Review: Tamale Joint expands the region’s options for Mexican cuisine | food drink


Like many of you, the last thing I want to do when I get home is cook dinner. So, I’m always on the lookout for quick and tasty take-out options.

The Tamale Joint has been on my radar since it opened in early April. Last week I finally got to see what this place was all about.

These days it seems like there are new taco joints popping up everywhere and a tamale place looks ambitious. Usually tamales are a colder food for me, and with May temperatures already in the 90s, I was a little hesitant. But the fact that The Tamale Joint offers frozen margaritas made my decision to give this place a try.

Located on the corner of East TC Jester Boulevard and West 34th Street, this location is on the way back and has plenty of parking. They have several tables outside to sit outside, each decorated with mini succulents.

The interior of the restaurant was nice and bright and I was immediately greeted by Geraldo. Even though he was busy taking an order over the phone, I felt recognized and had a chance to peruse the menu.

Wanting to try two different tamale options, I opted for the pork and the jalapeno cheese. Both were a decent size and had a good masa to meat ratio. Of the two, however, I absolutely loved the jalapeno cheese option. They use Oaxaca cheese and fresh jalapenos. Because the tamales were steaming hot, the cheese was perfectly melted, and the fresh jalapenos gave them the perfect amount of heat.

What made them even better was my frozen margarita to go. I opted for the large size and was lucky to arrive in time for happy hour when drinks are $0.50. This margarita was no joke and one of the best I’ve had. They use 100% tequila, Contreau, fresh lime juice and offer a salt or tajin rim.

There are other alcoholic drinks on the menu, including beers and sodas, but next time I’m back I’ll have to try the Paloma. As for soft drinks, there are plenty of options including Mexican Cokes, Jarritos, Topo Chico, standard soft drinks, and agua frescas. The seasonal flavor I tried was Jamaica and it was delicious.

As for the sides, the rice and beans were good but pretty standard, as were the fries and queso. Elote en vaso, or Mexican street corn, always makes me happy and I had to try it. Theirs is loaded with mayo, queso cotija and dressed with Tajin. It had the right mix of sweet, salty, spicy and tart.

My list of rotating takeout places has grown by one. So now when those midweek wonders about what to eat, The Tamale Joint will definitely come to mind. I may have a long list of other chores to do after dinner, but at least the dishes won’t be one of them.

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