flavor, this Cuban sandwich features pulled pork slow cooked in beer and served with curtido, pico de gallo, grated cheese, melted queso and garlic aioli all within two slices of toasted pan de agua.
Nachos, tacos, burritos and bowls can come with all of the typical fixings, but it’s the option to have them with shrimp, pernil, picanha or salmon that sets the menu apart.
Desserts like Zacapa Flan, made with Guatemalan rum; Arroz con Leche de Coco y Mango, a Latino rice pudding made with coconut milk, cinnamon and mango; and Dessert Nachos, featuring cinnamon dulce créma, dark chocolate syrup, Mayan cocoa shavings and seasonal fruit all atop cinnamon nachos, make for a deliciously sweet end to your dining experience.
Be sure to try another “Food Truck Favorite,” the Limonada Fresca—with the option to add hibiscus petals for extra flavor. Old fashioned glass bottles of Coca Cola and a coffee stand are also available for refreshment.
While the menu full of nothing but fresh ingredients cannot do you wrong, it’s the décor that will really have guests hooked. Rustic signs declaring a love for family, mismatched tables, flower centerpieces, cookbooks, strings of lights and bright, airy colors make the restaurant feel like you’re walking right into the Juarez family’s home. And you might as well be, considering the entire family is part of the Nacho Mama staff.
“We’re all working here together as a family,” Juarez said. “For us, that’s so important, that you feel like you’re coming into my home here.”