It’s opening day for Taco Tamal’s new space at 34 Ludlow St.
The great little place from chef Fernando Lopez relocated from Essex Street, just a few months after debuting on the Lower East Side. The expanded storefront offers a few seats at a counter, a sofa and a single table for bigger groups. Mostly, though, the Ludlow Street location, gives Lopez a little extra room to maneuver in the kitchen.
The restaurant specializes in homemade tamales ($2.50 per piece). The New York Times profiled Factory Tamal today:
Three and a half millenniums ago, the Mayans figured out the trick for turning hard dried corn into supple dough, soaking the kernels with wood ashes, burned lime or charred mollusk shells until they shed their hulls and grew soft and pliant. Only then were they ready to be ground into flour and made into the dough called masa, without which there would be no tortillas and tamales. Today, few Mexican restaurants in New York brave this time-intensive process, known as nixtamalization. Some buy fresh masa; others rely on Maseca, a brand of dehydrated nixtamal. But at Factory Tamal, a small, mostly takeout shop on the Lower East Side, Fernando Lopez is faithful to the ancient Mayan way.
We profiled Lopez earlier this year in our series, Lower east Side Voices,” which highlighted the stories of immigrants who have created new lives for themselves in this neighborhood. Factory Tamal is open from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.