I grew up in Memphis but was never much of a tamale fan until I moved to California. Southern tamales are a whole different beast than what most people think of when they hear the word. Thanks to the Southern Foodways Alliance, I discovered a few old spots in Corinth, MS to get my Southern tamale fix.
Dilworth's is the real deal. Drive thru only. Friendly as can be. True Mississippi. The tamales here are the shape of thick long pencils, and the corn and spices and heat work wonders together. Go. Seriously. If you are anywhere in the vicinity of North Mississippi.
Ace's wasn't open, and was looking pretty rough around the edges. Locals report it's gone downhill.
PJ's #2 wrapped up our brief tamale tour, a roadside trailer basically. Not quite as good as Dilworth's, but still worth a stop.
Lots of photos in my flickr Memphis set - http://flickr.com/photos/kaplanbr/set...