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Mar 1, 2007 09:23 PM

Woodside tamal vendor

I just want to give a shout out to the tamal lady under the Woodside #7/LIRR tracks. She's got some fine tamales. I've enjoyed the rajas y pollo and Oaxaqueno versions. Most are $1, the Oaxaqueno es muy grande and $3. I haven't tried the queso tamal that Eric Eto wrote about 3.5 years ago ( ).

She's out around noon on weekdays, under the overpass next to the fruit vendor. I like that I usually get the tamales when they're still quite soft and haven't hardened to a dense mass. Maybe it's because I get them soon after she's set up...or she's just got that touch.

She's also got hot champurrado on those frosty days.

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  1. Yes, I have to agree that the tamales are amazing, as well as the hot champurrado--- great on a cold day like today. I highly recommend a stopping by and making a purchase.

    5 Replies
    1. re: MellieGal

      Is the Woodside tamale lady still around? I haven't been to her cart for at least three years, but was in the mood for her tamales and champurrado recently, so I went looking for her on a Sunday around 1pm.

      Unfortunately, she wasn't there. I saw a totally different Mexican food cart in her place - one that only served tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and other antojitos.

      Is the tamale lady gone? Moved to another location? Weekdays only? Gone by mid-morning?

      If she's no longer around, are there any other Mexican carts or vendors in the outer boroughs (not just Queens) who sell freshly-made tamales and champurrado on weekends? I'm hoping to check a few places out tomorrow, if possible.

      I figure I can always go to Tortilleria Nixtamal for my tamale fix...but I kind of want to check out one of the street vendors or hole-in-the-wall restaurants if possible.

      1. re: italianices

        I've walked down Roosevelt Ave. in the mornings on Saturday and Sunday, mostly in Jackson Heights, and seen almost a dozen along the way; ladies with big metal pots in wagons. They have all kinds. Buck fifty for the regular chicken. pork or rajes, and some have the Oaxaqueno big ones with the mole poblano. Last time I was down there, I saw several on the south side of Roosevelt just off 82nd, I think. The earlier the better, say 9 or so. Always a bunch of guys standing around, forks in their tamales.

        1. re: Paulomet

          Sounds great, I'll have to check them out. I'm guessing that these tamale ladies are gone before noon?

          1. re: italianices

            Yesterday, I was walking along Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside and discovered that the tamale lady underneath the 7/LIRR tracks is still there. She said she sets up shop with her silver cart around 6:30 or 7am and leaves when she runs out of tamales, which is usually around 11:30am, maybe 12 noon at the latest.

            I had a tamale with chicken and green chile, which was pretty good. Unfortunately, she was out of champurrado, so instead I had a hot rice and cinnamon drink; not sure of the name - is it simply hot horchata?

            1. re: italianices

              Hot rice and cinnamon should be atole. Champurrado is chocolate atole. Although atole in many areas is made with corn masa, in areas like Mexico City and Oaxaca it is often made with rice.