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Aug 9, 2006 03:50 AM

Hot Tamale Trail mini-report; Natchez find?

Was planning on hitting as many tamale joints as I good on my trip in MS, but the demands of a driving schedule eviserated it. However, I did try two and I think I discovered a new one, the best I've had.

Crystal's Grill in Greenwood: tasty with cumin, very moist, with a light tomato/olive oil/steam water sauce.

Solly's in Vicksburg: More solid than Crystal's and with a mild, smoky flavor and a bit of tang. A little bland considering it has won a Hot Tamale award in 2003. Nice place though.

However, the best of the lot has been in Natchez at a Donut & Tamale drive-in at the corner of Homochitto & Junkin Blvd. Moist, strong cumin & spicy. I don't think they are on the Tamale Trail website but I may be mistaken.

Sadly, that is all I have been able to sample. I also tried to go to The Bourbon Mall only to find it closed/out of business. And a long detour for that, too.

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  1. Sorry about the Bourbon Mall.... I had no idea it was closed! How unfortunate!

    1. Greetings from Mississippi & the SFA! So very glad to hear that you made a trek along the Tamale Trail. Hope you had some Tums along for the ride.

      Interesting about the Bourbon Mall. This is the first I've heard. I'll have to do some digging and find out what happened. That was a cool place, particularly the location. Nothing like driving through fields of sunflowers to get to supper.

      The Donut Shop in Natchez is, indeed, on our Trail website but not on the Trail itself. Natchez is not part of the Delta, so we filed it (and others) in our "Beyond the Bounds" section, which you can find here:

      BTW, the tamales at the Crystal Grill come from Hot Tamale Heaven in Greenville. There's a lot of that in the Delta. For the Tamale Trail we've tried to stick to conducting oral histories with folks who actually make hot tamales; places that have tamales but don't make them are simply mapped. That is not to say, though, that all of the mapped lcoations don't make their own tamales. Our interview locations are on there, as well as some places we just haven't gotten to yet.

      Thanks for your support of our work. Let us know next time you're down this way!


      1 Reply
      1. re: acevans

        I had lunch at Fat Mama's in Natchez a few weeks ago. It was fabulous!
        I'm not a tamale expert by any means, but these were the best tamales I've ever eaten. I rounded out the plate with some boudin, a Knock-You-Naked margarita, some pickles with onions and a Bud. Sat on the patio and thoroughly enjoyed it.

        Good for you folks with the Trail website! Wish I'd known about it before my trip!