Looking to cure a pounding headache left in the wake of too much Saturday night fun, Sunday lunch required a hearty dose of good ‘ole fashion Tex-Mex. In search of an antidote, we headed to Tamale House East, the latest venture from members of the famed Tamale House family. Owned and operated by Carmen, Juan, Jose, and Robert Valera, grandchildren of the Original Tamale House matriarch, Tamale House East plays homage to their family’s long history of serving some of the city’s best Tex-Mex (uncle Bobby has run Airport Blvd.’s popular Tamale House since 1977).
Fans of the original Tamale House’s delicious, no frills, cheap breakfast tacos will be pleased to find them included on the expanded menu of authentic Tex-Mex favorites such as conchita pibil plates, chilaquiles, and enchiladas. In addition to Tex-Mex eats, Tamale House East offers a variety of Mexican beers and small selection of wine and weekend mimosas. The casual eatery is counter service only, and although all orders are served in to-go containers, Tamale House East’s inviting, eclectic outdoor seating areas are an easy sell for those looking to stay a while.
We started with a few of the day’s selection of tamales followed by a couple of orders of enchiladas. First up was an outstanding tamale stuffed with beans and jalapeno; the moist, delicate masa was a perfect counterpart to the savory, spicy filling. Though it had a nice flavor, the pork tamale’s thick masa and slightly dry filling was not as successful in comparison to the bean jalapeno.
Enchilada plates feature two soft corn tortillas stuffed with a choice of cheese or tender chicken smothered with one of Tamale House East’s delicious sauces. The enchilada verdes were topped generously with tomatillo salsa verde and melted cheese. Though mild in heat, the green sauce was full of tangy, bright, and fresh flavors, which made the enchiladas verdes a stellar dish. The mole enchiladas were equally as successful, again bolstered by a sauce featuring plenty of robust, well-developed flavors. The red mole was rich with the distinctive smoky sweetness indicative of a traditional mole sauce done right. Each order of enchiladas is served with rice, beans, and tortillas. While the Mexican rice was a bit of a mushy afterthought, the refried beans were some of the best around. The tortillas were, sadly, not of the homemade variety, but one could barely notice when covered with the aforementioned beans. Overall, Tamale House East’s laid-back vibe, solid food, and great prices makes for a winning combination I can’t wait to revisit.
For now, Tamale House East is only open for breakfast and lunch, but plans for dinner service are in the works. Tamale House East is located at 1707 East 6th Street, Austin TX 78702. Open Tuesday – Friday 7:00AM-3:00PM and Saturday-Sunday 8:00AM-3:00PM. Visit Tamale House East Facebook here.