Monday, November 19, 2012

The Tamale Place

A few years ago my husband and I found ourselves amongst a group of friends who was anxiously awaiting a hot batch of homemade tamales that a neighbor was making, it was an all day process, but by evening time we were sampling the tasty morsels, and we have been hooked ever since! Since that fateful day we searched for a restaurant version to rival these, and while nothing will ever beat homemade we have landed on a local joint in Indy that has become our favorite, and we never drive past the city without a stop at The Tamale Place. It is true that Goshen and Elkhart do have several Mexican restaurants with good tamales, but none can rival the variety and uniqueness of The Tamale Place. The owners Angela and Vladimir met while Angela was backpacking in Mexico in 1999 and  in 2003 along with Angela's mom they opened a tortilla business in Indianapolis, that was not as popular as anticipated, but when locals began asking about good tamales, Vladimir called his Mexican family for recipes, and while Angela loved cooking and had lots of experience, she had never rolled a tamale, which luckily for their customers means half-pound tamales! Though The Tamale Place is home to the half-pound tamale, my personal favorite is the $0.99 cigar sized Cuban stuffed with chorizo, shredded pork, and corn; but I also love the beef with red sauce, which is their most popular tamale, as well as the pork with green sauce. My husband is also a big fan of the poblano with cheese, which he loosely likens to one of his childhood favorites, the chili relleno. The tamales are $3.25 a piece or $38.00 for a dozen and trust me after the first one, you might just find yourself buying the entire dozen! The tamales don't stop at the main dish, The Tamale Place is also serving up delicious dessert tamales, including my favorite apple with pecans that is like eating apple pie in a corn husk, and the chocolate tamale that is somewhere between a brownie, chocolate cake, and mind blowing! While you will find that The Tamale Place makes a great variety of tamales, they are a labor intensive, handmade dish therefore they do not make all of them everyday; next to the cash register you will find a marker board with the day's choices and a number indicating how many are left, so I suggest getting there early in the day before they run out! If you aren't a fan of tamales, but still love good Mexican food, there IS still something here for you; we also love the tacos, they make their own tortilla's with the same masa they use for the tamales and have several different delicious protein options like my personal favorites carne asada and fish (they also have chicken, pork, beans, and veggies), I like mine the traditional way with cilantro and onions, but my hubby loves the addition of melted cheese. They heat the tortillas on the flat top which melts the cheese into the other toppings, and as my hubby says, makes them similar to a quesadilla. He also has an ongoing love affair with their nachos and has to get a half order any time he is there, and by half order we are talking about at least a pound to a pound and a half of homemade tortilla chips (made from their homemade tortillas), chicken verde, black beans, sour cream, white cheese dip, lettuce, guacamole, and jalapenos. There are many other options to customize your nacho order, but no matter how you top it, you can be sure it will be delicious. I cannot promise to have tried a lot of the Mexican restaurants in Indianapolis, but I have tried a great deal of authentic Mexican food, and this restaurant is a must try, especially if you are a tamale fanatic like we are!

The Tamale Place on Urbanspoon

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