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My wife and I got there around 3PM on Thursday - we drove there from Antioch. I heard about Tamale Lovers a few months back and wanted to try it out ever since checking out their website.
We were quickly greeted at the front counter by (we later found out) Julie - the owner. As I was looking over at the large menu on the wall above, I told her I like food on the spicy hot side, so she recommended the spicy tamales (go figure), and I was off and running. I love Mexican food - on the "hot" spicy side, and was not disappointed as I dined on a spicy chicken and spicy pork tamale served with seasoned beans and rice. The tamales were not over-the-top (spicy)hot, but just right for me. Over-the-top spicy hot for me is sweating, mouth on fire for the rest-of-the-day, and teary eyes. The meat in the tamale was tender and juicy, the beans and rice were flavorful. - Almost forgot, you also get some fresh salsa and sour cream to top it off. BTW, My wife makes beans from scratch and she really liked the beans, so 5 stars to the beans cook!
My wife had the single tamale combo meal that includes rice, beans and a drink for $6.50, and I had the two tamale combo for $8.50. Haha - I spend that much or more for crappy fast-food, never mind a pastry and coffee at Starbucks!
The food was fresh, the portions plentiful and is served steaming hot. I like large servings, and had I been able to do it again I would have had 1 tamale - but the tamales are plenty-big...Think super burrito size as compared to a regular burrito. In fact we had enough to take home for leftovers later that night!
I've eaten Mexican food - you know the kind, that looks like it is floating in lard. You know it's unhealthy, but it's good so you eat it and then you feel weighed down from eating all that fat. At TL, the food looks fresh, not greasy, and is onolicious (OK, Igrew up in Hawaii) so look it up.
Later that night my wife and I shared a chocolate tamale and an apple cinnamon tamale. I've never had a dessert tamale, and it definitely won't be my last. I liked the chocolate tamale over the apple tamale (close second), but both were fantastic! And they have many other dessert tamales, damn them! I was trying to explain to myself what the dessert tamales reminded me of - hmmm, is it like a freshly baked brownie? ...or a cupcake without the frosting?, bundt cake? Dunno- who cares, all I know that is was crazy-good. =)
After glancing over their menu, you'll find selections galore - family meals, combo meals, a la carte, take out, catering..you get the idea. Oh, and no worries if you like milder/less spicy selections, as they are plentiful on the menu as well.
The atmosphere of Tamale Lovers is clean, friendly, bright, laid back, family-friendly, and refreshingly customer-service oriented. So if you have an urge to fill your belly with Mexican food - especially fresh tamales, give Tamale Lovers a try - you will leave a happy camper! Don't forget some dessert tamales for later. Oh, and if Julie's there, I'm sure she would love to have a friendly talk.
We chatted it up with super-friendly Julie and had a great time! You can "feel" - and taste (lucky me) the love and pride she puts into her tamales. Now that I am officially a "Tamale Lover" lover, I'll definitely be back to try some more goodies on their menu!
Phone: (925) 354-9863
Parking: Street, Lot, Private
Bike Parking: Yes
Good For Groups: Yes
Good for Kids: Yes
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Take Out: Yes
Cuisines: Caterers, Mexican, Take Out, Latin American
Takes Reservations: No
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Price Range : Above Average