Tommy Tamale serves up tamales in Coppell all year






Tommy Tamale dining options include the Tamale Plate ($6 for two, $8 for four), served with rice and beans; the Tommy Bowl ($7 one tamale, $9 two tamales), a beef chili, queso, pico and rice bowl with a choice of tamale; and quesadillas ($8 for one 12-inch, $12 for two),  which can include steak, tamale pork, chicken or beans and are served with sour cream, salsa and pico de gallo. (Photos by Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tommy Tamale dining options include the Tamale Plate ($6 for two, $8 for four), served with rice and beans; the Tommy Bowl ($7 one tamale, $9 two tamales), a beef chili, queso, pico and rice bowl with a choice of tamale; and quesadillas ($8 for one 12-inch, $12 for two), which can include steak, tamale pork, chicken or beans and are served with sour cream, salsa and pico de gallo. (Photos by Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Tommy Tamale dining options include the Tamale Plate ($6 for two, $8 for four), served with rice and beans; the Tommy Bowl ($7 one tamale, $9 two tamales), a beef chili, queso, pico and rice bowl with a choice of tamale; and quesadillas ($8 for one 12-inch, $12 for two), which can include steak, tamale pork, chicken or beans and are served with sour cream, salsa and pico de gallo. (Photos by Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Erich Mota began working with Tommy Tamale at its flagship Grapevine location three years ago. He now manages the Coppell location. (Photos by Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Tamale Plate ($6 for two, $8 for four) is served with rice and beans. Tamale options include pork, beef, chicken, habanero pork, hatch pork and black bean. (Photos by Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Tommy Tamale quesadillas ($8 for one 12-inch, $12 for two) can be made with steak, tamale pork, chicken or beans and are served with sour cream, salsa and pico de gallo. (Photos by Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Tommy Bowl ($7 one tamale, $9 two tamales) includes a choice of tamale with beef chili, queso, pico and rice. It is also covered in cheese. (Photos by Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
A restaurant that primarily sells tamales might seem like a risky business model to outsiders, general manager Erich Mota said, but that is part of what makes Tommy Tamale different.

“What makes Tommy Tamale very unique ... is that nobody does tamales every day,” Mota said.

Tamales are traditionally available only during the holidays or more sporadically throughout the year from mom-and-pop shops, he said. While the holidays are still the most popular time for tamales, Mota said, people who find them at Tommy Tamale tend to come back.

“We get so busy through the holidays that we have hundreds of new people come in,” Mota said. “That’s just another regular that comes in from here on out.”

The Coppell location was the restaurant’s first expansion from its original Grapevine storefront. After nearly two years of business, the Coppell tamale spot continues to gain recognition by taking part in Foodsby, a lunch ordering service, and by offering fresh takes on tamales.

Most of their sales come from their 16 varieties of tamales, including frozen beef, pork, chicken, veggie and dessert tamales, Mota said. Six of these varieties are kept hot and ready to eat at the restaurant.

“The favorite is going to be the tamales, right?” Mota said. “Then, we do our own twist of that: quesadillas with tamales in them, if they want, or a burrito with tamales crushed up inside.”

Mota joined the Tommy Tamale team after nine years of experience with a big chain restaurant. He began his employment with the tamale restaurant with a handshake rather than a contract.

“I really respected that,” Mota said.After managing in Grapevine, he became the general manager of the Coppell store.

Keeping Tommy Tamale a family business remains important for every location, Mota said.

“We’re family-owned and -operated,” Mota said. “I’ve got nieces and kids that work for me; the owners have their grandkids and kids that work for them. And that’s how we’re going to keep it.”

Tommy Tamale
680 N. Denton Tap Road, Ste. 350, Coppell

972-450-4940

www.tommytamale.com


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., closed Sun.
By Liesbeth Powers
Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano and Richardson, including Plano City Council and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


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