Amazing, but true - I've never had a tamale at a food establishment before (I've had TJ's frozen chicken & cheese tamales, but that doesn't count.)
Lately though, I've wanted to delve into the world of tamales, so I took opportunity of a break in the weather and trekked the 1/2-mile plus from work to get to Mexico Au Parc to start my journey.
The quaint little space was almost empty when I got there and remained so during my time there, probably due to the holiday (though plenty of folks headed toward SBC Park to catch the Emerald Bowl were streaming nearby.) I didn't see anything on the menu listing tamales individually (it took awhile to get my bearings, as their menu is split up in three sections overhead on three different sides) as mentioned in a previous report, so I settled on the tamale dinner ($6.95 for two tamales, rice, beans & salad.)
The tamales themselves were covered with cheese before heating and then later topped with a sauce that really was nice by itself didn't add much to the taste overall.
The tamales were good. TJ's frozen tamales have a soft exterior and a somewhat chunky texture in the mouth. These were pretty much the opposite - firm exterior and a smooth feel inside the mouth. The chicken filling was pleasant - tender and lightly spiced. Beans and rice were fine, and the "salad" was basically a bunch of shredded lettuce and two tomatoes (I just added the tub of crema and munched this along with my tamales.) A small tub of good-tasting guac and a bowl of chips also came with the meal.
The salsas were all very good - my faves were the fire-roasted and the spicy salsa verde. The mango agua fresca I picked up ($1.50) was good - not too pulpy and not too sweet.
The interior is very nice, with bright shades of red and yellow punctuated with artwork galore (mostly involving Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.)
This wasn't the largest portion of food I've ever had (I had a plate of chilaquiles last weekend which was a lot more volumnous), but it's the fullest I've felt in awhile...and in a good way too. It also made me feel better about the mile-plus to and from work I walked and will walk in the future to sample MAP's wares.
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