After turkey season comes tamale season.
While most of us were homebound last weekend, the Padilla family and crew used the time to make holiday tamales.
“We might easily sell 1,000 dozen tamales,” said Crystal Padilla at Mariposa’s Latin Kitchen, a west Fort Worth shop known for 18 flavors, including turkey-and-dressing tamales.
In the second holiday season at Mariposa’s, orders have doubled. The first orders came in October.
“We’re ordering masa by the hundreds of pounds, like I’ve never seen before,” Padilla said.
“People really want tamales.”
The Mariposa’s flavors include traditional pork, plus four varieties of chicken, vegetarian tamales and brunch tamales such as huevos rancheros tamales, bacon-cheddar or chorizo-and-egg.
They’re $13-$16 per dozen. Mariposa’s is open for lunch and dinner weekdays and Saturdays; 5724 Locke Ave. at Horne Street, 817-570-9555, mariposaslatinkitchen.com.Esperanza’s Bakery & Cafe
Esperanza’s sells thick pork tamales for $9.49 per dozen and beef or chicken for $9.95. If you need holiday chicken enchiladas, they’re about $15-$17 per dozen.
The busy cafes also serve a tamale platter, with or without the restaurant’s homemade chile con carne sauce ($7.29).
(The same tamales are served weekdays during lunch service at Joe T. Garcia’s, next door to the north-side Esperanza’s.)
Often ranked the region’s best interior Mexican food restaurant and one of Texas Monthly’s “50 Best,” Esperanza’s is open for breakfast and lunch daily at 2122 N. Main St. and 1601 Park Place Ave.; joets.com.Marquez Bakery & Tortilla Factory
Marquez sells tens of thousands of tamales at $7.99 per dozen, and also serves a tamale plate.
The newest Marquez feature is green chile barbacoa enchiladas; 1730 E. Division St., 817-265-8858, marquezbakery.com.
The Supermercado El Rancho chain always has fresh tamales. The flavors are pork, chicken or cheese-jalapeño, $12.99/dozen; 1212 N. Beach St. and several other locations, elranchoinc.com.
The local Pulido’s restaurant chain now sells tamales to-go for $10 a dozen. Five flavors include Hatch green chile; pulidosrestaurant.com.Mi Cocinita Virgie Martinez Aguilera’s Cafe Santos Aguilera
They may or may not be able to take more orders. If they can’t make more by Christmas, ask for New Year’s.