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Dining Guide | Its Holiday Tamales Time! 5 Fitting Spots To Get Yours

Posted on: November 30th, 2016 by Taryn Jeffries No Comments

For as long as I have lived in Arizona (30 years to be exact) tamales and the holidays have gone together like chips and salsa, frijoles and cheese, and enchiladas and red sauce!

I had the chance to attend a tamalada back when I was in high school and it was such an impacting experience. At its core, a tamalada is a tamale making gathering where friends and family come together to cook, eat, and celebrate the holidays. Everyone has a job to do and the kitchen is more like an assembly line, but with lots of laughs and, likely, some adult beverages.

I learned some valuable life lessons in that kitchen and made some life-long friends, but I still have not mastered the art of tamale making, not in any way that would do those women any justice. Instead, I know all the right places to go to purchase the best of the best as far as tamales go and I wanted to share them with you.

Its Holiday Tamales Time! 5 Fitting Spots To Get Yours

Its Holiday Tamales Time! 5 Fitting Spots To Get YoursEl Palacio Restaurant & Cantina Tamale Class
When | December 3rd beginning at 10am
Where | 2950 E. Germann Road | Chandler | 85249 | 480.802.5770
What | El Palacio will host a tamale making class where you will receive instruction on ow to create traditional holiday tamales. The class includes hands-on tamale making instruction, lunch, and a drink.
Cost | The class will cost $15 per person

15th Annual Tamale Festival
When | December 10th and 11th from 10am until 6pm on both days
Where | Cesar Chavez Plaza | 200 W. Washington St. | Phoenix
What | Arizona’s best tamale makers will be celebrating the holidays with a free festival and a slew of homemade tamales. You’ll be able to sample the tamales on hand and then purchase a few of your favorites on the spot. In addition to all the sweet and savory tamales you’ll also be able to enjoy live mariachis and Folklorico dancers while you peruse booths selling handmade jewelry and other arts and crafts.
Cost | Free admission

Los Sombreros
When | Now through December 20th
Where | 2534 N. Scottsdale Road | Scottsdale | 480.994.1799
What | Looking for some great-tasting, authentic, and handmade tamales? You have your choice of green corn, rajas cheese, beef picadillo with mole sauce, tomatillo chicken, chipotle pork, spicy pork, red chile beef, chicken picadillo with tomato chipotle, chorizo and black bean, pineapple and raisin, canela, or chocolate tamales in one dozen increments. You can pre-order your choice of tamales, giving 72 hour notice and pre-payment and if you order before December 15th you’ll get a $5 discount per dozen ordered. All orders must be placed by December 20th.
Cost | $34.95 for one dozen (1 flavor), $36.95 per dozen (2 flavors) or $39.95 per dozen (with one of each flavor)

Molly’s Tamales
When | Anytime
Where | 8806 W. 43rd Ave. | Glendale | 85302 | 623.937.1060
What | Molly’s Tamales is a West Side tradition, with loyal customers flocking to this neighborhood spot all throughout the year. This is largely due to the variety of flavors of tamales as well as the high-quality ingredients. Tamales are all that they focus on, so you know that they are going to be good. You can choose from black bean, green chili cheese, cactus (what?!), spicy salmon, pork, spicy beef, spicy chicken, southwest chicken, chicken & spinach, chicken & cheese, gourmet green corn, zucchini with mushrooms & cheese, potatoes with carrots corn & cheese, vegan and many more.
Cost | Tamales by the dozen range from $30 to $44 depending on the variety ordered.

The Tamale Store
When | Any time
Where | 13046 N. Cave Creek Road | Phoenix | 85022 | 602.435.2604
What | This small batch tamale company makes all their tamales like you or I would, just better. Each of their hand-crafted tamales are approximately ½ pound each and are chock full of flavor. What you won’t find in any of their tamales are lard, shortening, gluten, preservatives, soy, or MSG; only maize, spice, and everything nice, as they say! You can choose from chicken green chile, chicken chipotle, chicken mole, pork chile (both red and green)m Tex-Mex, beef red chile, green corn & cream cheese, Arizona cornbread with Colby , beans & cheese, poblano chiles & Monterey jack cheese, cilantro black bean, vegan, chipotle corn, pumpkin pie, and sweet corn.
Cost | You can get a 2-pack for $7, a half dozen for $20, or a dozen for $35.

Where do you go to get your holiday tamales?


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© Taryn Jeffries 2016

About the Author - Taryn Jeffries

Editor and Chief Eating Officer of PhoenixBites, 2017 Food Writer of the Year (Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame) Taryn grew up in a small town in Illinois with a doting Grandmother who taught her the way around a kitchen and that food is representative of love. Her current quest is to find the love in local dishes and the chefs behind them. In addition to running all things PhoenixBites, Taryn is also a freelance writer, sharing her insight on the best dishes and where to get them each and every month.

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