Big dishes fill small ‘Cocina’


By Amanda Mayberry

Big portions and big flavor are what separates Mama’s Cocina on Mednik Avenue from other Mexican restaurants.

They give students that are on a budget more for their money. Students could easily get there by train, car, or even walking, though the latter might take a little longer.

The walk is about 15 to 20 minutes.

The area is becoming increasingly popular thanks to the Gold Line’s Civic Center station on nearby 3rd Street. This may be the reason for Mama’s Cocina’s  growing popularity.

It’s a quaint, little restaurant that can be found between Linda’s Bakery and The Coffee Bean.

Service is friendly, but not particularly fast as it appears that there’s only one person behind the cash register and one cooking.

The dining room is  about five feet long and four feet wide, and very poorly lit since the only source of light comes from the large windows in front of the restaurant. With more than two people in the restaurant at once it easily becomes overcrowded.

However, what it lacks in stature it easily makes up for in the quantity of food, though the quality is only about average.

The carne asada was served in abundance and was tender and flavorful. Needless to say, it was delicious.


The super nachos packed a punch and were super indeed. They came served on a fully loaded plate and packed with an abundance of nacho chips, carne asada, beans, cheese, lettuce and sour cream.

However they were also topped with a watery green liquid that was allegedly guacamole. Fortunately, though, the green liquid had no real flavor and so it didn’t interfere with the overall taste of the dish.

Another issue was the chili they offered.

The green and red chili was served in large condiment bottles that were set out on one of the tables. The green chili was so bland it almost seemed completely devoid of flavor.

The red chili wasn’t nearly as disappointing. It was nice and spicy, but not too spicy, as a customer would expect red chili to be.

The quesadilla was definitely not a disappointment. Though, incredibly , it was served with the watery green slop again.

Luckily the cook put the guacomole on the side and not on top, as it was with the nachos.

It was quickly pushed to the side and ignored as it was when served with the super nachos. The tortilla was nice and warm, and though the cheese was a little skimpy, the carne asada made up for it.

Two thumbs up for Mama’s quesadilla.

Overall the quality of the food was good, but there was no real wow factor. On the other hand, for the amount of food served, it’s definitely worth the money, so fellow students should go and try it out for themselves.

Customers should order their food to go and stay away from the guacamole.

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