When it comes to tamales, they don’t get much better than when they’re homemade. Luckily, when I get nostalgic for my family’s tamales, there’s a shop in town that fills the void: Patty’s Tamales.
The small—and I mean small—tamale joint opened a few months ago in the University District, in the same Maryland Parkway shopping center as Stephano’s Greek and Mediterranean Grill. There’s also an original Sahara location, and both operate in bare-bones fashion. There are no tables, no chairs—just bright yellow walls, a menu and a countertop where you order.
It’s good that Patty’s keeps it simple, because it means there’s less time to get between you and your glorious tamales. There are four choices from which to choose: pollo rojo or verde (red or green chicken), puerco rojo (spicy red pork) and queso con rajas (cheese with peppers). Each hefty tamale costs $2.25, and you can get half a dozen for $13.50 or a dozen for $27. And yes, Patty’s Tamales caters.
You can’t beat the pollo rojo, filled with delicious, won’t-stop-till-it’s-gone shredded chicken that’s been marinated in a salty, spicy red sauce. The queso con rajas are the next best thing, loaded with Mexican cheese and poblanos. The masa is thick but moist, practically making each tamale a meal on its own.
Next time you have a craving and homemade isn’t possible, you’re in luck. Patty’s is only a car ride away.
Patty's Tamales 5061 E. Sahara Ave. #1C, 702-521-9643; 4632 S. Maryland Parkway #7, 702-355-0886. Daily, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.