Grapevine Featured Business
New location: Tommy Tamale Café & Market
1689 W. Northwest Hwy
Hours: Monday – Saturday from 10am – 8pm
Tommy Tamale has been a staple in Grapevine for many years. Owners are husband and wife team, Steve and Joann Barker, who got started by selling their homemade tamales and fresh salsas at the Grapevine Farmers Market in April 2010. Once their first Farmers Market season was over, raving fans and customers quickly demanded a way to continue buying tamales during the Farmers Market off season. The Barkers knew in that moment they had created something special that people quickly loved and wanted more of.
After the first season at the Farmers Market ended successfully, Tommy Tamale continued selling their frozen tamales from an ice chest in the back of a pickup truck. The truck was parked at 708 Northwest Hwy and quickly became a favorite take out spot for locals and curious passersby. The plywood sign on the truck said “TAMALES” and was their only advertising, aside from word of mouth from friends and their devoted tamale fans from the Farmers Market. It turned out to be all that was needed for Tommy Tamale to take off.
A tamale is traditionally made of masa (a starchy, corn-based dough) and is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies, chilies and more. The tamale is then steamed until hot and firm. The wrapper (corn husk) is discarded before eating and what you have left is a delicious pocket of tasty flavors wrapped in sweet corn masa.
Known for their unique tamale flavors and consistent quality, the Barkers knew they had created something special that people wanted to eat. Today, they offer about 18 flavors of tamales that you can pick up to take home, and you can try them all to find your favorite. They offer various tamale flavors of chicken, beef, pork, non-meat/veggie and sweet. Traditionally tamales make it to the table for all feast days and special holidays, such as celebrating the New Year.
Now, after 5 years, 6 Farmer’s Market seasons and 2 locations
later, Tommy Tamale has finally found its home at 1689 W. Northwest Hwy. They recently opened Tommy Tamale Market & Café and serve your favorites in a comfortable and family-friendly environment, at affordable prices. The café serves more than just tamales, including burritos, quesadillas, tamale pie and nachos. But that’s not it at all…they also offer daily lunch specials and sell a wide range of tasty salsas made in-house and jars of pickled veggies. Don’t forget the chips and queso too! Everything is available to take home from the market or ready to enjoy in the café.
Tommy Tamale takes pride in their tamales and proudly boasts, “More meat than masa….”
The tamales are gluten free and made without lard, which makes them healthier and taste better than traditional tamales.
What’s the secret to success at Tommy Tamale? The Barkers have found that friendly service and consistency in food have been key elements in their path towards success. They promise to deliver the same delicious tamales every time you eat one. They claim, “Whether they tried one 6 months ago, today or 6 months in the future, our tamales will always have the same great taste.” They also believe that friendly customer service is the way to succeed, and you will usually find the entire Barker family working in the café daily to continue providing great food quality and the best service in Grapevine.
So, if you’re in the area and have never tried Tommy Tamale, do yourself a favor and pop in for a flavor fest that will excite your mouth and will likely keep you going back again and again. With so many flavors to try, you can decide which ones are your favorites.