Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tamale Spaceship

Just a reminder that there's still time to donate to my charity bike ride for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Any donation can be made here and would be greatly appreciated.

Location: All over. It's a truck.
Cost: About $3 per tamale

I don't know what it is about my neighborhood, but it seems to attract food trucks like no other. First there was a large gathering of trucks a while back in the Goose Island parking lot. Then it was decided that every Tuesday in June, food trucks would gather in the parking lot on North between Clybourn and Halsted. At first, I'd written this off because of how busy I was, but then my phone started blowing up from people that wanted me to meet them there since they knew I lived so close by. Before I knew it, I was out there braving the sweltering heat with Schneider, J-hop, Jason, Katie, Hanz, and Kate. This was the first of these summits, and there were only five trucks or so. I'd been to a few of them on campus at other times, but I was glad that I got a chance to try out Tamale Spaceship.

Like the other food trucks in town, the Tamale Spaceship can be followed on facebook and twitter. That way you know where they're going to be for lunch shifts throughout the week. This time though they set themselves right down the road from my apartment. This worked out pretty well because the new Apple store has a pseudo patio with a fountain right across the street from where the trucks were parked.

The menu is done via chalkboard, and as things run out they get crossed off. The server in the truck was wearing one of those wrestler masks. It was 92 degrees out that day, and I can't even imagine how hot that mask was making him. The tamales are a good amount of food for $3. Two of them would be a sufficient lunch.

The Food
We ended up with a pretty decent selection of the tamales they offered. Between all of us, I got to try the Chicken, Steak, and Pork Tamales all with their respectively unique mole sauces. The masa had a pleasant consistency. For the most part it was a bit moist and held together nicely. In the heat they may have dried out a little. I thought my steak tamale could've had more meat. The other ones had plenty of chicken and pork respectively. I think the moles made these tamales worth their while. Although they were a bit runnier than I would've liked, there were complex layers of flavor that complemented each tamale well. The real tamale expert (J-hop) said that she's had much better, but that these held plenty of merit.

The Steak Tamale

The Pork Tamale

The Chicken Tamale

The tamales themselves were pretty straightforward and simple, while the mole sauces kicked it up a little notch at Tamale Spaceship. For the price I think you get a fair amount of food. I'm not running to be the first in line on their next street corner stop, but they are better than plenty of lunch options around my campus. I prefer Hot Tamales and the guy that comes into bars in Wicker Park with his tamale push chart. I'm giving them 2.5 out of 5 Pearls.