The competition was stiff at the third annual Tamales! festival, with entries falling into one of four categories: meat, vegetarian, dessert, and wildcard. These were the best homemade tamales from all over San Antonio. And I must have tasted 40 of them by the end of the day...check out my tamale adventures!
'tamales' on Serious Eats
It may be small and scummy, but Alimentos Saludables, a tamale outpost in Sunset Park is serving the real deal: a true Mexican breakfast of champurrado, arroz con leche, and some of the best tamales in the city, if you catch them on a good day. Plus—a tamale sandwich!
The tamales from La Güera, a modest taqueria in Sunset Park, are fantastic renditions of a perfect, portable food. Tamales ($1.50) sit at the front in an Igloo cooler, all the easier peddle to pedestrians and still warm at midday. There are smoky mole tamales with dark black centers, cheese and green chili versions, and sweet pineapple-infused tamales that sometimes hold dried plums. But the phenomenal banana leaf-wrapped oaxaqueño tamales that are cause for celebration.
Check out the most popular posts over the past week, including our picks for the best tamales, hot chocolate, and other Christmas related foods. Plus, panini at The Purple Pig, where to eat hot dogs in the suburbs, and fried mac and cheese.
As ubiquitous as they may be, I'm not sure if there is a Chicago food less appreciated and understood than the tamale. Great ones are located all over the city, from Roger's Park to Gage Park. I could have kept going, but 16 felt like a good number.
Tamales are a staple in many South American countries, and are great for both a filling brunch and a quick snack. For the filling chicken thighs are simply seasoned and grilled, giving the meat a bit more flavor then the more common braised-to-boiled meat. Half the black beans are mashed to give the filling some body as well as some whole beans for texture.
Among the more curious dishes in The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook are these Mississippi Delta Hot Tamales. Tamales are traditionally Mexican and the tale of how they made their way into the canon of Southern cooking more than a century ago is a truly American one. There are many takes on the story, but they all have something to do with Mexican laborers migrating north from Texas to pick cotton. There they shared their corn husk-wrapped snacks with African-American laborers and the tradition of the Mississippi Delta tamale was born.
I have not been let down by these tamales; they're consistently delicious, and without question the best I have found in Queens. And at $1.00 each, a bargain.
For many foreigners, Xochimilco conjures images of an afternoon of beers and mariachi bands while soaking up the sun on one of the colorful boats known as trajineras that navigate the waterways here. But there's so much more to Xochimilco than booze and boats. There are the collectives that practice small-scale agriculture on the man-made islets called chinampas, the vendors that sell food that is as close to its pre-Hispanic roots as you can get and, of course, the market.
This marks my last Windy City post for Standing Room Only. I made it over nine months, and while I constantly worried about what place to feature next, I always knew where I'd end the series. Gene and Jude's—there isn't a better stand around. Though it sits just outside the Chicago city limits in River Grove, it still encapsulates everything I love about the city's hot dog stands. Let me count the ways.
The Tamale Place makes some of the best Mexican food I've had in Indianapolis, and they do it for cheap. While most Mexican places in Indy claim their authenticity with over-sized margaritas and burritos as big as your head, this little storefront on the west side does so by focusing intensely on a particular street food that can get overlooked in the Mexican cuisine conversation—the tamale.
With so many Mexicans living and working in Corona you’d think that a new tortilleria wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Chowhound's buzz about Tortilleria Nixtamal indicated otherwise though, and inspired me to take a hike from my...
In 4,200 words, Robb Walsh valiantly searches the Lone Star State for old-school Tex Mex. We're talking chili con carne before Velveeta was ever a thing, third-generation tamale carts, and what tacos used to be: tortillas dipped in oil, filled with smoked brisket, and then griddled. If anyone can build a Tex-Mex time machine, Walsh can....
When my friends and I stepped out of the 137th Street station on the 1 train on the way to a friend's get-together, we all thought the same thing: what would we eat for dinner? How fortuitous it was...
Whenever I visit friends near Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, I make sure to take a side trip to Lupita Grocery, an otherwise nondescript little bodega on 21st Avenue. For less than $4, you can grab a small midday snack...
This month's Esquire has a willfully ignorant piece by Iraq war veteran, blogger, and writer Colby Buzzell about the Mississippi Delta Tamale Trail. All the piece does is reinforce the worst kind of racial, regional, and cultural stereotyping that occasionally still goes on when "serious" writers deign to write about things like barbecue and tamales and fried chicken. Southern Foodways Alliance oral historian Amy Evans of Southern Foodways's Tamale Project had this to say in response to Buzzell's piece: While it's impossible for this guy to have missed our project online—or anywhere—and unprofessional and unwise to not make the slightest mention of us and our Tamale Trail, the thing that gets me the most is his portrayal of the Delta....