We love Mexican food, even the not-really-Mexican-food that comes deep fried and covered with cheese (vegan cheese). Of course, anything authentic is a bonus although I could never presume to be the one to authenticate it. I do know that tamales date back 7,000 to 10,000 years in Mesoamerica (because I am capable of Googling things) and 10,000 years would seem to lend an air of authenticity (compared as long as the ancient premise is adhered to. The Tamaly Shop serves up what I would consider to be authentic Mexican food, prepared by some folks who are originally from Mexico and we found eating there to be a special experience.
Tamaly Shop - Authentic Vegan Options
Located on Main just south of Broadway, they have been open for about 7 months. We arrived mid afternoon on a Saturday and were able to order and get seated right away. They started us off (even before ordering) with a little sample of amazing sweet strong coffee that would be worth a return visit all by itself.
Water, hot sauce and some very good pickled jalapenos and carrots to go with our meal were brought to our table before our food arrived. Cool cups and pot!
TS has 4 plant-based tamales on the menu (in addition to a couple of sweet pb tamales) and we tried them all. They don't quite match the menu listing but I think this was Salsa Verde with Oyster Mushroom. I was immediately impressed with the tenderness of the masa dough (they make their own). I have made tamales a few times at home and I can tell you that a few minutes too long in the steamer and you can end up with something that could hurt someone if used as a projectile!
They make their mole in-house as well, and it was spectacular! There can be upwards of 30 ingredients in a mole so it is no small deal. This was chocolatey but savory and rich. I think this was the Mole with Tofu Tamale.
This one came with mole as well which we did not expect, maybe with mashed potato (?) but as I said. The mole was amazing and I would put it on toast if that's what they served.
You can also order your tamale as part of a plant-based Mexican Bento Box which is a pretty cool idea! This was a black bean Tamale with the black bean folded right into the masa! I had no idea that you could do that. It was great. The bb included guac, rice, beans and pico de gallo.
And tacos too! The Azteca Tacos feature cactus with beans and pico. Very Nice!
We even had a dessert tamale! Slightly sweet masa dough with pineapple and a wonderful Mexican chocolate sauce (Mexican chocolate really is rich and strong) with another sweet dark coffee. A perfect conclusion to a cruelty-free meal.
We brought our own plastic containers for leftovers after reading a post on Instagram from a restaurant owner who mentioned how many containers they go through! We intend to do that from now on and suggest that you do the same for the planet and restaurant management. Admittedly, this seemed to confuse our server.
This is a beautiful colorful, bright and welcoming place. You can purchase frozen tamales as well as other Mexican products. Some of the more exotic items run to scorpion salt and tarantula salt (decidedly not vegan). We will definitely be back!
Food 5 out of 5
Vegan Options 4 out of 5
Comfort 4 1/2 out of 5
Service 4 1/2 out of 5
Value 4 1/2 out of 5
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