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Tamales

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Can someone recommend where I can go for good tamales in either Brooklyn or Queens? Thank you.

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  1. They have great tamales ($1) in Astoria at the Mexican Grocery on 29th Street, just south of 30th Ave. Big selection too of savory and sweet.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Rover

      I picked some up this morning for Christmas- they were very good! My Mexican girlfriend from East LA even thought they were good, which is the ultimate proof of authenticity :)

      1. re: BigV

        They have amazing tacos and amazing tamales there - it's a great little hole in the wall, very authentic and cheap prices too.

          1. re: bigjeff

            big Jeff, Its hard to say cuz there are so many different styles. In the South Texas tradition, it is a corn masa with roasted pork meat filling, the sweet comes form adding raisins. Notrhen Mexicans have a Very sweet Tamal that has a corn dough with a sweet filling minus the meat.

      2. re: Rover

        Those are good. When I lived there i also liked the ones, made only on the weekend, at the little bodega at Astoria Blvd. and 28th. The owner's abuela makes them, along with some pretty yummy rotisserie chicken. The girlfriend and I used to get them on weekend mornings and bring them back to the apartment. Great with a fried egg and some salsa.

      3. in astoria, these days i prefer the tamales at joseph and sylvia's market at astoria and 23rd. but in any case there are a lot of pretty good tamales in astoria at this time.

        1. You don't even have to change trains to do a B-Q tamale run...the "flower stand" on 4th Avenue and 10th Street (right outside where the "R" meets the "F") is also a lip-smackin' good food shop with two-thumbs-up tamales and thick, reasonably priced soups. My recs: Perfect green chicken and mole tamales - they were all outta reds on last visit.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Mike R.

            Mike,

            You're talking about the 4th Avenue Stop on the F train in Brooklyn, or is this in Queens? All I recall in this area is a wine shop and a check cashing place, but maybe I need to look closer.

            1. re: Rocknrope

              It's the F & R transfer point in Brooklyn...they've been constructing a wooden shed area in front of the place in case you don't recognize it immediately.

              1. re: Mike R.

                4th Ave. between 10th & 11th Sts. A block south of the 4th Ave./9th St. subway stop. Only a very small sign on the front and not obvious from the street except for the aforementioned wooden porch.

            2. re: Mike R.

              Somebody was just telling me about this place the other day. It's run by the folks who had a closet-sized soup place on 7th Ave. in the slope for a couple of years.

              1. re: Peter Cherches

                I probably posted above before I discovered Lopez Bakery in South Slope. Some of the best tamales I've ever had, lightest fluffiest masa. But they're rather pricey since they're very small and $1.50 each. One will hardly make a dent in an appetite--but I usually eat one on my walk from the slope to Sunset Park as a teaser.

                http://petercherches.blogspot.com

            3. Original Mexican Grocery on 29th Street is amazing - the tamales at El Compita down on 34th Avenue, between 32nd and 33rd Streets, are also quite good.

              3 Replies
                1. re: jmax

                  yes -- at least they were available daily mid last year.

                  1. re: jmax

                    they used to be most days - occasionally they said they were out. Once they changed management (chef and owner I think) it went downhill fast. The tacos are really dry now and unremarkable. I haven't tried the tamales since it changed hands - expected to be as sorely disappointed as I was with the tacos. Viva El Mariachi on Broadway (33/34) is my new spot for tamales and tacos.

                2. re: flower stand. It's on the West side of 4th ave (the same side as the F train lets out) between 10th and 11th. R train will get you there as well. There is a liquor store (bullet proof glass/not high end) on the corner of 10th and 4th, and a check cashing place on the corner of 4th and 9th. So, cash your check, get some booze and buy some tamales. I like the Oxacanos (red in banana leaf) the best. They are definitely the spiciest.....

                  If you are feeling more adventurous, stay on the R until 45th or so, then walk up to 5th ave. and browse the many food options. Search tamales and Sunset Park for specific recommendations....

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cheapskate

                    "So, cash your check, get some booze and buy some tamales."

                    That has to be the best advice I've gotten all year.

                  2. We must not forget the tamale cart at 61st and roosevelt, under the LIRR and 7 train. The best tamales I've ever had.

                    1. I've recently found a tamale vendor that tops the Woodside LIRR stop vendor! There's a Mexican lady with a granny cart who stands outside the exit of the Grand Ave Newtown subway stop. Her tamales are melt-in-your-mouth, and the spicy ones are SPICY! The spicy cheese are my favorite - dense cheese, liberally mixed with big pieces of jalapeno peppers, wrapped in a fluffy corn masa that's to die for. Her spicy chicken are also great, and her chicken with green sauce are a good option if you don't like spice. They're $1.50 each, and big. She sells in the morning - sometimes she's gone by 10am, she sells out quickly. I usually try and hit her around 9am. I've had tamales from vendors all over the city, and hers are the BEST!!!

                      1. I have to agree with Paulomet, I highly recommend the tamale cart at 61st and Roosevelt, under the LIRR and 7 train. They sell some of the best tamales I've ever eaten. I also recommend trying their hot chocolate-like beverage--- great for days like today.

                        1 Reply
                        1. Just so Brooklyn is not left out, given the place on Fourth Avenue and 10th closed last summer, on Sunday mornings there is a vendor who sells tamales (chicken, spicy chicken, verde, mole, cheese & chili) out of coolers on the corner of Prospect Park West and Prospect Ave. in front of Joe's Pizza, 259 PPW. Delicious and $1 each. He also sells a beverage which may be the aforementioned champurrado.

                          -----
                          Tamale vendor
                          259 Prospect Park W, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: gpcohen

                            Ah, a recent post on the late lamented 4th ave flower shop and soup and tamale joint. My wife and I were just talking about this. Does anyone know the back story? What happened to the guy (whose name I'm forgetting but might have been Carlos), and whether he opened up a place elsewhere? These were fantastic -- and fantastically cheap. Faced with these tamales, even snobs from Mexico, Texas and California shut up and stopped bashing NYC for its Mexican food for once . . .

                          2. Although I haven't tried them yet, I heard the best tamales now are from Taqueria Nixtamal in Corona. It's the only place in NYC where they actually use fresh masa!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: davisready

                              Without getting into the whole masa thing (not the holy grail) I must agree that Taqueria Nixtamal makes some great tamales... split a dozen assorted varieties with a pal a couple of weeks ago.

                            2. Just found a great new place, Mexico 2000, on 405 Broadway at Keap in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Its a grocery with 2 tables in the back....outstanding tamales!!!

                              1. This morning I biked over to the F Line Deli @ 9th St and Smith St in Brooklyn and got 2 massive tamales for $3. I got the Mole and the Jalapeno. They were both massive. The chicken in the mole was dark meat and very nice. The jalapeno was white masa, large jalapeno pieces and cheese. Both were pretty moist. I will definitely be back. Beats a bagel for breakfast any day!!

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: greenermjr

                                  the heuejotzingo cart on the corner of 75th and roosevelt is serving tamales once again, and they have oaxacan ones on saturday. they're great as are the guajillos. not a huge fan of their verde...the pork is always a little chewy for me. but the others are pretty doggone good!

                                  1. re: greenermjr

                                    I'm glad you're spreading the word about this place. I started a thread on it elsewhere that I'd link to, if I were more enterprising.

                                    I never got around to the epilogue: While I totally worship this place, and love that it's a Mexican family that bought a deli, who sell an excellent, improbable product (for a bagel store) at an outstanding price, I was living in a fool's paradise: one day I belatedly thought to ask the obvious, whether the ostensibly vegetarian jalapeno-cheese tamales contained lard. Total duh, I realize. The guy didn't actually know what lard was (at least in English), but i explained and he went in the back to ask his mom (who had just insisted on giving me extra tamales free!). He came back to the front and proudly declared, Yes, indeed, real lard! I don't begrudge it, obviously, and gratefully took my tamales, but gave them away the next day at work. Everyone else was happy -- including my native Tex-Mex colleague from San Antonio -- but I was quite sad.

                                    So . . . all y'all carnivores out there, run, don't walk, to F Line Bagels and support these guys. They make a helluva good tamale!!

                                    1. re: fmogul

                                      Been meaning to try these tamales for a while as the place is in my neighborhood.

                                      Finally went the other day and got a verde tamale with pork and wow was it good!

                                      moist and flavorful--I burned my tongue because it was hot but so tasty I couldn't stop eating.

                                      They seem larger than tamales I get elsewhere, so for $1.50 one can make a lunch--tho I must admit that I could easily eat two.

                                      1. re: missmasala

                                        still talking about F line deli right?

                                    2. re: greenermjr

                                      props. amazing. best tamales so far (they beat my favorite bronx vendor now; sorry buddy!).

                                      $1.50 each, beautifully moist, great ingredients, even and generous filling but best of all; they use the whole corn husk as opposed to the trimmed and folded over pockets. makes a huge difference; looks lovely.

                                      can't possibly eat one instead of a bagel (they are monsters) but awesome. thank you for the rec. the green chili one is spicy!.

                                      1. re: bigjeff

                                        F line, right? aren't they good? The cheese and rajas one is also excellent. In fact, they're all good.

                                        If only the deli didn't close so early. Quite a few times I've gotten a craving for them in the evening, and then i'm out of luck.

                                        1. re: missmasala

                                          F LINE BAGELS! now, apparently it doesn't say "F LINE" on them since it was a legal thing. ya that must have been the rajas one. wow, so good. such good structure to the tamales, light and fluffy, fully saturated filling. I think I had a red pork one, maybe a green pork one? and a cheese/rajas one, not sure; actually someone else picked 'em up so I still haven't been there myself. but they are awesome. so good.

                                          F Line Bagels
                                          476 Smith Street (btwn 9th and Huntington)
                                          718.422.0001

                                          funnily enough, most of the yelp reviews focus on the bagels, but it's the tamales that kill it.