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Christmas Tamales in Houston

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Other than having a tamalada in my own home, where is the best place in Houston to lay in a supply of Christmas tamales?

Do you have to order them in advance?

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  1. Teloloapan Market on Long Point and Bingle have really good chicken tamales, also beef I think. We don't eat them often, as they are not the healthiest food choice. Anyway, they are right in front as you walk in, nice and warm. I'm not sure if they have the qantity you want, you may need to order them, and if you do, it woudn't hurt to speak at least some spanish. There are other locations, but this is the only one I've been to.

    1. Since my coworker who used to bring in his abuelita's tamales has, alas, moved on, I will be getting ours from Bob's Taco Station in Rosenberg. (only pork available, I think) They have a website with info.

      Dona Tere on Beechnut has an excellent reputation.

      Wherever you get them, I'm sure you'd have to order in advance if you needed more than a dozen or so.

      1. I think El Bolillo on Airline across from Canino's Market has them.

        1. In my experience many carnicerias have tamales on weekend mornings, pollo o puerco only. You buy individually so you can taste them. I don't know about how many you could get at a time or ordering them.

          Alamo on Navigation makes excellent tamales, just be sure to specifiy you want the hand-made ones (pork or chicken only) or you'll wind up with machine-made ones that you might as well buy in the supermarket packages.

          10 Replies
          1. re: dexmat

            I'm glad you posted that. I couldn't remember the name, and have not been, but I've heard exactly as you've said.

            1. re: James Cristinian

              Thanks folks!

              I'll get on the phone immediately and order a few dozen.

            2. re: dexmat

              The best ones I've had yet are sold by the dozen every weekend at Gerardo's on Patton. They offer both pork and beef (i think). They also have excellent pico and various sauces to try them with. Very inexpensive to boot....highly recommend them & the barbacoa and lingua!

              1. re: HTownCowboy

                And to add to what HTownCowboy has to say about that, take a look at this new entry on the HP blog about Christmas tamales. Just for you Jaymes, and anyone else interested:

                http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/...

                1. re: danhole

                  Okay, mis perritos de chow, I've ordered some from Gerardo's.

                  I really want to thank everybody again for responding here. Wish I had time to do a comparison tamale run. I don't. But I'll get back with y'all and let you know how this turned out.

                  1. re: Jaymes

                    If yall have any left-overs...try toasting them on a comal or heavy bottom pan.
                    Leave in the husk and set the flame low...they will squeek while cooking...
                    the corn masa will firm and toast...

                    every Christmas morning, Its the job of the coffee maker to put 6 or so on the comal. As everyone comes to coffee, they repalce two toasted with fresh...that way there is always tamales and coffee ready to go...

                    You can do a mass re-warm by placing them in a pan in the oven...then serve topped with fried eggs and cooked salsa

                    Merry Christmas everyone...

                    1. re: Jaymes

                      Okay... We've been enjoying the pork tamales from Gerardo's for several days now, and they are really very good. I was always taught as a child that you should not have to "unroll" the tamales to eat them. You should be able to just hold them by the "tail" over your plate and give a little shake or two and they should fall out. These do, for the most part, so they're greasy enough without being too greasy. We'll definitely continue to buy our tamales from Gerardo's.

                      Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Advice taken!

                      1. re: Jaymes

                        So glad to hear you like them. I need to get some - not for Christmas, but one day! That might be a good place for you to ask about the macaheca (know I'm spelling that wrong!) I think on the weekends the have barbacoa as well.

                2. re: dexmat

                  So it's time to order some Christmas tamales.

                  Doobs, I sure remember when we went to Alamo and had some, but I don't remember which were the favorites. I'm going to order several dozen -

                  Which ones did we agree were the best?

                  1. re: Jaymes

                    I liked Alamo hand rolled spicy, but you had really liked Gerardo's as I recall.

                    Both great. If you go to Gerardo's be sure to get some of that neon orange habanero salsa.

                    Muy delicioso.

                    Hope all is swell with you.

                3. I saw a piece in the Press recently about Mi Tienda on Spencer Hwy making their own masa for tamales and tortillas instead of using masaseca so I went over to try them out. They have tamales de puerco, res, pollo, fresa and pina by the half dozen or dozen and you can also get them individually in the food court. They were all out of puerco so I tried a tamale de res and tamale de fresa. The beef filling was very generous (probably 4 to 4.5 oz tamales) but I found the masa very dry and cake like, particularly on the fresa which could be picked up and eaten like a candy bar without the shuck. I like my tamales more moist than that so I didn't buy any to bring home, although steaming them at home before serving would probably overcome some of that dryness.

                  You can also buy the masa preparada (?) in bags of about 5 lbs if you want to use it for making your own at home - no chemicals or preservatives, etc.

                  I'm kind of having second thoughts about not buying any of that.

                  I think these are not just for Christmas but anytime so next time I go there I'll reconsider.

                  I want to try the ones from Gerardo's.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: dexmat

                    I saw in a circular that the Supermercado de Walmart has 5lbs of the prepared corn masa for $2.00. That is over on Long Point.

                    What about the Texas Tamale Co.? I sampled their tamales a few years back at a Heights events, and they were good. I have also sampled the queso dip at the grocery store and it was good, too. I had tried top actually buy some at the location when it was at Studewood and 11th, but it was always so packed that I just left. Now I see they have bags of the tamales in Krogers. Do you think those are as good as the fresh ones, or not? Now, I'm sure the fresh are better, but do you think these are any good?

                    1. re: danhole

                      Dani, they're OK, not great. Better than no tamales at all, but nothing to get excited about.

                      1. re: danhole

                        Are you saying there's a Hispanic WM? and they have freshly nixtamalized masa? or is that just a 5# bag of masaseca with all the chemical additives and stabilizers, etc?

                        I agree with Zorra on TTC - I wasn't that impressed when I tried them. If you're going to have to settle for tamales from a supermarket like that I still think the best are Alamo that are all over town in supermarkets, especially the pork.

                        Another brand I've seen is Garcia's I think but I've never tried them.

                        1. re: dexmat

                          Dexmat,

                          The photo in the cicular shows a bowl of pre-mixed masa. Almost looks like a bowl of cornmeal mush. and yes we have a hispanic WM! They also have shredded, cooked pork for $6 per pond.

                          Thanks to you and Zorra for telling me about the TTC ones. Now, where do I find the Alamo ones? Freezer?

                          1. re: danhole

                            Where on Long Point is this? I've never heard of it. I live just a few miles from a WM and I've never gotten a circular.

                            It's been several years since I bought Alamo tamales at a supermarket actually I used to get them at Sam's. I think you'll find them in the freezer part of the meat department, where they keep the frozen turkeys, chickens, smoked brisket, etc., not in the freezer section where the vegetables, entrees, pizzas are. They may have some in the fresh meat cases, too, already thawed.

                            1. re: dexmat

                              The address is 7960 Long Point. I got the circular in the Sunday newspaper, not the mail.

                              I'll have to look in the freezer section for the Alamo tamales. I know they don't have them in the fresh meat case, although they might at the Supermercado! LOL! They probably have even better ones t here.

                              1. re: danhole

                                Haven't been to Fiesta Mart for tamales this year but in the past have bought big tins of frozen ones. They're pretty good for large-scale commercially-prepared tamales, and we love that big tin. Use it for storing all sorts of things throughout the year. I've only seen them at Christmas, though, and, like I say, haven't been this year.

                                1. re: Jaymes

                                  Jaymes,

                                  What brand are in the big tins?

                              2. re: dexmat

                                dexmat,

                                Correction! I get the Supermercado circular in the pile of stuff you usually get on Wed. along side the Krogers, Randalls, and whatever else they send. It may be in the Sunday paper, but when I got my pile of cirulars ans I saw it I doubted what I had told you. Sorry about that.

                                PS - I am not too far from Walmart and hardly ever get a flyer from them!

                            2. re: dexmat

                              maseca is corn flour, a too fine a grind for my liking. the 5# prepared corn masa is moist and the corn is a coarser grind...straight out of the bag, its great for tortillas. most folk I know add manteca and chilli paste for taste and color when making tamales.

                              The prepared masa is kept in the cool of the meat case at the supermarket. If you buy from a molino, I would guess thats as fresh masa as you can get.

                        2. There's a Venezuelan food truck on the corner of Beechnut and Hwy 6 behind the car wash place that sells the Christmas tamales called hallacas. They're stuffed with more things and I like them better. I'm also a fan of Nicaraguan nacatamales but I'm not sure where to get them in Houston. Both are wrapped in bananan leaves rather than corn husks.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mialebven

                            That's a great tip. Thanks!

                            Of course, my family is expecting to have a traditional Mexican tamal on their Christmas dinner plates, so I'm going to Alamo this afternoon to make that happen.

                            But I think I might swing by the Venezuelan food truck and pick up a dozen of those as well for comparison.

                            Thanks!