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Mami Nora’s: Update on an Old Fave

Posted by YAR 27 Feb 2009 18 Comments

We’ve loved Mami Nora’s for a long time, and the restaurant has only gotten better since we first fell for its sweet sweet plantains and crispy juicy chicken.  Although the chicken would have been enough for me, they’ve now added a few other plates, including grilled steak, ceviche (on weekends), and fried tilapia.  The only one I’ve tried so far was the Lomo Saltado ($9.99): sauteed skirt steak strips with onions, tomatoes and french fries.  It’s true, the fries are sauteed all in there with the rest of the ingredients, infusing them with delicious beefy flavor.


One caveat is that I’ve had this dish twice and it was much better the first time.  I’m not sure if they changed the recipe or if it was a fluke, but the first time the dish was covered in an amazing gravy that was gone the second time.  I still loved it without the sauce–I would have been perfectly happy if I hadn’t known what I was missing.


These are the sweet plaintains.  They are one of the best foods, ever.


  • bart said:

    On a Friday at lunch in February, they had a “special” that was a chipotle mole chicken. It was like an extra spicy chipotle, and was the best I’ve had in the triangle (including Fiesta Grill). Are the steak and tilapia on the regular menu, or as specials on certain days?


  • YAR (author) said:

    On the regular menu! I have heard about that mole but have not gotten lucky enough to go when it’s available. Does anyone know if it is a recurring thing?


  • Justin Wehr said:

    This has become tied for my favorite place in Durham along with Tacqueria El Paraiso. I have not tried their new dishes yet, but that’s just because the regular stuff is so good — the chicken soup, plantains, black beans, and the chicken of course.


  • nickelby said:

    had the aji de gallina this weekend. excellent!


  • Sant said:

    They serve an interesting Peruvian drink made with purple corn. Tastes like purple Kool Aid with cinnamon and anise flavor. But be warned it, it si way too sweet. I get an extra glass and water it down some.


  • Ann Prospero said:

    Mame Nora’s looks just like Cuban food and I love it. Where is Mame Nora’s?


  • AA said:

    We visited the restaurant today and were amazed at how good the food was. Had the chicken, sweet plantains and soup. hubby had the chicken rice. that was awesome too. Wonder why its not more popular…


  • TSQ75 said:

    shhhhh…lets keep it that way. I think all of us can keep it in business…lol


  • Full Frame Recommendations « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] area, some of our faves are New Visions of Africa (”soul food”), Green Leaf Indian, Mami Nora’s (Peruvian chicken),  Costa Azul (Honduran/Mexican), taco trucks on Hillsborough Rd. (late night), [...]

  • jmp said:

    Tried Mami Nora’s last night when we had a craving for some chicken and Hog Heaven was closed. It was great, the chicken and tostones were first rate. The yucca fries were so-so. What sides do you all recommend? Thanks to this site, it has provided hints to great places to eat all around Durham.


  • Cuban Revolution | Carpe Durham said:

    [...] too sweet, but by 3-1 we decided they were.  The maduros (sweet plantains) were good, but when Mami Nora’s is having a good day, these couldn’t come [...]

  • beth1 said:

    Ate at Mama Nori’s Friday after attending the Festival on the Eno. The plantains were delicious, the chicken tasty and the black beans were top notch.


  • CareyScurry said:

    One more on the pile of raves – it’s excellent.

    Regarding the sides: they’re, as a class, solid but unexceptional. The sweet plantains are probably the best I’ve had in the area. The tostones are solid, the black beans disappointing (this is a minority opinion), the yucca hit and miss (but generally good – try it with the sauce from the very good aji de gallina), and the rice is, well, rice (though my wife digs its buttery-ness). Skip the salad. Haven’t had the soup (but will) or cole slaw (unlikely).

    The chicken is the reason to come here, though – very, very good.


  • jmp said:

    I think thay are closed, any news? Closed Tuesday night aty 5:45 pm


    dave replies on July 14th, 2009 at 10:14 pm:

    I think they are closed on Tuesdays. They have had a sign on the door saying closed on Tuesdays the last few times I have been there. One of those times was a Tuesday. I forgot about the sign, but they didn’t – they were closed.


  • Edith said:

    Tried this today for the first time in a couple of years and now I remember why I haven’t been back. The 1/4 chicken was tiny, greasy, pink inside and flavorless. I had a glop of white rice and unseasoned black beans like straight out of a can. Cost about $8. Not sure how they stay open.


    Ernesto replies on June 2nd, 2014 at 1:49 pm:

    Edith –

    Sorry to hear you were disappointed. We have always enjoyed the whole chickens we have brought home and the plantains. They used to have ceviche on the weekends, but no more. They do now also have lomo saltado and chicken saltado which we liked too.


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