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Outer Boroughs

Speedy's in Sunset Park - 5th Ave at 59th (longish)

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Speedy's in Sunset Park - 5th Ave at 59th (longish)

Clams247 | Jul 14, 2003 05:22 PM

Speedy's is one of those cursed addresses. In the four years we've lived in the neighborhood, I think this former breakfast nook has changed hands maybe four times.

So along comes Speedy, and the clock is ticking. And this time, I'd really like to stop that clock.

The owner -- I assume he is the eponymous "Speedy" -- seems so committed to serving magically good tamales, he almost makes me cry. The tamales are quite tasty, and Speedy seems to aspire to quite a vision.

So far, SPEEDY doesn't offer menues. No takeout menues, no menues for customers sitting at the counter -- no menu on the wall over the grill! After chatting with Speedy and his wife while they ate their dinner sitting on stools at their own counter, I eventually just asked what they serve. Speedy explained they were only newly opened, and still coping with some obstacles. (I speak zero Spanish, so this exchange was pretty vague.)

He advised I get tamales with chili relenos, rice and beans, and a salad -- total: $6.00

The tamale tasted good to me, although I'm clueless about spanish food. (On my block, 'spanish' with the small 's' refers to anyone who speaks spanish at home.)(I think.) The tamale wasn't one homogenous flavor. They seemed to have four different flavors that you tasted in sequence - a quality I associate with very good food. They were remarkably fresh and light-tasting! Speedy showed me that he uses a minimum of fats (all olive oil), and seemed super proud of this. He seemed super proud of his tamales generally, and hoped I was an expert who could appreciate them to the fullest.

(I'm not.)

The chili releno, to me, was more exciting. Mildly spicy, stuffed with some sort of meaty-textured cheese that reminded me of a savory (not sweet) riccotta, dipped in some kind of batter (egg?), and panfried. Yummy! I've had gringo chili relenos at nationwide chains, but never liked them. Speedy's were delicious!

Nothing remarkable about the rice, beans or salad, except their freshness. Whole lotta freshness.

Speedy said, and I paraphrase, that he had an eight-year career in tamales, that he has made a LOT of them, and wants nothing more than to serve the world's best.

Alone, the tamales are a buck fifty each. I would have had no problem eating five they were so light.

Speedy also urged me to drink an Orange Cream with my meal. He seemed to think one must not eat tamales without Orange Cream. I didn't have the cash in hand.

I really wanna save this little place, and I'd be grateful to anyone who could explain tamales to me.

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