Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I Heart Masa
I ate tamales for the first time in Carbondale, Illinois, in a little place ironically called The Corner Diner. I'm guessing their cuisine didn't always lean toward border. But the chef had lived briefly in Mexico and (in an exquisite use of his time) learned how to cook authentic Mexican dishes, tamales included. I became in instant fan. We moved to Virginia. Then we moved to Indiana. I never ate a real tamale again. Until last night.
Last week, one of Jason's coworkers introduced him to The Tamale Place. Yesterday, Jason payed the tamale goodness forward and introduced them to me. Husband and wife team, Vladimir Ronces and Angela Green met in Mexico while Angela was backpacking in Acapulco. Together with her mother, they make authentic Mexican dishes, using mostly his mother's recipes. The masa is fresh, made daily in the restaurant and turned into tamales, taco shells, and tortilla chips. They open at 6:30 am and close at 6 pm or whenever they run out of tamales, because when the masa runs out, the masa runs out.
I love a backpacking love story, especially when it leads to a so-good-you-want-to-stuff-yourself-til-it-hurts dinner for me. Come on, who doesn't love a dinner that comes wrapped like a present? If you're local to the Indy area, you'll have to give them a try. Tell them I sent you. It won't do anything for you, but maybe they'll start giving free tamales to me. Just kidding. Sort of.