Don't be the pinche gringo who jacks up your Christmas Eve celebration. It's tamale ordering time, and while some places make a few extra bazillion to sell to all the assholes who don't call ahead, others are more than willing to send you home tamale-less if you don't pick up the phone.
You could try and make your own, but we know how that goes. So if you don't have your own abuela who lives around the corner selling warm masa from a steaming Igloo cooler, here are some of our favorite tamale sources with prices and ordering deadlines.
La Popular Tamale The La Popular folks would appreciate a call by the 21st of December. On Christmas Eve they'll be open till 6 for pickup. Pork, pork with jalapeños, chicken, beef, veggie and bean with jalapeños variations are listed on the menu, but I hear if you ask real nice, they'll whip up any combination you like. The tamales run $11 to $12 a dozen.
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La Victoria Liliana Sosa says La Victoria will be taking orders till the 23rd, and they make extras every year if you want to gamble or otherwise forget. The tamales are $2.50 each or $25 for a dozen, which sounds expensive. But they're super big with a lot of meat, according to Sosa. Pork, chicken and jalapeño and cheese versions are available, and they'll be open Christmas Eve till 7 or 8 p.m., or whenever the last tamale is sold.
Urban Taco Urban Taco will be celebrating with some fancy Uptown tamales for the 12 days preceding Christmas Eve (see below). That will give you a chance to try before you commit to a flavor for your holiday table. One dozen tamales are $25. Make sure to call in your order by the 22nd and pick it up on the 24th by 4 p.m.
December 12- Pollo con Mole December 13- Chicken Tinga December 14- Rajas con Queso December 15- Potato Zucchini con Queso December 16- Frijoles y Queso December 17- Salsa Verde con Pollo December 18- Salsa Roja con Pollo December 19- Barbacoa con Chorizo December 20- Carnitas con Mole December 21- Chicharron Adobado con Salsa Verde December 22- De Elote December 23- Cochinita Pibil
Luna's Tortilla Beef, pork and chicken are available with and without jalapeño. They've also got spinach, spicy bean, and cheese and jalapeño versions all for $12 a dozen. The restaurant would appreciate a call by the 16th.