LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan - Originating from the ancient Mayans, tamales is a dish many Mexican restaurants shy away from because of its time-intensive process.
However, cook Fernando Lopez of Factory Tamal on the Lower East Side, is faithful to his roots. His small restaurant specializes in tamales.
While many restaurants opt to purchase fresh tamale dough, the Mexican native prepares his own masa through nixtamalization - this is all done by hand to keep the flavors consistent.
When the masa is created, flavors such as mole poblano, chipotle, salsa verde, rajas con queso or bacon and cheese are spread onto the tamales and topped with strips of chicken.
Finally, Lopez wraps the tamales in corn husks and they're ready to eat - all this for a mere $2.50! Buen provecho (enjoy your meal)!
You can find Factory Tamal at 34 Ludlow St. Be warned they do run out so get there early.