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Feb 25, 2006 08:34 AM

Nacatamales in Tampa/St. Pete

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I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a Nicaraguan place to get nacatamales (large, leaf wrapped tamales) in the Tampa or St. Pete area. I'd be driving up from Sarasota, so St. Pete would be more convenient. Thanks.

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  1. I had these once, not sure if they were Nicaraguan (I thought they said Columbian). IIt's been awhile but I think the restaurant is still there. It's on Armenia near the bowling alley. I realize this is absolutely no help to you if you are coming all the way from Sarasota -- another place nearby is Save on Seafood. If I happen by that area (doubt it) I will get the name for you but if you go, find Save on Seafood on Armenia and it is a block or so north of it. There are many more South American restaurants on Armenia just north of there -- btwn MLK and Waters. Search this board for Armenia for more info.

    The other place where I've had this was Antojitos on Columbus which I believe has closed. It had the large leaf, with cornmeal and little chunks of beef and I think sausage inside. Also, La Casona, a Puerto Rican place, has a similar one that is only served at Christmas time.

    5 Replies
    1. re: T-Girl

      I just ate at Antojitos a couple weeks ago--- still open, closed on Tuesdays, i think. The tamales there are large stuffed with scraps of meat and bones. The tamale itself was quite soft.

      1. re: andy huse

        oops. thanks for setting me on the straight and narrow, andy. i tend to veer :)

      2. re: T-Girl

        Colombian tamales are quite similar to their Nicaraguan, Salvadoran and Guatemalan counterparts. Not identical, but very similar.

        Puerto Rican pasteles, on the other hand, are quite dissimilar, mainly because they are made with platanos instead of masa.

        1. re: JeffB

          You mean like a mofungo sort of thing (the PR pasteles)? These were made with corn meal and are a specialty at Christmas. Unfortunately, I don't know the name of the item, which was wrapped in a leaf which I recall as a banana leaf. But it was at least 2 yrs. ago and I'm getting older by the minute :)

          1. re: T-Girl

            No, not mofongo. Mofongo are green plantains that are fried and pounded with a wooden mortar and pestle with chicharones and garlic, then eaten with soup or stews. Like Cuban fu fu.

            Pasteles are the Puerto Rican version of tamales, steamed in banana leaves and served at Xmas with roast pork and such. The main ingredient in the filling is plantain, rather than masa. You should be able to get them year round at a PR place.

            Here's a recipe link in English.


      3. I've just returned to TB to live and am surprised there isn't a real Nic here. There's nothing like a bowl of Oxtail soup w/ orzo & a Nacatamale. Shame.

        1. Hello: we sell them. My mother is Nicaraguan. We make them every month. She just made them this weekend. My email is you will not find them anywhere. We use all fresh products and very clean. Again we just made them this weekend and are ready for pick up.