In a world with food trucks seemingly at every corner and outside every brewery on the weekends it can be hard to set yourself apart in the food truck game, but Nacho Mama’s does just that.
Nacho Mama’s is a gourmet nachos truck that frequents many breweries in and around Seattle. I met the owners Chris and Sandra through my cooking Instagram page. I followed them, they followed me and the rest was history. I very quickly found out that I was dealing with some of the sweetest people I ever met. They would repost my posts and show support to someone they barely knew even though it had no real benefit to them. Ever since, I have been an avid supporter telling everyone I can about the truck whenever I get the chance.
What were you doing before the food truck?
Chris: “Sandra and I both worked at my family’s restaurant in Redmond for over 20 years each. The restaurant was called Frankie’s Pizza & Pasta. We lost our lease so the building could be torn down to build a hotel. It was perfect timing for us though because we were ready to start our own adventure. We gained a lot of experience working at the restaurant which has been incredibly helpful in the food truck business.”
How did you two meet?
“Sandra and I both went to the same junior high and high school. We also both worked at the same Safeway for our first jobs. We were both pretty young and shy back then so we didn’t talk a lot. Sandra’s friend ended up working at my family’s restaurant so Sandra would come in to visit her. One day Sandra was out front on the pay phone (this shows how old we are haha) and I poured myself a glass of chocolate milk. I looked up and saw Sandra and decided to ask if she wanted some chocolate milk. She said yes and we ended up talking for a couple hours that night. The next day I went into Starbucks where Sandra was working at the time, waited in line and asked her out. She said yes and we were engaged 3 months later.”
Why did this type of work interest you?
“We have always been obsessed with food. We spend most of our free time either cooking or eating haha. We also both love to feed people and make people happy so the food truck business is perfect. We also have a passion for craft beer. We love visiting breweries all around Seattle and anywhere that we travel. When we decided to start a food truck we knew that we wanted to make something that would pair with beer so we could serve at breweries. We love the sense of community that each brewery provides, plus it’s a laid back atmosphere with all different kinds of people coming together to relax and enjoy themselves.”
What are your favorite nachos you make regularly and your favorite special you have done?
“Our favorite nachos that we make are the Cheeseburger Nachos and the Street Corn with either marinated pork belly or tofu. We really love all of the nachos on our menu and eat them all regularly haha. It’s super hard to pick a favorite special since we’ve made over 120 of them but these are some that stand out: Cubano Nachos, Dungeness Crab Nachos, Pho-Tastic Nachos, Truffle Burger Nachos, Wild Thing Nachos (with wine braised wild boar) and Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffle Nachos.”
You also make your own hot sauces. What is the process for that and how did you start linking up with brewers to make limited releases?
“We start with fresh chili peppers and whatever other ingredients are in the hot sauce. Those things get diced up and then combined with salt to start a lacto fermentation. After 24 hours we add vinegar then let everything ferment for at least a week. After the fermentation everything gets blended together and put through a fine strainer before it’s bottled.
We are constantly looking for fun ingredients to use and thinking up different flavor combinations. We try and use what’s in season whenever possible.
Sometimes we get approached by different brewers to make a collaboration hot sauce. It’s fun to use different beers or ciders to get inspiration for hot sauces. We usually taste the beer / cider and think about how the flavors would work as a hot sauce. Sometimes we use the same fruit that is in the beer or cider to make the hot sauce and sometimes we use other ingredients that we think will compliment the flavors.”
What’s in store for the future of the truck?
“We are hoping to open a beer and wine taphouse and bottle shop within the next few years. Until then we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing with the truck.”
The truck’s regular stops are at Stoup Brewing, Urban Family Brewing, Optimism Brewing, No Boat Brewing, Cairn Brewing, Ridgecrest Public House, Ravenna Brewing and Black Raven Brewing. Find their weekly schedule on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. They also post the schedule on their website.
Next time you plan on going to a brewery, I’d check which one Nacho Mama’s is at. The nachos pair perfectly with beer and don’t leave you with that heavy feeling you normally get after having nachos. Most importantly when you do you will be helping to support a local business run by wonderful people. When you support them you are in turn also helping other small and local businesses because of how much Chris and Sandra help prop up and promote other local businesses via social media.
Now go get some nachos!
Follow them on social media and check out their website!