Tamale Season 2015 [HOUSTON}

I know all the tamale-heads are gearing up for the holiday season, so I wanted to share the news that Pico’s Mex-Mex is having a tamalefest er, tamalada brunch this Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. All the tamales, salsas, moles and chile con queso you can eat.


“All the tamales, salsas, moles and chile con queso you can eat”: God, that sounds so unhealthy, on so many levels, but tasty, I’ll bet!

I max out at three and they better be good.

3? That’s the theory that I adhere to, before I polish off close to a dozen tamales at Pancho’s Mexican Buffet. Talk about so bad that its good. Pancho’s was a mainstay of affordable food for me in college and reminiscent of San Antonio Mexican food of the '50s and '60s, especially the Wednesday school lunches served in those years and which I was so devoted to that, had Wednesday lunches been graded, I would have been on the honor roll. I have been to Panchos only once in the last few years, and the food was so terrible that I and came away thinking that this will be the last time, until the next time I crave old school SA tamales. I think that its the only edible item on Pancho’s menu.

Some work friends dragged me to a Pancho’s back in the '90s, my first and only visit despite living in Houston all my life. The meat in the enchiladas and tacos was memorable only because it was so bad.

I did not try the tamales as I quit after the other two dishes.

I did like the sopapillas.

A friend was trying to get me to go last week. Nope. The fond memories are only his… :-1:

I think you misspelled “fiend”.

I didn’t even know Pancho’s was still around. The last time I went to one it was in Beaumont on the way to Delta Downs in about '86. We had a buddy in from NY who wanted to gorge on tacos. He did. I remember him putting that little flag to great use. I don’t recall much else about it.

Now tamales on the other hand are one of my favorite subjects.

It’s way past time we had another tamale crawl. The last time, we hit Alamo, Gerardo’s, and Dona Tere.

My favorite were the Alamo “hand rolled”, but Gerardo’s are great also and they have the best barbacoa and hot sauces.

I don’t really care for the style of Dona Tere as I find them too masa heavy, but they also have some different styles like Oaxacan, (I think!).

Anyway, it’s a great way to put on a couple of pounds.

Jaymes, I know you’ll be hitting some up somewhere. Let me know if you want to coordinate.


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Absolutely am going to head into town to stock up for Christmas. Not sure exactly when. What day works for you?

Ok - let’s narrow it down to an upcoming Sat. Doobs, I’ll pm you with specific suggestions. Anyone else want to join us; let us know. Love to see any or all of you. Alamo for sure. Then what - maybe Gerardo’s? Maybe try to find some of those Cajun tamales that txpickyeater talks about?

You should get some rajas to go at Alamo if they have a fresh batch.

OK, been offline for a few days, but back…

Thanks for the tips about the rajas. I love those things. Definitely will get some “to go.” Wonder if they freeze well? That’d be just swell.

And, is anyone else going to join Sr. Wah and me next weekend? If so, pm me and I’ll fill you in on details.

No can do. Trabajando todos los Sabados hasta Navidad, working pretty much every Saturday.

Speaking of frozen leftovers, were feeding on frozen/re-heated City Market sausage as we speak. The wifeacita likes Galvan’s Richmond better. I call it a toss up.

I’m going to schedule off a Saturday after the first for Galvan’s and anyone can pile on for the fatty brisket and various sausages.

There will be a good two week warning.

I love rajas also. I had some at Churrasco’s once that were incredibly hot.

I’m totally there. Just let me know. And, for what it’s worth, I’m with you on the City Market sausage. Think they’re really wonderful. Always load up a freezer-full. I’ve tried Galvan’s a couple of times and definitely prefer City Market’s.

I have a Dim Sum party date next Saturday (12th), a Christmas Brunch Sunday (13th) and a Christmas Pot Luck the 19th.

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I’ve got some pretty fond memories of Pancho’s Mexican Buffet. As some of you know, we were always on the move. And, once we got to wherever we were going, that would mean cross-country car trips - to visit relatives, see friends, check out the potential new assignment, revisit the previous assignment, vacations, whatever. And often we found ourselves going through Albuquerque - north and south on I-25, east and west on I-40. We knew right where Pancho’s was, and from each interstate, it was basically a straight shot with one turn. We were in a station wagon full of hungry, tired people of all ages and eager to get to wherever it was we were going, so long, leisurely restaurant stops were out of the question. Especially when our number included two teenaged boys, who are nearly impossible to fill up, that Pancho’s was a blessing, and I knew the route by heart. The food wasn’t great, true, but it was fast and filling and the price was right.

And Mom could get a margarita.

When the kids started whining about wanting more of this or that, all Mom had to do was to raise that little flag.

Days long gone.

Drove through Albuquerque again last Christmas. Drove by Pancho’s just for old time’s sake. Closed down.

Nothing stays the same. But, Pancho’s, thanks for the memories. You were there when I needed you and you were just swell.

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Well, the next time you’re in the Metroplex…

Pancho’s locations

Met Jaymes at Alamo yesterday for our holiday tamales. I brought OBD’s mother with me and we bought six dozen. Fortunately, we were ahead of Jaymes in the line as she seemingly bought the rest.

Stuck around long enough to knock back a few tamales and sneak off with some of their creamy jalapeno salsa de casa.

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Better late than never? The Comical’s tamale guide (courtesy of Reddit).

A couple I’ve never heard of nor considered. As many times as I’ve been to Villa Arcos, La Guadalupana and Mi Tienda, I didn’t know they did tamales (or at least, never bought them).

Typical of the Comical (and the Press) these days, poorly researched - doesn’t list the Navigation location of Alamo and Radical Eats shuttered about mid-year. I understand her vegetarian tamales, which I love, are once again available at Eastside Farmer’s Market but that’s not at the address on Westheimer.

Don’t miss the link to the comment about lardless tamales being historically accurate. You mean, Berryhill’s are legit??? Some really interesting stuff in that article.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2