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May 1, 2014 10:52 AM

Upper East Side tamales in the 70s?

There used to be a great tamale lady on 75th St. near 3rd Ave. every other Wednesday morning or so (or maybe it was Thursdays?), but I haven't seen her for the past few months. Any other tamale vendors in the East 70s or maybe the East 80s?

Other hounds have mentioned that there is a good tamale lady near the 96th St. subway station but I don't think I can get that far without being late for work. (I always SAY I'm going to leave early for work so I can take a quick detour but it almost never actually happens. Heh.)

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  1. There's a cart on the south side of 68th between Lex & 3rd (2 ladies) which definitely sells quesadillas and tortas and tacos and might well sell tamales, too. I had a cheese torta from there a couple of weeks ago - pretty good!

    3 Replies
    1. re: small h

      What are their hours? I don't think I've ever seen them before.

      1. re: JungMann

        I walk by there only twice a week, so all I can tell you is that they're definitely around at 9:30am on Tuesdays and 2pm on Fridays. I'll try to remember to ask them tomorrow, and maybe take a picture of the menu. I'm pretty sure they're newish. That block recently acquired a taco guy on the north side of the street, too, with a variety of meats. Watch your back, falafel!

        1. re: small h

          The cart is there 'til 4:30, according to the proprietors. No tamales, sadly, just tacos & quesadillas & tortas & cemitas. Here's the menu (which refuses to be rotated, sorry! tilt your head):

    2. I see a woman at 60th and Lex occasionally on my way to work. Haven't tried them, but I'm always tempted.

      3 Replies
      1. re: loratliff

        Diddo - although I always found it strange that she was selling them at 630 AM, do people eat tamales for breakfast?

        Anyway - havn't seen her there for probably 2 weeks.

        1. re: jdg5005

          They are an anytime food for whenever you want a small meal or a snack. Having them for breakfast is not uncommon; in fact I'm currently having one for breakfast myself, replete with shredded pork in spicy red salsa. The diced pork fat the 96th Street vendor used to enrich her masa is an especially nice touch, turning the little parcels into something more akin to spicy bacon.

          1. re: jdg5005

            I used to get off the subway in the South Bronx around 6:30-7 AM and would buy a couple tamales from the dude/lady standing right by the entrance w/ a cooler full of them. They made a great 2nd breakfast. So in my case, yup, I ate them for breakfast.