Dining In and Out: Mama’s Ladas


By Kaylyn Deiter

(Photo: tripadvisor.com)

One young foodie explores the local restaurant scene, bringing quality cuisine into your kitchen, sans doggie bag.

Dining Out

Downtown Sioux Falls’ Mama’s Ladas has only two items on its menu: enchiladas and more enchiladas. It’s a minimalism co-owner Jayme Mothershead is just fine keeping simple.

“All we do is enchiladas,” she said. “It’s been our focus from the beginning. Sometimes we get customers asking if they can have a taco or a burrito, but we just stick to what we do best, and what we do best is enchiladas.”

Mothershead has owned the West 11th Street Mexican-style eatery with her husband, Matt, for nearly 15 years. And it’s safe to say that enchiladas have always been the stars of the show.


(Photo courtesy: hospitality21.com)

When discussing the actual recipe behind Mama’s Ladas’ famed entree, it’s all about quality control.

“We make our dishes fresh every day using only the best products,” she said.

Though Mothershead prefers to keep the details of her enchiladas under wraps, she did share that the recipe originated with her mother, emphasizing that cheese is a key ingredient to success—lots of cheese.


(Photo courtesy: dtsf.com)

With a staff of only 10, Mothershead said her goal is to make Mama’s Ladas feel like home. And that it does. The entire eatery is comprised of one square room, a bar and approximately seven dining tables of assorted sizes. Cozy is an understatement. Multi-colored lights complement the rustic brick, and art from local artists adorns the remaining wall space. It’s eclectic, it’s cramped and it feels like home.

“We want our customers to leave feeling like they just had dinner at a friend’s house,” Mothershead said. “Although our staff is small, they all give 110 percent every day, something you don’t get at most chain restaurants.”

Three reasons to check out Mama’s Ladas:

  1. The atmosphere
  2. Free dessert—mini candy bars, anyone?
  3. The enchiladas … duh


Dining In

But what if a night out downtown isn’t in the cards for your Saturday evening? If you’re still craving that Mama’s Ladas flavor without all the fuss, try this simple chicken enchilada recipe courtesy of Diane VanEssen of Tracy, Minnesota:


  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 2 cans enchilada sauce
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese
  • 1 package flour tortillas


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease 13×9 inch baking dish.
  3. In a skillet, cook chicken over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked.
  4. Stir in ¾ cup enchilada sauce and 1 cup cheese.
  5. Spoon enchilada filling into tortillas, roll up and place seam sides down in baking dish.
  6. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes.


Put on some salsa music, dip into a bowl of guacamole and string up a few multicolored lights. Guaranteed you’ll be feeling that Mama’s Ladas vibe right from your own kitchen.

Three reasons to make enchiladas at home:

  1. Simple recipe
  2. Tastes great
  3. Avoid the downtown parking hassle

Mama’s Ladas is the place to be if you’re craving a homey atmosphere and authentic flavor. Throw in a mini Snickers for the road and you’re golden. But if Netflix is calling your name and a little cooking seems like just the creative outlet you need, try our simple chicken enchilada recipe and enjoy Mama’s Ladas from the comfort of your couch.


Meet the Interns Kaylyn Deiter