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Dec 10, 2007 08:34 AM


After living in Houston for many years, I became accustomed to the tradition of tamales at Christmas time. I know I can order them from various sources in Texas but they all ask for a large minimum order. Is there a place in the greater Boston area to buy tamales? Thank you.

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  1. I like the tamales at Taqueria La Mexicana in Union Square, Somerville quite a bit:

    2 Replies
    1. re: gini

      Second that, and they freeze well also so you can keep a few in the freezer for instant hangover remedy.

    2. This is probably tamale heresy, but we returned from a trip to Texas with a craving for tamales. We stumbled upon some cheese tamales in the freezer compartment at Trader Joes, took a chance, and were glad we did. They helped with the craving, but I am not sure they would satisfy Christmas tradition expectations. Just wanted to let you know they were there.

      7 Replies
      1. re: chowfamily

        I like those too and they are really easy to reheat in the microwave. But the ones at the Taqueria are better IMO.

        1. re: yumyum

          I can't wait to try the Taqueria. I was really happy to read that recommendation.

          1. re: chowfamily

            It's one of my favorite places around. The only thing they don't do well (in my experience) is the Torta. For that treat, head down Somerville Ave to Tacos Lupita. But the combo plates, especially those with chiles rellenos, are great and the nachos topped with carnitas are a totally guilty pleasure for me.

            Edited to add a link to their menu:

            1. re: yumyum

              Yum..I love chiles rellenos - thanks again.

              1. re: yumyum

                Links to "" go to a taco restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia. Here's a link to the "Taqueria La Mexicana" (Somerville, MA) restaurant menu: Interestingly, the link on that AllMenus page to "Taqueria La Mexicana, 247 Washington St, Somerville MA 02143," is - which resolves to a page titled "Cantina La Mexicana."

                FWIW, and YMMV!

          2. re: chowfamily

            I'll third this opinion. Trader Joe's Tex-Mex line overall is quite tasty, and a fair option considering the local scene. They make great and quick lunches for the office, when I'm too lazy to make anything.

            1. re: chowfamily

              Okay, I'm going to 'fess up. Those Trader Joe's green chili and cheese (the best flavor IMO) I prefer to 99% of tamales I've had. For one, they are seasoned (I'm looking at you, Armory Farmer's Market Lady selling completely insipid bland mushy tamales for like $4 each). Second, they are a consistent size and texture and never leave a watery puddle on the plate. Third, the price is right. Maybe it's just that we're in a tamale wasteland but I think people get so caught up in the artisanal thing that they're willing to shell out for an awful lot of inferior product. Me, I'll stick with Trader Joe's.
              edited- woops- noted Tacos Lupita above and realized this was a zombie thread. Well, even better. TJ's tamales are still good seven years later.

            2. Overall, I'm not an especially big fan of Tu y Yo in Somerville (food is actually quite decent, but the quality-to-price ratio is outside my threshold of acceptability), but their tamale appetizer plate is one of the better items I've had there.

              The tamales are definitely on the fancy side, and made in more of a Southern Mexican style than you may be used to, but they are quite good. Wrapped in banana leaves, you get an assortment of plain corn, chicken, coconut, pork, and fish. $11 for a set of five is in keeping with the annoying pricing for the rest of the items on the menu.

              1. I too miss my christmas tamales. The one at Boca Grande in Coolidge corner are great, but very different that the TexMex one's I grew up on.

                1. There is a small Mexican place run by a mexican woman near MGH on Cambridge Street- mostly takeout- but I also noticed they will cater. Not sure how good their tamales are- I like them but I am no tamale afficianado. It is Villa mexico in the Grumpy's gas station across Cambridge street from Finagle a Bagel.They are lovely people and make their own chourizo, salsa etc. If you give them a call or stop by and try their tamales they will probably prepare a whole bunch for you.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: emilief

                    While villa Mexico has been closed this past year, it will be re-opening next to cafe razdora on water street at some point in the new year