My wife and my mom were telling me about tamales from Delia's in McAllen. We normally buy tamales at De Alba's Bakery in Mission because it's one of the closest places that makes tamales. We buy them there even if they don't exactly taste home made. I can't put my finger on it, but they don't taste the same.
So, the tamales at Delia's are supposed to be so awesome that people will make the drive to McAllen, Pharr, or Edinburg. Of course, I was skeptical. Tamales are tamales, right?
Today, after Mass, we drove to the Delia's on S. 23rd St. in McAllen. I expected it to be a restaurant with awesome tamales. I was wrong, pretty much all they sell are tamales. At the bottom of the menu, they have menudo, but for the most part all they sell are tamales. They have quite a variety with chicken, pork, beef, cheese, and spicy varieties. If you are serious about tamales like they are, I guess you will have such a wide selection of one item. They even have tamales Veracruzanos, which use banana leaves instead of corn leaves and are bigger.
Normally, tamales retain their shape as they are cooked in the leaf. Delia's do too, but they are very soft. You can grab the tamal from the end of the leaf and the inside will slide out without having to unwrap it. They also provide chopped lettuce, tomato, and chile for you to serve yourself. There is a lady making corn tortillas. You get fresh salsa. All these sides are free. All you buy are the tamales and your drink.
One last thing. By offering such a great product, you would think that they would relax a little about other things, like their coffee. They don't. They have bad ass coffee. It's nice and smooth. They have about 6 carafes ready. To me, that is the key to a good eating experience, good coffee. It just made my day.
We are fortunate that Delia's is set to open another location in Mission, a couple miles away from our home. I can assure you that we will be faithful customers of the establishment. I hope that they have the same standard of flavor as the one in McAllen.