Homemade tamales are coming to downtown Lawrence — including vegan and vegetarian options.
Mama’s Tamale Shop is a new restaurant hoping to bring a wide variety of tamales, street tacos and empanadas with an artistic flair to downtown. The shop will have its grand opening Sept. 16 at 602 W. Ninth St.
Angelina Cruz, the owner of Mama’s Tamale Shop along with her husband Maximo, want their new restaurant to bring something different to the people of Lawrence that they don’t typically see or experience. Cruz used to be one of the owners of Burrito King, but decided to branch off to pursue her passion of creating homemade tamales.
“Owning Burrito King limits me to what I can do, and I have more to offer to Lawrence,” Cruz said. “Things like freshness and authenticity and bringing something different that Lawrence doesn’t have but will enjoy.”
Cilantro, corn husks, squash, zucchini, tomato, onion, and garlic are just a few of the fresh ingredients Mama’s Tamale Shop will sell.
“For me, this is something I specialize in, so I take pride in the art of the empanada and the tamale,” Cruz said.
Cruz said she is excited to offer vegan and vegetarian options as well in her new restaurant. One vegetarian option on the menu is the Southwest Tamale that contains black beans, red onion, corn, cilantro and queso fresco, which are then wrapped in the traditional cornmeal dough and corn husk.
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Mama’s Tamale Shop goes beyond just the food — there is a special dedication to Maximo’s mother as it pays remembrance to her life. According to Cruz, the restaurant’s logo was designed using a few old pictures Maximo still had of his mother.
“Without her, this all wouldn’t be possible,” Cruz said.
Mama’s Tamale Shop will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and for dessert daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.