Sherman's Food Adventures: Tamaly Shop

Tamaly Shop

I've pointed out on many occasions that Vancouver is blessed with a diverse culinary scene, particularly in Asian food.  However, it lags behind in many other cuisines, including Mexican.  Now we do have Mexican restaurants and some of them are actually quite good.  I know this because I've eaten in Mexico as well as Southern Los Angeles (so I have a baseline).  However, we don't really have restaurants dedicated to something I really enjoy - Tamales.  Well look no further as we have the Tamaly Shop out on Main Street near Broadway.

Let's get right to it with 3 different Tamales including Pork with Salsa Verde, Chicken with Mole and Cheese with Jalapeno and salsa Roja.  Really enjoyed these as they brought back memories of the tamales I've had in San Diego.  2 of them were light and fluffy while the pork tamale was a bit firmer.  They use vegetable shortening rather than lard, hence they were not as heavy nor greasy.  I really enjoyed the mole as it was flavouful, smoky and aromatic.

Onto something that I've never had before, Birria Noodle.  Sure, I've had birria tacos before and of course I've had noodles.  But I've never had them together before.  This was rather pleasant with a meaty broth with a considerable amount of tender shredded beef.  I found the noodles on the softer side, but then again, we took some time taking photos too.  I felt this would be a good dish to order to compliment the tamales as it was lighter and soupy.

We had the classic Chilaquiles next with both the salsa roja and verde.  Normally, you would only get one of the sauces, but this way, we got to try both in one dish.  Underneath the sauces, cheese and sour cream, we found thick and still slightly crispy tortilla chips.  They were completely coated in sauce though, so there was that usual texture in between crispy and soft.  I liked both sauces, but the verde was my favourite where it was bright and tangy.

So what do you get when you combine a tamale and chilaquiles?  It's not a trick question, you get the Guajolotongo!  This particular one featured a cheese tamale topped with even more chicken, sour cream, onions, tomatillo salsa and feta cheese.  Yah, this was quite the meal as the tamale was rather filling to begin with and then it was topped with crispy tender tortilla wedges.  Flavours were fairly subtle in this with the salsa coming through with tanginess.

Last savoury items was the Torta Ahogada with pork belly, pickled onion and lemon.   By itself, the torta was pleasant enough with crusty bread and tender shredded pork belly.  The pickled onion added both crunch and acidity.  However, the real star of the show was the Guadalajara salsa on the side.  It added the necessary flavour and moisture the sandwich needed.  Nice balance of brightness, spice and aromatics.  Would've loved to have even more of it!

Onto the sweets, were presented with a selection of dessert tamales including Blackberry & Cream Cheese, Chocolate and Pineapple.  Yes, these were not the lightest of desserts, but I kept going back for more bites despite being stuffed.  Since I love fruity things, the pineapple was right up my alley.  This was the lightest of the 3 and had a mild sweetness about it.  The blackberry & cream cheese was heavier naturally but it was purposefully sweet and creamy.  Chocolate was the most basic of the 3 and heaviest in texture.  Wasn't very sweet though, letting the chocolate notes come through.

Although we were served the Conchas first, I'll talk about them last because they were a dessert in my eyes.  We had the Dulce de Leche, Strawberry and Blueberry.  These were featured a bun that was fairly light and a bit dry topped with a sugary topping.  I enjoyed the dulce de leche the most as it featured a sweet caramel centre.  These were akin to the Chinese pineapple buns.  Overall, the food was unique and well-executed.  Nice to see something different in a sea of sushi and Chinese food.

*All food and beverages were complimentary for this blog post*

The Good:
- Not-so-heavy tamales
- Other dishes were good too
- Eclectic decor

The Bad:
- Some of the tables are a bit small


Search this Site