I originally decided to visit MAM's when I heard about their issues with their landlord (Fiesta, more forthcoming), but was so blown away by the quality of their New Orleans style sno-balls I decided it needed to move to the front of the line.
For those only familiar with the pedestrian "snow cone," the Sno-Ball will be quite a shock. The ice—unlike other inferior snow cone varieties—is pillowy soft. All the syrups are homemade and are completely incorporated with the ice. We purchased three different varieties, all of which were excellent. We added condensed milk to the blackberry version, which cut the sweetness and added a smooth dairy richness. For $0.50, the condensed milk is a no-brainer; get if for a true Hansen's Sno-Blitz (a New Orleans institution) experience.
Late last week, I found MAM's Facebook fan page and learned of their lease issues. Recently, a resident in the area complained to Fiesta, and Fiesta decided to pull their lease with only 10 days warning. On Friday, the future of MAM's was up in the air, so it was with this sense of unpredictability that we decided to visit and get the scoop.
Part of my reason for starting this blog was to encourage more quality food providers to come to the Heights. With 10 days warning and all the restrictions the Heights enforces, I certainly wasn't hopeful.
This story will have a happy ending. I talked with the owners, and they were overwhelmed by the support from the community (several people offered their driveways). They also informed me they have secured a new lease and will be moving there at the end of next week. This news, and the beautiful sno-ball in my hand, just made me smile.
MAM's still has a few kinks to work out. The storefront is mobile, and they're not too much in a hurry to make it by their published 12 noon opening time. We arrived at 12:15 only to find their allotted spot empty. Our advice: save the experience for late afternoon or evening. MAM's closes at 9pm, which is way better than Hansen's, where you'll be lucky to get anything past 7pm.
The Heights is lucky to have a place like MAM's. It gets my highest recommendation.