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Pralines and Pushcarts

A six-part history of Tex-Mex

Even if they aren't exactly what they used to be, I am thankful I have had a chance to taste Berryhill's cornmeal tamales. I am also thankful that Loma Linda's original location still survives, even if few people like this style of Tex-Mex anymore. Tamale vendors and praline makers began the Mexican food tradition in Texas, and I'm glad there are still places where these memories are preserved. For me, these restaurants are more than a place to get a bite to eat; they are a chance to experience culinary history.

Get 'Em While They're Hot

Pralines became a Tex-Mex staple to cooks like Obidia Rodriguez because of the cheap ingredients.
Troy Fields
Pralines became a Tex-Mex staple to cooks like Obidia Rodriguez because of the cheap ingredients.

Details

(713)924-6074
2111 Telephone Road

Several American folk songs are based on the cries of tamale vendors, most notably bluesman Robert Johnson's "Hot Tamales," which includes the lyric "Hot tamales and they're red hot, yes she got 'em for sale!" Songs of other Texas tamale hawkers have been set down in musical notation by a folklorist named Elizabeth Hurley. A few of the pitches once heard on city streets in Texas: "Hot tamales, floatin' in gravy, suit your taste and I don't mean maybe." "Hot tamales, two to a shuck, one fell out, and the other one stuck." "Hot tamales and enchilollies, get 'em while they're hot!"

Berryhill Hot Tamales, 2639 Revere, (713)526-8080; and 1717 Post Oak, (713)871-TACO.

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