Portable, flavorful and economic I am really all about the tamale. To find vegan versions here in Sacramento a few months ago would have been a losing task. We make them from time to time, and despite what you have heard to the contrary, they really are not hard to make. However, just like any other thing when you get down to it, they are exponentially better when someone else makes one for you!
Not TOO far from us out on the corner of Elder Creek Rd and Power Inn in an industrial complex you will find Emma's. Seeing the food cart outside we weren't sure if there was indoor seating or if we were going to have to grab-and-go (which we were happy to do trust me). Turns out there is a picnic table tucked inside where you can grub down (which we did but plan to take to-go just in case it's occupied). The menu is clearly labeled (V) for vegan. Out of 11 tamales, 4 are (V) which I find to be a good ratio. The gal working there was super friendly and knowledgeable. We chatted about different pepper heats and the home-made seitan and veggie chorizo in the cold case. You can buy 4 packs of pre-cooked tamales for under $8, too. For later on when you will be hankering for another taste!
Since Shawn is GF, he had the chipotle tofu w/veggies.
I had the mother earth's original (mmmm gluten and peanut butter!)...
and the girls tried the sweet tamale with raisins and shredded coconut.
Needless to say everyone was happy with their selections. Mine was mild, "meaty" with a great tasting masa. Everything is house-made, organic...and delicious. Shawn's had big flavorful cubes of tofu and grilled veggies. But the big hit was the girls sweet tamale. What a delicious combo! There is another desert tamale on the menu, pumpkin, which sounds heavenly, but it is not vegan. Please ask every time you go in for them to veganize that recipe! I would eat them by the bushel, and I think you would too. In fact I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the change of seasons than with sweet pumpkin and coconut tamales.
We give them a enthusiastic 5 tomatoes out of 5. I can't seem to fault anything about a fast, scrumptious and vegan hand food. It's nothing fancy...and if you don't like food cart food I feel for ya, man. You should get over it and go grab some tamales this week. (If you are down town, they do have a cart during the week...check the website for info on that, or give them a call for details!)
8101 Elder Creek Rd. unit P, Sacramento CA 95820