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Jan 28, 2008 06:57 AM

"Hot Tamale" in Seymour, CT: I've given up!

This was our fourth, and final, time at Hot Tamale. I do think you can do better in the frozen food and canned goods aisles of your local grocery.
The salsa was again cold and tasteless with a distinct canned tomato flavor. They do continue to put bottles of hot sauces on the table so that you can heat it up and the waitress volunteered to bring choppped, fresh jalapenos for it. They do have a hotter, cayenne-based, sauce (you have to ask for) but it is not "salsa".
I decided not to order the "top shelf" magarita this time since it was watery/tasteless the last time and this "ordinary" version fared no better.
I think they puree the pinto beans and they are not "refried". They were very bland. Bland everything! My partner's (to quote the menu) "Tostada Salad--A grande taco shell filled with grilled steak or chicken, on a bed of mixed greens. Served with pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. $11.99", had totally tasteless chicken. (BTW, my dog liked it.) My chile rellenos were terrible. Un-authentic, flavorless cheese filling. Our friends did not comment on their food and I was afraid to ask....
The appetizer, (again quoting) "Hot Tamale--Two corn masa tamales filled with beef and steamed in corn husks. Served over a bed of mesculin greens. $7.99", was quite good, but I doubt they make it in-house. The "Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake $6.00" was good but ditto on the made elsewhere.

I really wanted to enjoy a decent meal here but this last meal was the deal-breaker. The four of us dropped over $125 for pathetic ??-Mex! The mariachi band was a (really laughable) joke and just made it difficult for us to talk.
This place had a waiting list the last three times we visited, and yet, this Saturday night prime-time visit found the place about 1/3 empty. My friend said, "The restaurant was OK for the Valley". That's a terrible indictment.

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  1. Thanks for the review. My boyfriend and I have been meaning to try it and now I don't feel like we're missing anything.

    Thats too bad too considering its an original "theme" for Seymour. Its not pizza or Italian.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jesoda

      My wife went there, and I had her leftover quesadilla, which was a flour tortilla filled with cheddar (?!) and some very heavy-tasting meat product cubes that didn't taste remotely Mexican- it was closer to a Salami or an Italian-type cured lunchmeat. So I suppose by definition it's a quesadilla, but it wasn't very good.

        1. re: Scargod

          No, it had none of the spice that Chorizo does. It was softer, but not soft enough to be the fresh style of chorizo.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. I went there when they first opened and didn't care for it at all - but I gave them a pass because it was I know not to go again. I second the margarita too, horrible! The tequilla they used was foul.

        1. Finally got to Hot Tamales tonight. I read your post and should have listened. Food was very bland. We had beef nachos that were really greasy, and had carrots in it. Huh? I had the chicken fajita. Chicken tasted fake. Very chewy and not much flavor. Hubby had the burrito and said it had no flavor. Saturday night, and we were seated right away. Will definately not be back for the food. The margarita was ok. Might go back for drinks.

          4 Replies
          1. re: catrn

            Sorry. Passadumkeg and I just returned from a road trip across the south,, and up the Atlantic coast. We had so much good Mexican food while in the Southwest. We even had authentic Central Mexican food at Fonda San Miguel, in Austin. Needless to say, I won't return to Hot Tamale (unless they or someone swears they have improved).
            Were you sucked in by their recent mailer for a half-off second dinner? I would also caution anyone against the house margaritas, even if you just drink at the bar and skip the food. I so wished they had decent food; they are convenient to us.

            1. re: Scargod

              Re your original post: $125 for bad mexican for 4 is outrageous.
              Glad you made it to Fonda San Miguel.

              1. re: Veggo

                Thanks. It was my second visit to Fonda, so yes I am kinda.

                Of the $125, some was for minimal drinks and at least one appetizer. Still, very pricey bad and amateurish Tex-Mex like food. I felt really bad, as I suggested to our friends that we eat there. They were disappointed, too.
                Did you notice that in our trip comments we mentioned "putting air in the bottle"? I hope you don't mind my plagiarizing ...

              2. re: Scargod

                We had a gift certificate and still felt ripped off. All the people around us were using the coupons.
                Thanks, I have been following your amazing travels with Passadumkeg. Your posts and pics have been great. After eating all that great food, I don't blame you for not wanting to set foot in Hot Tamales.