Once again, the Memphis food law of averages has been proven: the best food comes from some of the sketchiest-looking places. For example, welding shop tamales.
Assignment #222 in the 365 Things to Do in Memphis is to stop and get some tamales from this place:
I've seen the signs at DJ's Custom Welding and Designs advertising tamales for a few years, but I hadn't worked up the nerve to stop until today. It's a welding shop, not a restaurant. For years, they had "Let us weld your cracks!" stenciled onto their building. There never seems to be anyone there, and despite having a ridiculous number of grills outside, they almost never seem to be making tamales.
But today, they were.
There was a little stand set up right next to the sidewalk that had a menu advertising ribs, pork sandwiches, party wings (more fun that regular wings, obviously), turkey legs and tamales. A friendly woman took my order and sent me into the building to "pay the man".
The man was an equally friendly guy who was kicked back behind a desk, waiting to take my $2 (because that's how much two tamales cost at DJ's). By the time I came outside, the woman was handing me two thin, foil-wrapped tubes nestled in a paper tray with napkins and a fork.
They were too hot to unwrap immediately, so I drove home to eat them on my porch. They were still too hot to unwrap, but I'm impatient, so I tore into the foil with the plastic fork. It was a messy process.
The tamales were tubes of spicy ground meat and beans combination (at least, that's what I think I was eating) wrapped in a corn-based sleeve. They were a little mushy, so you'll either need to use a fork, or peel the wrapper back a little bit at a time.
DJ's serves their homemade tamales every Friday and Saturday. Bring cash, because this isn't the sort of place that takes plastic.
2992 Summer Ave.
Memphis, TN 38112