A blog about food
In 1994, I had the best job EVER. I worked at Mama Inez in Ketchum—one of the best Mexican restaurants the Valley has ever known. I made lasting friendships, learned a lot about the restaurant business and ate killer Mexican food (although my friends will say I only ate beans, salsa, lettuce and tomato). When I heard that Mama’s was back in business on Main Street in Ketchum this fall, I swear I heard a resounding “Yippie!” throughout the Valley.
Owners Duane and Deida Runswick have done a fantastic job replicating the food (to the tee!) that we locals crave, while also giving the place a bit of their own flair and personality.
Located at 210 N. Main in Ketchum, Mama’s new home is a quirky space that they ingeniously revamped into a cozy restaurant. Conveniently located next to the Casino, Mama’s is in the thick of things on Main Street and brings new-old blood back to downtown. In the summertime, they have a deck that makes for great people watching.
Peter and I walked into town last Friday with the intent of satisfying our cravings for Chile Colorado. Mama’s new menu is paired down a bit, but still has original dishes that wake people up in the middle of the night with palates longing and stomachs growling. Cheese crisp ($3.25), Chile Colorado Burrito ($9.75), Chile Verde Burrito ($9.75), Crab and Shrimp Monterey Burrito ($11.25), and Baja Fish Tacos ($8.95). Also on the menu are: Enchiladas, salads, tacos and gordos.
Jessica, the restaurant manger, takes our order at the counter—Cheese crisps to start, Chile Colorado burritos for Peter, and a combination Chile Colorado burrito and Crab and Shrimp burrito for me (with lettuce and tomato on top). We order a couple of bottled beers ($3.00) to accompany this fine south-of-the border fare. (Don’t forget to stop at the ATM or bring your checkbook with you, no plastic accepted at Mama’s.) We make our way to a table outside, say hi to a few friends and relish the fact that Mama’s is back in business and within walking distance of our house.
Our Cheese Crisps arrive and fried flour tortilla chips with melted cheese and enchilada sauce suddenly seems tantamount to the invention of the wheel—sheer genius! We’re fighting over the last chips and clumps of cheese, when Jessica brings our dinners. We grin from ear to ear at the sight of that deep red shade of goodness only found in the Chile Colorado and have at last, reached gastronomic nirvana. The mix of the cream cheese and crab and the Chile Colorado is out of this world—much like widely publicized chocolate and peanut butter scenario, but better.
As we slurp down the last of our beers, rub our stomachs, and unbutton the top button of our jeans so that we can actually get up from the table and waddle home, we let out a contented sigh of relief. With Mama’s back in the restaurant game in Ketchum, it seems like life has just gotten a whole lot better.
Here’s to Duane and Deida for bringing back a staple and a bit of old Ketchum that so many of us reflect on with fond memories and full stomachs.