I have long heard about Mema’s Alaskan Tacos from plenty of food websites. Walking inside it certainly feels like Ybor City, very artsy and unique. They have free wi-fi so I was able to access websites, such as Yelp and Urbanspoon, while I was inside and checkout all the reviews and tips from past visitors. There really are a wide-range of reviews; some people love Mema’s and some people think starving kids in Africa wouldn’t touch it.
They have a wide variety of choices on their menu. Tacos, Enchiladas, Chimichangas, Burritos, Tostadas, Nachos, Tamales, and Quesadillas. They even have Jarritos Mexican sodas. I took the food as a different experience than regular Mexican because they claim to be Alaskan Tacos not Mexican Tacos and it’s clear that many of their meats (gator meat for example) are not normal choices for tacos or Mexican entrees and that Mema’s has a unique way of making these dishes.
I decided to try their Chorizo Taco ($3) and Steak Burrito all the way ($6.50) and I actually passed $10 although I didn’t think I would. We were given free chips and salsa because we passed $10. Mema’s is a little pricey like the Taco Bus and California Tacos. Mexican or Mexican-inspired food isn’t cheap in Florida just like Korean food, the lack of places providing the food drives the price up (competition is a good thing for consumers!). (Note: Don’t lose your receipt or they won’t give you your food when it comes out).
The Chorizo Taco was great! They weren’t cheap with the ingredients and the chorizo was made just right. I liked the taco shell, they fry the taco with the meat so it tastes crunchier and it has a unique and good taste. I doubt it’s healthy, but hey if I wanted healthy food I would go to Algusto’s on Kennedy for Mexican.
The Steak Burrito was huge and about the size of a Burrito Prenado at the Taco Bus. The meat was good, but clearly regular steak and not anything like having Carne Asada. I’d say California Tacos on Bearss Ave. has a similar style in burritos. Mema’s has their own black refried beans recipe that I liked. They put all the toppings inside and at first the burrito tasted cold because the lettuce, salsa, and sour cream are cold, but once you get some meat and refried beans it’s great. The salsa water was dripping out of the burrito so I turned it upside to drain it out, you might want to do this and avoid staining your t-shirt or pants.
Overall, I thought Mema’s had pretty good food. It wasn’t the best I have had, but something different and pretty tasteful. I want to try their gator meat and other items sometime in the future. It’s located close by GameTime (formerly Gameworks) too so I’m sure I’ll be nearby in the future.
Restaurant Name: Mema’s Alaskan Tacos
Address: 1724 E 8th Ave. Tampa, FL 33689
Phone Number: (813) 242-8226
Neighborhood: Ybor City