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Looking for info about a local tamale

I'm looking for the name of and any light anyone can shed on a local New Orleans tamale company, probably very small, possibly sold from a stand or truck. They would have been around for a long time and are likely of the "Mississippi tamale" variety.

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  1. You might be thinking of Manuel's Tamales. They used to be sold on the side of the road from red and yellow carts....but I can't even remember the last time I've seen one.


    6 Replies
    1. re: nikinik

      Manuel's brick n mortar was on Carrollton by Jesuit and sadly flooded.

      1. re: edible complex

        You folk are just too quick for me. Manuel's was a hallmark, and possibly a bit more "Mississippi Tamale Trail," but had good cummin notes and some Mexican/Caribbean influence in it, as I recall.

        Now, since the store was flooded, are they still around in any form?


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          no - the family is in a contractual dispute over the recipe and there is no sight of the tamales being made again


          the house reopened as a po-boy place, but I am not sure if they are still operating

          there are other places in town that make tamales


          but nothing compares to Manuel's

          1. re: mimadeli

            It's sad that the family won't just sell the recipe so the name and recipe can live on.

            1. re: mimadeli

              I am sorry, but you must have me confused with someone else. I made no statement about the family, or any dispute.


              1. re: Bill Hunt

                perhaps it was as simple as me hitting the wrong "reply" button - its no big deal

      2. Fiesta Hot Tamales made tamales in the Ninth Ward near the Industrial Canal and sold them from carts from the 40's until the 80's.

        1 Reply
        1. re: speyerer

          I read this on McNulty's Gambit post. Do you knew where along the industrial canal Fiesta was located?

        2. Thanks, everyone for the help! It makes me sad to read about them, one more precious little thing lost to K.

          1 Reply
          1. re: WCchopper

            Find Sally Cobb, Ex-Food Director of the Jazz Fest. She has GREAT Tamales. Beef and a Veggie Black Bean and Corn and Cheese. Big and wrapped in Corn shucks.
            Really, Really, Good. Good Luck, She lives down in the 9th Ward

          2. I grew up eating Manuel's Tamales and miss them so. I haven't tried this recipe yet, but Frank Davis is one of the best for getting it right. Try this tamale recipe:


            1. There is a cart/stand on Terry Parkway in Gretna that sold Manuels Hot Tamales for as long as I can remember. The stand is still there selling tamales--dripping with awesome atomic orange grease! The stand is just past the Carol Sue intersection in the front of a strip mall marking lot.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Davebr

                These same folks are also at the corner of Huey P. Long Ave & Fourth Streets in Old Gretna, in front of a restaurant that I no longer go to.

                We also have a lady selling tamales at the Gretna Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8:30am - 12:30pm. She has beef, pork & New Orleans style. The N.O. style is bigger than what you are used to & not soaking in grease. The flavor is there & I quite like them!

                1. re: Isabella

                  you can always travel to Baton Rouge and get tamales at Pimanyolis barbeque or Does Eat Place or El Rio Grande. Any of them are excellent.

              2. One little bit of NO color. Before he got into the tamale business, Manuel worked at the New Orleans Mattress Company, on S. Broad across from the Police Headquarters, operating the machines the manufactured mattresses. And just a few machines away, at the same time, worked a husky young man named Antoine Domino--known to his friends as Fats...another icon of NO food, as he well should be--I've eaten his cooking and he's first rate with red beans and also gumbo.

                In this city, everything comes around to food sooner or later.

                5 Replies
                1. re: underworld gourmet

                  Thanks for that tidbit! Nice story!

                  I went to the Gretna Farmer's Market this morning & got the N.O. style Hot Tamales.
                  Just ate 2. MMMMM. They are not dripping in grease or dripping in anything, but the flavor is still there. They are bigger & the masa is grainier than Manuel's.
                  It is a mixture of pork & beef. They also sell just beef or just pork.

                  1. re: Isabella

                    That most wonderful of musical ensembles , th New Leviathan Oriental Fox Trot Orchestra, does a superb version of "Here Comes That Hot Tamale Man", written in the 20's or 30's, so they've been popular here for some time.

                    1. re: underworld gourmet

                      You know when I said the Farmer's Market Tamales masa are grainier than Manuel's, I am not sure if that is really true. What is true is that the masa is very different than Manuel's. First, there is no heavy grease soaking the masa.
                      The Farmer's Market tamales are more traditional and the masa is smoother.
                      I wonder if this makes sense to anyone else. They are only a $1 each, give them a try! Ours are now gone. Wish I'd bought more.

                      Thanks for that comment UG, I have a friend in that band who lived in Slidell. I haven't heard a peep post K. I need to get in touch.

                      1. re: Isabella

                        I ran into Sally Cobb the Ex-Food Director of the New Orleans Jazz Fest and she is selling Beef tamales and Veggie and Vegan version Black Bean Corn and Cheese that is to die for. They are big and wrapped in corn shucks. Being a meat eater I went for the beef first and then the veggie next. I don't know which ones I love the best ! ! ! She told me that she is selling them some of the Markets around the area, Freret, Harrison Ave, and Elysian Fleas.
                        For your sake, I hope you can find her where ever she is. You will be a happy tamale eater ! ! ! ! ! !

                        1. re: Lee Hairr

                          I believe you mean Elysian Fields. lol