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La Loma Tamales - Downtown MPLS Location

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dougrw Apr 7, 2010 09:26 PM

This week La Loma Tamales opened in the former "El Burrito" location in the Northstar Tower food court in downtown Minneapolis. It's on the ground floor, but skyway accessible by escalator.

Today I ordered the Oaxacan tamale for 3 bucks and change (that's the most expensive tamale on the menu). It came wrapped in a banana leaf with a side of an (not terribly hot) orange colored salsa. It might be the best "3 bucks and change" meal I have ever found downtown. I wasn't blown away by it compared to a five star meal. But this was cheap. It was genuinely good. It was from a lunch counter. And... it was interesting. Did I mention I paid three bucks and change?

I am no tamale expert, but this seems like pretty unique stuff in the world of downtown skyway cuisine. In an arena of Taco Bell and Taco John's type "Mexican" (both of which are nearby in the skyway), this seems the real thing. However I'm no final judge after tasting one tamale on their opening week. What do others think?

(This is apparently an expansion of the Mercado Central La Loma Cafeteria and Midtown Exchange La Loma Tamales restaurant locations, neither of which I have any experience with. Please chime in if you do.).

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La Loma Tamales
920 E Lake St Ste 160, Minneapolis, MN 55407

La Loma Restaurant
1510 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Mercado Central
1515 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

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    type2runner RE: dougrw Apr 8, 2010 04:06 PM

    I had a burrito with pastor meat. It was good. Not outstanding, but solid. I'll return in the near future to try the Tamales. My coworker really liked the Oaxacan Tamale, so it gets a thumbs up in our cube row.

    3 Replies
    1. re: type2runner
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      dougrw RE: type2runner Apr 8, 2010 06:26 PM

      I saw the burritos. They've got a "we look like Chipotle so don't be scared to approach" thing going. Probably a good business plan for downtown. But since their specialty is the tamales that's all I've been trying so far. I'll get to the burrito fillings out of curiosity at some point.

      The Oaxacan tamale is spicy and filling and really good. I bought some frozen ones after work tonight to take home for dinner. I liked them even better the second time. The family agreed, though they were a bit too spicy for some.

      For lunch today I tried a chicken tamale with the green salsa, and the vegetarian tamale with the spicy red salsa. They were both distinct. That chicken tamale with the green salsa is pretty special. Hard to choose between that and the Oaxacan for me at the moment as my favorite. The vegetarian one was good also, but lacked a depth of flavor the meat filled tamales possessed.

      1. re: dougrw
        k
        kriminalrat RE: dougrw Apr 22, 2010 07:15 AM

        Had the Oaxacan tamale yesterday. One of the best things in the Skyway. With Kabobs and street food coming we are having a Renaissance downtown.

        1. re: kriminalrat
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          dougrw RE: kriminalrat Apr 22, 2010 08:24 PM

          I'm very much in agreement. My fondness for the Oaxacan tamales has only grown since I first posted about them. It's a truly fantastic dish. I have one for lunch at least once a week now. Sometimes I buy them frozen and take them home for dinner as well (they make really good patio food as the weather warms, fyi).

          Can we attribute all the downtown food revival to the Twins relocating nearby? Or is it just a happy coincidence?

    2. John E. RE: dougrw Apr 23, 2010 10:18 AM

      I remember going to El Burrito back when I worked downtown. That was before anyone ever heard of Chipotle. I'll have to stop in at the new place.

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