Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tamales At R&R Taqueria -- Another Simple Wonder From The Gas Station Taco Joint

Tamales from R&R
R&R Taqueira continues to surprise me -- years after I became an early thump in the drumbeat that took them to the Washington Post and the Food Network.

You can go for the frisson of eating in gas station on U.S. 1 at Rte 175.  But you should really drive to Jessup because they serve incredibly flavorful food up and down their menu.

I have raved about tacos, but I noticed tamales on my last visit.  Tamales are a benchmark dish for Mrs. HowChow who imprinted on rich vegetarian versions in a Los Angeles farmers market.  It's always a big deal when she thinks any tamales approach that grade.

Easy takeout. Heat at home.
I thought R&R's tamales were delicious, and they're a spectacular lunch or takeout at just $2 each.  For $2, you get a half-sandwich-sized block of steamed corn with filling.  I ordered chicken.  Then you get some red sauce to pour on top with R&R's signature mix of fresh ingredients and deep flavor.  Spicy and acid tomatoes contrasts with the smooth, slightly sweet corn.

These will make a perfectly fine lunch.  But I actually recommend them as takeout.  Your taco is best eaten right away, either on one of the R&R stools or in the front seat of your car.  But you buy the tamales straight from the refrigerator.  Tell them that you don't want them reheated.  Then microwave them yourself.  They'll last several days in your fridge, and three tamales and the sauce made lunch for two.

I can't recommend R&R's enough.  It has been more than five years since Alberto Flores turned me on to the Mexican takeout in the Shell gas station.  I've eaten breakfast.  I have eaten fish.  I have burned my tongue on lamb soup and on cochinita pibil.  I have cooled my mouth with agua frescas and horchata.  Check out all my R&R posts, and go see how much fun you can have for $10.


Marcia said...

You are right about the tacos, they do need to be eaten right away or they quickly become flabby and tasteless. I am a huge tamale fan, and love your idea of just getting them cold & heating at home. Will be checking them out.

Lynn Mann said...

Based on HowChow's enthusiastic review we went to R&R for lunch today and I ordered 2 tamales, 1 chicken and 1 pork. I was so disappointed. The wrapping was flabby and completely tasteless and there was essentially no filling. After eating 1/2 of my first tamale, and finding nothing inside, I cut the 2nd one open, to see that it, too, had almost no filing. I found 1 strand of tasteless chicken in the entire tamale. I ended up eating part of my husband's burrito, which was huge and very tasty.