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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Counter service

Mon–Sat 9:30am–8:30pm
Sun 9:30am–3:00pm

Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC


West Houston
8607 Long Point Rd.
(713) 461-5683

Bellaire Chinatown
8331 Beechnut St.
Houston, TX
(713) 270-8501

Southeast Houston
9335 Gulf Fwy.
Houston, TX
(713) 947-0153

Doña Tere
Best tamales in town—better, fresh from the steamer

Some claim Alamo has the best tamales, but we find them a little dense and underwhelming. Doña Tere’s are the finest we’ve had in town, especially when they’re just out of the steamer. They have a creamy texture that melds with the filling to produce a gooiness close to godliness. Wait too long, and the effect goes away, leaving you with, still, one of the best things of its kind in Houston.

There are about a dozen varieties, including a few sweet tamales. Versions with green sauce tend to be hotter than red, and have a creeping chile flavor that lingers long after they’re gone. A green chile pork tamal is earthy and sweet, hot and tart; cheese and jalapeño tamales are kind of a waste of time. We’ve had quasi-religious experiences with just-steamed tamales oaxaqueños with chicken and complex, smoky red chile sauce running through it like a vein (oaxaqueños are larger and fluffier, and steamed in banana leaves).

The dining rooms aren’t much to look at; take-out is the preferred option for most customers, and tamales sell out fast. Breakfast is pretty underwhelming, and you can’t really order any until around 10am. To drink, try atole, a cornstarch-based hot beverage that’s traditionally paired with tamales, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, and then your choice of fruit or chocolate.

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