The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Tamales
While the little push-cart that Walter Berryhill once sold his tamales from is no longer in commission, his recipes are still followed to the T every day at Berryhill Baja Grill. That's where you can find the famous Berryhill spinach-and-corn tamales along with chicken and beef versions. They're all incomplete without the thin, ruddy tamale sauce that goes on top, however, with the perfect blend of vinegar and spice to cut through the masa.
Oh, so you want a classy tamale? Look no further than RDG + Bar Annie, where chef Robert del Grande's take on Mexican and Southwestern cuisine produces a $25 tamale that's almost worth the high ticket price. RDG's tamale comes stuffed with Texas quail and corn, served alongside pan-roasted mushrooms that call to mind the mushroom-stuffed tamales at Hugo's. But the pièce de résistance is the huitlacoche sauce on top, with that signature dusky, funky flavor of Mexican truffles (a.k.a. corn smut).
Photo by Robb Walsh Tamales at Gerardo's.
Gerardo's offers more than just its signature barbacoa and carnitas. Around this time of year, it stocks up on supplies to make tamales, too, as the carnicería is always flooded with orders for its equally tempting tamales. It's also a favorite Christmas tamale haunt of former Houston Press food critic Robb Walsh.
Goode Co. Seafood's unique seafood tamales are unlike anything else in town. The handmade tamales are stuffed with shrimp and wrapped in banana leaves, Oaxaca-style, and served with a spicy salsa campechana that's quickly soaked up by the silky masa.