Tuesday, July 15, 2008

La Casita Tamales

Regular readers will know that I've been on the hunt for a decent veg tamale. I was hearing good things about the green chili and cheese tamales at La Casita: that their tamales are truly vegetarian because they are made with vegetable oil, that the tamales are really really good, and that everyone in Denver goes to 44th and Tennyson for tamales...

With great anticipation, I traveled to 44th and Tennyson, only to find this:

Luckily, there is another La Casita location at 36th & Tejon.

The Tejon location appears to be relatively new. During my visit, soul music played from speakers inside the restaurant and on the patio, where seating is also available. The decor inside is minimal, but the space is clean and comfortable.

I ordered three green chili and cheese tamales, with vegetarian red sauce on the side. And what tamales! The proportion of masa dough-to-filling was perfect, and the masa itself had a fabulous taste and texture.

I was puzzled when the cashier/server asked whether I would like tomato and lettuce with my tamales, but when I bit into them, I understood: the chilies in these tamales are hot! Not so hot that the tamales weren't enjoyable, but hot enough that tomatoes and lettuce could provide a welcome contrast.

The tamales are $1.20 apiece; three tamales plus a side order of red sauce came to $4.90 and made for a satisfying meal.

Service was quick and friendly. The tamales are also available to go.

La Casita
3561 Tejon St
Denver, CO 80211
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. M-F and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat, closed Sunday


Kitt said...

Wow! They tore it down?? I wonder if they will rebuild there. La Casita is owned bt relatives of a former co-worker. She sent me there when I was looking for prepared masa to make my own tamales and they were very helpful. I don't get up to that side of town often, but I will check out their new digs.

Beatrice said...

It was very shocking, and I didn't even know how good their tamales were yet...

The La Casita corporate headquarters is still at 44th and Tennyson (just to the left of where the photo cuts off). That and the fact that they left the sign standing makes me suspect that they are going to re-build at that location. The neighborhood has gotten pretty swank, so I'm thinking they might want an equally swank building to match?

How lucky to learn to make tamales there. I've helped fill and roll tamales but have never been involved in the process from start to finish.


Kitt said...

Oh, I didn't get to look in on their process, alas. But they pointed me to a little hole-in-the-wall shop that sold prepared masa, which saved me a lot of work. (Tamales are labor-intensive enough without having to mess around with all that lard and cornmeal first.)

Anonymous said...

For future visitors -- a message on their answering machine says the 44th and Tennyson location will open again next year (2009).