Goodbye Mama's Mexican Kitchen, hello Mama's Cantina. The latest incarnation of the storied Belltown restaurant opens today at 4 p.m. and will be open seven days a week, with brunch starting at noon on weekends.
True to his word, new owner Marcus Charles (Local 360 Café & Bar, Bell + Whete Gastropub + Events, The Crocodile) has honored the original while giving the space a refresh, opening up some of the smaller nooks and moving the back bar to the front. Fans should still easily recognize the kitschy charm of the original, including the Elvis shrine.
Along with a slight update to the interior comes a menu overhaul from chef Jenny Izaguirre, who transitions from Bell + Whete to bring inspiration from her native Honduras and from her time in Los Angeles. Today she's roasting a whole pig for the eatery's Mojo Pork dishes, and she plans to do so weekly. The classic Elvis Burrito has been upgraded with wagyu beef. There are halibut poke tostadas, Korean-style quesadillas, and plenty more goodies.
Naturally, the bar list includes a selection of 40 tequilas and mezcals, any of which can be used in scratch Margaritas. A few local and Mexican beers on draft and in cans round out the selection.
Get into Mama's Cantina while you can — the restaurant will eventually be forced to close for a time when the building is torn down, but will then reopen in the new development.
2234 2nd Ave, (206) 728-6262, website. Open Monday to Friday 4 p.m. to late, Saturday and Sunday noon to late.