Anyone know where to find good tamales in Portland, OR?
November 22, 2008 6:04 PM   Subscribe

It's become a family tradition to have tamales on xmas eve for me and in the past I got some great tamales either from local joints when I lived in LA and more recently I've ordered them online from Texas, but the shipping costs more than a case of them. Are there any local Portland, Oregon area places to get a few dozen tamales around xmas time?
posted by mathowie to Food & Drink (13 answers total)
Did you see this similar question?
posted by alcopop at 6:20 PM on November 22, 2008

I don't know if it's any help, but there's a really good Mexican place here, owned by and run by real Mexicans. They do sell food to-go. I'm not an eater of tamales so I don't know how good theirs are, but you could try eating one there, and if you like it, order a bunch to take with you.

I don't know how to put a bookmark in place on Google Maps, so I zoomed way in on it instead.
posted by Class Goat at 6:36 PM on November 22, 2008

By the way, it's called "La Fogata".
posted by Class Goat at 6:45 PM on November 22, 2008

This place has good tamales. Not sure if they do to go, though.

Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant
2050 SW Morrison St
posted by wastelands at 8:06 PM on November 22, 2008

The best tamales I have had recently are from this place They usually have a stack in the cooler which I assume are "to go"

They make Nacatamal, Nicaraguan tamales that are the size of your head and incredibly good.
posted by ijustwantyourhalf at 9:29 PM on November 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure you can arrange something with El Indio in San Diego. When my family makes Christmas tamales we often order the masa from them. I know they make tamales fresh every day and if you call them and talk to the person in charge of catering, they'll probably work with you or be able to advise you.

Might I add... San Diego mexican food kicks culo compared to 90% of the mexican food in LA. El Indio is only about 20 minutes from the Mexican border.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:05 AM on November 23, 2008

If you can figure out a way to ship them I can get a bunch from the farmer's market or, say, Roosevelt's Tamale Parlor in the Mission.
posted by loquacious at 2:19 AM on November 23, 2008

You might just try the tamales from Trader Joe's. Not quite the same as getting them locally made, of course, but if you like them it's a lot easier than arranging a special order.
posted by team lowkey at 11:57 AM on November 23, 2008

Best answer: ijustwantyourhalf's link to the Canby Asparagus Farm / Casa de Tamales site is apt. They do excellent tamales, beloved of area farmers market attendees, and their Nacatamal is a truly impressive beast indeed. I've seen a menu of something like 40 different types that they'll make for bulk orders -- they only make a few types at a time for normal sales -- but it doesn't seem to be posted online, so you should definitely call if you're shopping for dozens.

On the flip side, in my experience (corroborated by several friends of mine) the guy who runs the restaurant in Milwaukie can be a complete ass, so cross your fingers that you don't get him when you call, or you'll be looking to take your business elsewhere. In which case the good people at La Bonita will make you a couple of dozen lovely tamales with a day's advanced notice.
posted by mumkin at 12:10 PM on November 23, 2008

I'm a huge fan of the tamales at Salvador Mollys, which they sell frozen for take-out. Steam them for about an hour, serve with some hot sauce and creme fraiche, and you've got yourself a damn fine Christmas Eve dinner.
posted by nenequesadilla at 2:43 PM on November 23, 2008

I'm late to the party, but I'd recommend Tres Hermanos on 99W in Tigard. Even though they're a bit heavy on the masa, they're pretty inexpensive and tasty.
posted by turbodog at 2:02 PM on November 26, 2008

Oh, silly me. I'd forgotten that I took iPhone snaps of Casa de Tamales' tamale ordering menu: oh, the possibilities. A mere 37 varieties, it seems.
posted by mumkin at 9:55 AM on December 2, 2008

Response by poster: I ate at Casa de Tamales today and it was indeed super freaking awesome. The guy that runs the restaurant was really nice, if a bit gregarious and forward. I think I'll be ordering a dozen from them come xmas time. Thanks all!
posted by mathowie at 9:52 PM on December 2, 2008

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