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  • Tamales los Mejores de Guerrero

    Post #1 - February 15th, 2016, 7:54 pm
    Post #1 - February 15th, 2016, 7:54 pm Post #1 - February 15th, 2016, 7:54 pm
    I'd like to nominate Tamales los Mejores de Guerrero, a wonderful storefront restaurant on Clark St. in Rogers Park that specializes in tamales. It's a small restaurant with a small -- excuse me, focused -- menu that does a few things very, very well. It always hits the spot for me and always leaves me excited to go back.

    Our standard order always includes tamales Oaxaquenos, which I gather is made with mole and is wrapped in banana leaves. They are rich, complex, and outstanding. When you go, by all means try the standard pork or chicken tamales in red or green salsa, but be sure you also try a tamale Oaxaqueno. The menu is slightly expanded on weekends and includes an excellent pozole, menudo, and moles. I especially love the pozole, a hominy stew in a gorgeous chile red broth, served with avocado, lime, chopped onion, oregano, ground chiles, and chicharrones.

    The main thread was started by chapulin in 2006, who gave a little background:

    Tamales los mejores de Guerrero on Clark

    chapulin wrote:Two doors north of El Llano, just north of Lunt on Clark, there is a new spot called Tamales Los Mejores de Guerrero. Actually, this is owned and run by Senora Bustamante, who used to sell her tamales on Sunday mornings in front of the MacDonald's at Clark and Pratt. Now they are available six days a week (they are closed Mondays). ...Her tamales are particularly plump, and include both green and red with chicken or pork. The portions of meat are generous, as is the sauce, which is tolerably spicy; this is not for the heat averse! Equally hot are the tamales of rajas con queso, strips of poblano pepper with cheese.

    There hasn't been a ton of discussion about them over the last few years, but, really, how much is there to say about tamales?

    Here are some thoughts from other LTH'ers:

    David Hammond wrote:What excellent tamales are to be had here!

    They are huge, as big as a baby's thigh, with polenta-like fluffiness, and each surprisingly irregular, some containing heat, some not, some with lots of meat, some with just a little, hand-rolled by photo-sensitive Mexican grannies in the back room, just marvelously delicious.

    G Wiv wrote:I especially appreciated the clear clean taste, every flavor distinct, with an elemental earthiness that bespoke of generations of Mexican grandmothers passing tradition

    JeffB wrote:Viva Sra. Bustamante! I love it. Props to Zim for noting this stuff years ago, on that other site; she's been my tamal source since. And to Chapulin for advising us about the new place and the connection. Now everyone can enjoy them much more easily. Sometimes it takes a while for these things to develop, and some good photographic evidence. Soon it'll be in the food rags. I hope so.

    PS, look at the volume in that masa. No small trick to get those bubbles in there.

    trpt2345 wrote:Mrs. Trpt had a hankering for tamales today so we drove up Clark Street to Tamales los mejores de Guerrero. We wound up with two dozen or so,split between green pork, dulce, corundas and tamales de Oaxaca. A little on the expensive side ($12 a dozen, more for the Oaxacas and corundas), but very, very good. (The family is from Iguala, which is on the old road from Mexico City to Acapulco, we've stopped there a few times for tacos and sidrales). On the weekends they have menudo and pozole too, we'll have to give it a whirl. Nice call.

    And back to G Wiv:
    G Wiv wrote:... Tamales los mejores de Guerrero was busy as a London hat shop during Royal Wedding season. Multi generational families filled every seat in the single store front towering mounds of steaming tamales happily, quietly, devoured by guy, girl and grandmother alike. ....Tamales, and chapurado for that matter, were incredibly hot, lava hot, tongue singing hot, perfect antidote for a rainy cold Chicago afternoon.


    Tamales Lo Mejor De Guerrero
    7024 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL 60626
    Phone:(773) 338-6450
  • Post #2 - February 16th, 2016, 12:45 pm
    Post #2 - February 16th, 2016, 12:45 pm Post #2 - February 16th, 2016, 12:45 pm
    Great nomination! In my family, we have a new-ish tradition of ordering a bunch of tamales a gallon of their pozole for Christmas. It's always a big hit. A true family operation serving high quality food in an unassuming but comfortable neighborhood setting - sounds like a GNR to me.
  • Post #3 - February 17th, 2016, 2:49 pm
    Post #3 - February 17th, 2016, 2:49 pm Post #3 - February 17th, 2016, 2:49 pm
    Great nomination. I'm very supportive.
  • Post #4 - March 6th, 2016, 10:11 pm
    Post #4 - March 6th, 2016, 10:11 pm Post #4 - March 6th, 2016, 10:11 pm
    Terrific nomination. A hidden gem amongst the hustle and bustle of Clark St.

    Tamales los Mejores de Guerrero, count me a fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #5 - March 7th, 2016, 11:15 pm
    Post #5 - March 7th, 2016, 11:15 pm Post #5 - March 7th, 2016, 11:15 pm
    Perhaps I was there at an off time, it was kinda empty. The Tamal Oaxaqueno was pretty good but I didn't find it exceptional, and the other tamales were middle of the road stuff, a bit on the dry side. I've definitely had better ones at places which aren't GNRs. It was my first and only visit so feel free to chalk it up to an off day. I would say I'm undecided on GNR status as of now until I give it another go.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain