2012-10-17 / Local News

Nacho Mama’s offers change of pace

By Jennifer Archibald Staff writer

A little bit of Mexico has come to downtown Flora.

Local residents Anthony and Mandy Ovalle have opened Nacho Mama’s at the corner of Main and Center streets. The familyrun business offers authentic Mexican food.

“Our biggest seller is the taco supreme, and Nacho Papa’s is right behind,” Anthony said. Nacho Papa’s is a dish that includes tortilla chips, shredded cheese, seasoned ground beef, refried pinto beans, lettuce, sour cream, tomato, and onion.

Anthony cooks all the ground beef himself, adding his special seasoning.

“It took me a good twothree years to come up with that blend,” he said. “My mom doesn’t even know what it is.”

His mom, Olivia Ovalle, knows a thing or two about Mexican cooking herself. She learned from her mother, who originally was from Mexico.

The two cookin’ mamas in the Nacho Mama’s kitchen are Olivia and her sister, Rose Hernandez. On extra busy days, they are joined by their sister, Margaret Ramones of Frankfort.


Nacho and the mamas Anthony Ovalle, his mother, Olivia Ovalle (center), and his aunt, Rose Hernandez, are the main cooks at Nacho Mama’s in Flora. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald Nacho and the mamas Anthony Ovalle, his mother, Olivia Ovalle (center), and his aunt, Rose Hernandez, are the main cooks at Nacho Mama’s in Flora. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald Mandy Ovalle and other family members help at the eatery in the evenings, weekends, or whenever needed.

Working with family day in and day out could present challenges, but Olivia said just the opposite is true.

“It’s very comfortable,” she said.

Anthony says the meat, rice, refried beans, and salsa are made fresh every day.

“When we’re sold out, we’re sold out,” he said.

Since they opened, they have added burritos to the menu. On Fridays and Saturdays only, they offer steak burritos and steak tacos.


When you have a craving for Mexican… Nacho Mama’s is the new “fast food” place in Flora, offering authentic Mexican food. Customers can dine in or carry out. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald When you have a craving for Mexican… Nacho Mama’s is the new “fast food” place in Flora, offering authentic Mexican food. Customers can dine in or carry out. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald Anthony said they are open to expanding their menu, but one new item at a time.

By popular demand, the next addition will be seasoned shredded chicken. But first he needs to come up with the right seasoning. He said since they are open day and night, Monday through Saturday, Sunday is the only day he can experiment with new menu items.

Olivia, who has had some restaurant experience, said she hopes someday tamales can be offered because they are one of her specialties. She also has ideas for special lunch plates or dinner plates.

Anthony says one thing they’re not going to change is their tortillas – soft shell corn or flour.

“We’ll never offer hard shell because that’s not authentic,” Anthony said.

Rose makes the salsa – mild and hot. Anthony recommends starting with the mild, because “heat” is also part of the Hispanic tradition.

Anthony said he began planning for the business about four years ago. That’s also when he came up with the name, Nacho Mama’s.

“This is my full-time job now,” he said.

He credits his father-inlaw, Jim Hancock, with doing the remodeling work, and also influencing the decorating. Hancock likes The Three Stooges, and his favorite is Curly. So there is a picture of Curly hanging on the wall.

There is limited seating for those who prefer to dine in, but Anthony said most of their business is carryout.

The family says business has been great so far; customers say they are glad to have another food option in town.

“They ask us why we didn’t do this a long time ago,” Anthony commented.

He said for quite some time he has been “practicing” at home - cooking for his family. He has sought cooking tips from his mom, and added his own touches.

Cooking Mexican dishes has been a family tradition. Now, Anthony says, he and “the mamas” are just cooking for more people.

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