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Tamales, a favorite food of the Christmas season, are readily available locally

Addie Broyles

I need to order tamales for Christmas. Do you have any suggestions on who makes good tamales?

- Patty Guerra, Austin

Oh, tamales. Possibly my favorite holiday food that I never knew was a holiday food until I moved to Texas.

I buy about eight dozen from Chumikals Cafe, which runs the food service inside the Statesman, so I can squirrel them away in the freezer and eat them all year-round. (The East Austin location of Chumikals, 3223 E. Seventh St., 386-8840, also sell tamales by the dozen.)

Many, many Mexican restaurants in Austin sell tamales right now, but some of the perennial favorites include Santa Rita (288-5100, 5900 W. Slaughter Lane, 419-7482,1206 W. 38th St., Izzoz Tacos (916-4996, 1503 S. First St., Gardener's Feast (512-278-1775. 100 E. Parsons St. in Manor or at almost all the area farmers markets,, Guero's Taco Bar (447-7688, 1412 S. Congress Ave., El Meson (442-4441, 5808 Burleson Road, 2038 S. Lamar Blvd., La Mexicana Bakery (443-6369. 1924 S. First St. and Curra's Grill (444-0012, 614 E. Oltorf St.,, For vegetarian options, try Mr. Natural (477-5228, 1901 E. Cesar Chavez St., 2414 S. Lamar Blvd.,

Some places will stop taking orders this week, but if you wait until the last minute, try tamales delivery company Tamales Leo (297-9619,, which are made and also available at Pablito's Bakery, 1015 E. Braker Lane. Tamales Leo is offering delivery on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Correction: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect phone number for Santa Rita. The correct phone numbers are 288-5100 for the 5900 W. Slaughter Lane location and 419-7482 for the 1206 W. 38th St. location.