Family carries on founder’s legacy at Cy-Fair restaurant Balderas Tamale Factory

Mexican plate ($8.99) Includes one tamale and one enchilada with choice of beef, pork or chicken as well as one crispy taco, rice and beans

Mexican plate ($8.99) Includes one tamale and one enchilada with choice of beef, pork or chicken as well as one crispy taco, rice and beans

Image description
Balderas Tamale Factory
Image description
Balderas Tamale Factory
Image description
Balderas Tamale Factory
For many Mexican families, tamales are a popular finger food and a staple around the holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the Balderas family, they are a way of life.

Michael Balderas has been running Balderas Tamale Factory on Jones Road in Cy-Fair with his wife Juany and two daughters Alyssa and Arianna since 2011, but the restaurant’s history goes back much further than that.

The restaurant was founded by family patriarch Dan Balderas in 1998 in Round Rock before being relocated to the Houston area in the early 2000s. However, the family tradition of making and selling tamales to locals dates back even more, Juany said.

“We started by cooking our own tamales and selling them on the streets in Round Rock,” she said. “We did that for about a year, selling them to workers at machine shops and tire shops. They were so popular, [Dan] gave us the recipes to make them here in Houston."

As its name suggests, Balderas Tamale Factory specializes in tamales, with cooks making anywhere from 150-200 per day just during the off season. However, the restaurant also sells other Mexican dishes, including tacos, enchiladas and carne guisada, which typically come as a part of various platters served with rice and beans.

Dan first developed his recipe for tamales in 1967 with inspiration from his aunt. Although he tried to get his aunt to divulge the secrets of her recipe, she refused, leaving Dan to figure out what ingredients and spices to use on his own, his granddaughter Alyssa said.

“My grandfather was the root of what started our passion for tamale making,” she said. “We love what we do and, best of all, we can do it as a family.”

There is no right or wrong way to make a tamale, Alyssa said, but Dan’s recipe has garnered a large fan base over time. The restaurant, which has a 99-person occupancy, fills up around the holiday seasons, and lines can extend out the door during peak hours.

Juany attributes the restaurant’s popularity with its customers to the use of fresh ingredients.

“We take care of our ingredients,” she said. “Our chefs come in at 5 a.m. to cook the tamales fresh each morning. We don’t even order our ingredients in bulk. We get a little at a time to make sure they are as fresh as can be.”

Dan recently passed away Nov. 22 at 86 years old. His family said they will miss the late restaurateur but will continue to run Balderas with the principles he helped instill over the years.

“The most important things [my father] taught us were quality and consistency,” Alyssa said. “If you are consistent with the quality of the food, your customers will keep coming back to you.”




Balderas Tamale Factory
12139 Jones Road, Houston
281-970-6807
www.facebook.com/balderastamalefactory
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


MOST RECENT

Texas-wide public charter school system Harmony Public Schools will offer a full virtual learning option for eligible students. (Courtesy Harmony Public Schools)
Harmony Public Schools will offer virtual learning for K-12 students in Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress

Schools under the Harmony Public Schools umbrella may offer up to 10% of its student body a full virtual learning option.

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to install medians along 5.8 miles of FM 1092 from Hwy. 59 to Hwy. 6 in Missouri City. (Courtesy Fotolia)
As FM 1092 median project goes out to bid, some Missouri City Council Members still object

Construction on the project to install medians on FM 1092—also known as Murphy Road—is expected to begin in the winter and last for seven months, according to officials with TxDOT.

Q&A: Get to know Bobby Warren, Jersey Village’s newest mayor

Bobby Warren was elected mayor of Jersey Village in May. Check out our Q&A to see what he's been up to and what his priorities are moving forward.

Lambeau's Sports Bar & Grill is now open. (Courtesy Lambeau's Sports Bar & Grill)
Lambeau’s Sports Bar & Grill holds soft opening on Louetta Road

During the soft opening, the eatery will offer full bar service and a limited version of its food menu.

At the Sept. 14 Harris County Commissioners Court meeting, County Administrator David Berry, top left, presents proposed tax rates to commissioners Jack Cagle and Tom Ramsey, Judge Lina Hidalgo, and commissioners Adrian Garcia and Rodney Ellis. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County commissioners propose lower tax rates with split vote

While the proposed tax rate is lower than the current rate, tax payers may actually end up paying more since the values of homes statewide increased this year, according to County Administrator David Berry.

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough tours the COVID-19 antibody infusion center that opened Aug. 16.
(Courtesy Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough on Facebook)
Federal policy change reduces COVID-19 antibody treatment drugs coming to Montgomery County infusion center

A change in how the federal government distributes the monoclonal antibody treatment means a change for regional antibody centers administering treatments.

Water Tree Cypress One opened in July. (Courtesy Water Tree Cypress One)
Water Tree Cypress One now open in Cy-Fair

The business provides pure alkaline water through filtration systems, solutions, refills and portable options.

Prim Beauty Supply opened Aug. 28. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Prim Beauty Supply now open in Cy-Fair

The Black-owned business offers products for all hair and skin types.

About 62% of Harris County residents ages 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County commissioners terminate $11 million Elevate Strategies vaccine outreach contract

“There’s absolutely nothing done here that was in any way deviating from the most adequate protocols, and what is sad … [is] that the COVID response is being politicized." -Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo

Shelters around Houston opened to help those affected by Hurricane Nicholas on Sept. 14. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Shelters open to aid those affected by Hurricane Nicholas

Shelters have been opened by the American Red Cross to help those in need following the storm.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said there are currently no reported injuries or fatalities from Tropical Storm Nicholas. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook)
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo encourages residents to stay off roads, reports no fatalities due to Tropical Storm Nicholas

Hidalgo also said she expects all Harris County COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites to be open Sept. 15.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County on Sept. 14 resumed limited services. (Courtesy Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)
METRO operating on limited service in aftermath of Hurricane Nicholas

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County on Sept. 14 resumed limited services.