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Tamales in Murray Hill -quick report

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On my way back from my run, I took 39th Street to Park Ave. Frankly, I'm not a fan of running in NYC because there are too many people in my way and Central Park is just a bit too far. But, the big plus is that occasionally, I see something unusual. In this case, it was a tamale woman and son/grandson selling tamales, onion rings and what looked like horchata.

I was also lucky inso far that I actually had money on me. After a very quick internal debate (doing a chow crawl in a hour), I decided to buy one tamale and one bag of onion rings. I think I had the spicy cheese one but I'm not quite sure. It wasn't meaty like pork and I thought the kid said cheese. However, when I ate it, it was slightly spicy but the cheese was kind of rubbery - like haloumi. But, it was delicious and I'm not just saying this because I was starving. I'm hoping they will be there tomorrow because I think it will be a great snack to bring on the train back to Boston (so sad that my decadent gluttonous eating is coming to an end). The tamale and onion rings (they look like the funions from my youth) cost $3.50 which was perfect since I had a bit less than $4 on me.

BTW, the onion rings are shaped like wagon wheels and are really tasty. This could be because I'm hungry AND I love junk food like this.

The tamale woman and cooler stands are in front of the Mexican Consulate. I *think* it's on 39th between Park and Madison(?) (direction towards 5th Ave). Will repor

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  1. You are correct, she's in the middle of 39th between Park and Madison. She is there just about every day from the early morning through at least lunch time, although I've gone some days around 1pm only to find out she ran out of tamales. She usually has pork, chicken and cheese versions. I think they are really good but I am far from a tamale expert. Haven't tried any of the other offerings she has.

    1. do you know if she is out in the rain? and how long she is there? or approximate wait times?

      i've been aching to go now that i have a job a few blocks away, but i have a super fast lunch hour.

      thanks!

      1. anyone tried her horchata? i havent had a decent glass of horchata in ny ever and i really like horchata

        1. I'm on uws, and at the Westside Supermarket, early one morning i noticed the mexican workers eating tamales. When I asked where they got it from, they said a mexican woman comes around every morning.........................?

          1. Thanks for the tip! The best tamales I've had in NYC have always come from street vendors. There used to be a women on 8th Avenue and 40th Street that I would get them from but she's long gone. I've had them from the taco wagon on 14th Street and 8th Ave (after 8pm) but they weren't quite as good as others I've had.

            1. Update - I went to the tamale woman Friday am, a hair before 11. She was already sold out of the pork and the spicy cheese so I bought 4 chicken tamales. I ate these a few hours later and the masa and spicy sauce within had a great flavor. The chicken was a little dry. It could have been because they sat around or it could have been from the mostly white meat chicken. Regardless, I'm really sad that I didn't get to try the pork.

              No wait times since people just come up and buy but I don't know how many tamales she'll have left at lunch time.

              1. I got a spicy cheese tamale from this vendor on Tuesday at around 12:20 p.m. I thought it was excellent, though I'm definitely no tamale expert. It was a good value at $1.50, though small. (I would have gotten several tamales, but I just needed something small to round out the fruit that I'd brought for lunch.)

                I'm not sure if she's always out there. A few weeks ago, I went looking for her on a Monday at around 1 p.m. and couldn't find her. Maybe she ran out of food early that day.

                1. I bought 2 pork tamales from the tamale lady last week. I thought they were very good, moist, the tamale part itself was very seasoned and flavorful, and there was a large shred of pork running the length of it. If it weren't so damned hot, I would have been back twice by now. Looking forward to trying the chicken and cheese. Plus the tamale lady is very cute and charming.