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Outer Boroughs

Tamale Lady on Roosevelt/61st St, Woodside

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Restaurants & Bars

Tamale Lady on Roosevelt/61st St, Woodside

Eric Eto | Aug 10, 2003 03:50 AM

I remarked some time ago that I thought the tamales from the lady who sells it under the LIRR overpass by 61st street on Roosevelt were merely OK, stating my preference for some of the vendors around Junction Blvd/82nd St. Well, I've changed my mind, sort of. I needed a quick fix and wanted something tamale-like late in the day last weekend and when I asked for a chicken tamale, she told me she was out. She only had cheese tamales. Cheese tamales? In all my mexican eating, I've never tried a cheese tamale, but I figured why not. It's only a buck, and I'll get a quick fix. If this is any indication, I've been back for these cheese tamales 3 or 4 times in the last week. As I had always imagined, I thought cheese tamales would be really gooey, melty and difficult to eat, and being lactose intolerant, I didn't think I'd be too keen on these. However, the cheese in these tamales is more of a drier, chewier variety, kind of like paneer in south asian cooking, or textually similar to deep fried milk in chinese (hong kong) cooking. The masa and the cheese lend to a nice textural harmony with the heat of the chile giving it a good zing. I like these much better than the chicken tamales she carries. Another treat I've been having is the elote (corn slathered with mayo, cheese, and chiles). Only drawback to a great elote experience is that her corn is boiled, not grilled. But it's still some pretty delicioius stuff.

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