Food & Beverage Travel

Tamale Boy Russell

Who would have thought you could actually find Mexican Tamales in Portland, Oregon? Not me, I have to say I was excited to find out if they were good. I’ve had my share of tamales and I know a good one when I try it. I wasn’t sure what to expect, however I read that it began as a catering company, then into a food truck catering company and now today a restaurant so that said a lot to me. I was able to find street parking for our Sprinter van “Pablo” right in front (its a big deal trust me). Viewing the front of the establishment, and their cool Tamale boy van, I started to crave tamales!

I eagerly walked inside to grab a menu. What to choose, what to choose, hmmm? The waitress must have noticed my indecisive face. She gives me a few recommendations and I order. I am not a real particular eater, I will pretty much try anything. As I waited, I looked around the restaurant.

My food arrives and presentation is awesome! I ended up ordering a Cafe de Olla with my tamales. Loved it even though it was hot it was very refreshing and seemed to cleanse my palate between tamales. It was very sweet with the overwhelming flavor of cinnamon. I really loved and enjoyed it. I ordered three different tamales, I got qaxaqueños with conchita pibil, Norteño Rajas, and their seasonal qaxaqueños amarillo.

I begin with the Norteño Rajas wrapped in the traditional corn husk. This one is roasted pasilla peppers, onion, corn, and queso asadero. It was great, I loved the cheese with the sweet corn and even sweeter peppers. The combination was delicious.

The second tamale is the conchita pilbil wrapped in banana leaf. This one had slow roasted pork in citrus juices and spices. Great flavor of spicy meat with that citrus finish. It was a hearty tamale, that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The last tamale was their seasonal qaxaqueños amarillo. This had shredded beef cooked in housemade mole amarillo, and it was also steamed in banana leaf.

I have to say this was a winner in my book for a great Tamale spot in Portland!

Location: Tamale Boy Russell

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