Give it up for me! I'm no longer and Tamale Virgin, I had my unflowering this evening. It started out pretty rough though but I have to give props and shout outs to my Homies at Javier's in Ogden. Big Al and I traveled thru hell, high water, sleet snow, jacked knifed trucks and a plethora of accidents to get to Ogden today. I'm here because well a few reason: Ali is out of school for the next 4 days and I didnt want a teen home alone for I have a Martin Luther King Luncheon tomorrow in South Jordan from 11-1 tomorrow. And then I'm up at U of U @ 3:30 and then if they don't keep me I'm at west Minster college around 6 or 7-ish, and then back in ogden from sat-sun.
And my schedule... has nothing to do with Tamale's but that's why I had them in Odgen. :)
K, so anyway I walk up into the family home like I own the place and announce to my older sister... "I WANT TAMALES CUZ I"VE NEVER HAD THEM!" So she and my daughter embark upon a mission to find a great place for Tamales. Ogden is FULL of Mexican restaurants so this shouldn't be hard at all, right? We call my brother, because he coaches one of the high school basket ball teams up here and has a couple of students who have the download on good mexican food. He says he's going to hook us up and call us back. When he does he informs us of a place called Rosa's Bakery on Washington and 31st (or is that 38th?.) So we head down to the bakery and walk inside. Now I dont know how many of you have ever been into a Latino market, but their bake goods in size alone.... WOW. They had donuts, cookies, muffins and what nots the size of my head. 3 leche cake, Spices, beans, cilantro, all manor of other vegitables and goods that actually made me feel I was back in Mexico. It was cool. The front of the store was a bakery, The back of the store was a butcher and a... well... grill? Kitchen I guess? I dunno what it was, but whatever it was, it was there. My sister, daughter and I have our little basket.. and I dont know why I picked up a basket.... you dont need a basket of Tamale's right? RIGHT! I was giddy with wonder going up and down the small isle and then circling around them going up and down again. After a while I was thinking.... Ok where are the tamales? We looked in the food cases, and found none. I tried to get my daughter to read the really bad hand writing on the back boards at the umm....grill (?) to see if she could see anything that said Tamale. Nope, not tamales. After a while the smell of the fresh butcherings started getting to me. I looked in the case and saw.... Well I still don't know what I saw. I think there were some pork rinds, and maybe some tripe (cow stomach) and ....well, yeah I have no ideah but it was starting to make me nauseated. I looked on the top of the case and saw.two big jugs of... some sort of.... entrails... submerged in some sort of... liquid solution. That was all i could take. I did purchase my favorite spice in the world... Adobo and I also found some Sazon that I've been searching for for YEARS. After we left the Bakery it occured to me that my brother misunderstood what we were looking for. He inquired with his informants about ingredients to make tamales, not where to purchase them already prepared. (Bone Head) So we decided to travel up and down the streets of Ogden and just pick a mexican restaurant and go for it. Well we head down Riverdale road and then take a quick turn down wall street and I see this place and their sign say... Tamales. My sister zooms right passed it, takes the next sharp right turn and circles the block back to this place. I go in and I'm reading their Hand written board. It says EVERYTHING.... Carne Asada, Chips Salsa , El Pastor, Flan.... you name they have it... except Tamales. The Cashier asks if she can help me. I tell her...
"YES! Do you have Tamales? I've never had one before and tonight is my lucky night! I will no longer be a tamale virgin after tonite!"
The latin guys in front of me started laughin and giving me my congratulations and their offers to help me with that virgin thing!
The Cashier says... "we have el salvador Tamales they come wrapped in banana leaves, but we don't have the Mexican Tamales, we're out"
I'm sure my face deflated. I turned and looked at my latin guys and they sort of turned up their nose giving me the.... "no that's not what you want" look. I told the cashier that I was looking for mexican tamale but thank you anyway. I turned to go and my latin guys called "good luck" to me after wards.
Well by this time i'm feling a little defeated :( And then I remember.. HEY, this night I will give up my Tamale virginity or else! I told my sister... you know... we prolly should have just walked the 1/2 block to that place across the street from the house. We headed back that way. I'm not going to tell you how many mexican restaurants we passed going back home... nor will I tell you how many are in walkin distance from the family estate... because it's EMBARRASSING! We ended up going to the place across the street from the house called Javier's Mexican Restaurant. I walk in and am greeted by a Handsome older Latin man.... Javier Himself! He smiles and says in this dreamy accent.. "Hello, how can I help you this evening ladies?" I smile and say... "Well, do you have mexican tamales? I've never had one before and TONITE will be the night I will have my first one!"
He smiled and said... "yes we have them, of course!" I told them I would like to place a to go order and could I see a menu to check out the rest of the goods?. He gave me a menu, and we took a seat and combed over the menu. Tamale were 2.95 a la carte. well I dont know if that's expensive for one, but HEY This was a special occassion, right? So my sister decides. were going to get 10 of them! Oh and 2 sides of Beans and rice! We step up to the counter and place our order. The cashier informs us... Well if you get them ala carte, they're 2.95 each. But on the "to go" menue they're 12 for 15$! BONUS!!!!!! We'll take it! Oh im so excited by now. AUTHENTIC MEXICAN TAMALES! My friend to make sure i got the real thing cuz the gringo version just wont cut it. As we're wating for our order... I look around the restaurant and there's news articles and old and current high school graduation announcements on the walls and bulletin boards. I check themout. Sir Javier is.. or was a track couch at the St Josephs' Catholic School up here in Ogden. And he's good! His Track team has been champions for like 6 years in a row or something like that. Impressive. Also are acticles where he was the motivational speaker as well. Neoto! Tamales and track! It doesn't get any better than that does it!
The cashier tells us our tamales are ready and to becareful because they're hot! She gives us the bag and they are steaming and smelling all kinds of delicioso! I can hardly wait to get home and try it. We get home... and make all the special preparations... wash hour hands... cleare the dining room table...fold our arms and bless these special tamale's and the hand that prepared them and to give us strength and nourishment... all of that stuff on this special night. I open the steaming hot bag and before me is.... a zip lock baggie full of a dozen of Javiers best tamales I'm sure. And I gasp in amazement... "OH MAN I KNOW THESE ARE THE REAL DEAL... THEY ARE IN AN OLD SCHOOL ZIP LOCK BAG JUST LIKE ANY REAL MAMA WOULD HAVE PACKAGED THEM FOR HER BABIES TO TAKE FOR SCHOOL LUNCH OR SOMETHING!" Im excited, I pull one out... and then figure heck..... Why not... and pull out another one. I went for two! Unwrapped the corn husk, placed them just so on my plate. Opened up Javiers special homemade salsa and poured it over my special dish. I cut them bad boys, closed my eyes and took my first bite. I THOUGHT I WAS GONNA THROW UP!
HAHA JUST KIDDING! I loved them! LOVED THEM! They taste of corn, shredded beef together with that salsa! Taste soo good it'll make you wanna slap somebody! I ate my two and were immediately stuffed. And sufficiently happy. Yes I do believe 2007 will be the year of the Tamale. I may even try the Salvadorian one's as well and making them myself.