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(DFW/Arlington) Christmas Tamales

For years we have gotten our Christmas tamales to go from Marquez Bakery and Tortilla Factory in Grand Prarie. However, last year the tamales were more masa than meat. Can anyone recommend a tamale shop for Christmas tamales to go?

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  1. Central Market makes EXCELLENT tamales in several different flavors. They are in the refrigerated section near the prepared foods.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ChristieP

      Thanks Christie. I have tried the Central Market and found the tamales to be a bit too greasy for my taste. I'm looking for a "Mom and Pop" type operation for my tamales.

      1. re: State St.

        I agree. Maybe I got a bad dozen, but they were way too greasy.

        1. re: State St.

          thank u ladies i understand what u guys r saying about the tamales I ran into that same problem as well! So as a ex corp chef I learned how to make them my self and way less fat! I am a stay at home mom that makes tamales around the holidays and I make them with no lard yes no lard!! i use seasoning and the cooking juices from the meats I roast! I make turkey,pork small about of beef!! I have been doing this for 5 years and having to watch what we get and the luv for tamales I made them my own and have very good clients!! Im making turkey next week! let me know!!

      2. La Popular Tamales on the corner of Columbia and Munger in Dallas. If you order in advance (as you should) be sure to pick them up exactly when they say they'll be ready -- one year I was a few hours late, and they had sold my tamales to someone else (although they made another batch for me).

        1. Another place to try is the Dallas Tortilla & Tamale Factory in Grand Prairie. I've eaten there before, and the tamales were good.

          1. We will give both of your suggestions a try and report back.

            1. La Popular Tamales on the corner of Columbia and Munger in Dallas was exactly what we were looking for. The tamales were awesome, their salsa spicy and the Pico De Guio was nice and hot. The only draw back was there was a sign in the store said "No more Christmas orders after November 25th." But I don't think they mean it....especially if you ask nicely. Thanks Alice.

              2 Replies
              1. re: State St.

                I've had Dallas Tortilla and Tamale factory TAMALES and TORTILLAS before and I was not impressed. The tamales were too dry.

                I hate to say this but Central Market makes a comparable product to the real thing...both their tortillas and their tamales.

                1. re: BellaDonna

                  Thanks Christie. I have tried the Central Market and found the tamales to be a bit too greasy for my taste. I'm looking for a "Mom and Pop" type operation for my tamale
                  State St. Nov 23, 2007

              2. Cardona Tortilla Factory off Loop 820 in Fort Worth makes serviceable commercial tamales. Better than Marquez, which I agree has become skimpy.

                I second the nomination for La Popular, too.

                And what about Fiesta Grocery? I've heard they have great tamales.

                1. I would definitely skip Dallas Tortilla & Tamale Factory (especially the original in Oak Cliff). I ordered 12 dozen last year for Christmas and called back a week before to confirm. Went back to pick them up 15 min. before the time they told me to be there and they were sold out. I had about 18 people coming for dinner. Asked to have manager to contact me & no one ever called. Went to Greenville location, as I walked in, the guy at the counter very rudely announced "No Tamales".
                  Ended up getting some from the "dine in" area of the Fiesta store in Plano. They weren't bad at all.
                  Went back to the Dallas Tortilla & Tamale Factory this summer and was stupid enough to try again. Ordered 6 dozen of several varieties, they were all terrible, almost all masa. They were a normal size tamale, but with less than a pencil width of meat in them. The cost has also gone up.

                  This year I am going to try either La Popular or Luna's.
                  I have never had either.
                  Anyone ever had Luna's tamales?

                  I have tried Central Market and they are just OK for flavor and a little greasy.
                  A little grease is OK if their is good flavor.

                  I really miss the home made tamales from So. TEXAS. It seems about this time of year you would hear of somone's relative or friend that was making them for Christmas. Very few disappoints from any of those folks.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TXBORN

                    I have had Luna's Tamales and I think they are on par with La Popular. IMO I would rather support Luna's just b/c they have been around longer and I think they got a shotty deal moving out of their historic location tot he Dunston's Hamburgers on Harry Hines.

                    If I were actually going on taste I would say just a lady selling them on the street wins every time.

                    Also if you are in to Oaxacan style tamal this place makes a decent one in Austin.


                  2. HOT DAMN TAMALES on Magnolia St. in Fort Worth. They ship globally, too.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ejnei

                      Had these for Christmas and was disappointed...Too much masa, dry, and not enough filling...They actually NEEDED a little grease!

                    2. Has anyone tried the tamales at Costco??

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ChristieP

                        I know you posted this two years ago, but I tried some of the chicken & tomatillo tamales from Costco a few weeks ago and enjoyed them. I was being lazy and got some tomatillo/avocado sauce from Central Market to top them and it was a good combination.

                      2. I second Hot Damn Tamales in Fort Worth. They are top-notch. Plus, they offer vegan tamales (which are great for my daughter) and dessert tamales. If you call, they'll deliver tamales locally via courier, although they don't list that option on their web site.

                        1. Tommy Tamales - Colleyville, Hwy 26. Just opened in Oct, taking over a space previously occupied by a different tamale vendor.

                          Great tasting pork with hatch chili tamales. Made with lard, they're really moist. All others are made with vegetable oil. The chicken with poblano has good flavor but a little drier than the pork. Usual meats, as well as black bean/cheese, sweet potato, and a Vegan variety. Approx 2.4 oz each (cheese is 3.4), they're meaty with a good ratio to masa.

                          They don't make them but rely on multiple 3rd party vendors. They ship and cater parties - corporate and private.


                          5 Replies
                          1. re: CocoaNut

                            Thanks for the info. Went by Tommy Tamales last week and brought some home to try. So far, I've only had the pork, but I must say, they were delicious!!! Also bought chips and some chili con carne. The tamales come in packages of six. Just drop them in boiling water for about 15 minutes and they're done. Really quick and tasty meal!

                            1. re: flomogal

                              Stopped in last Thur and they've added a screaming-hot chicken tamale. I tasted it and it was good, really tasty, but far too hot for me to buy them.

                              Saw the chips and salsa, but not the chili. How was it?

                              1. re: CocoaNut

                                Very good heated up and poured over the tamales or chips. Freshly made and not at all spicy. I think it was about $4.

                            2. re: CocoaNut

                              Tommy Tamale has moved to 708 W. NW Hey in Grapevine. Same great tamales. http://www.tommytamale.com/

                              1. re: CocoaNut

                                Thanks for the heads up. Owner was very nice. Picked up some frozen black bean & cheese and pork. Can't wait to try the spinach and feta. He said these were great heated up with a fried egg or two on top. sounds great.

                            3. Cocoanut pointed out that all tamales are gluten-free, since they are made with masa, which is true. You'd be surprised though how many people don't know that and ask about it - so that's why I mentioned it! (Posting here generally because although I got the email with Cocoanut's post, it hasn't appeared on this page).

                              1. There is a carneceria on E. Seminary in Fort Worth that has the best pork tamales I've found. They aren't a bit dry and there is plenty of filling. I'm sure they use lard. I don't think they speak any English whatsoever but it's easy enough to order a dozen to go.