365 Things to Do in Memphis #222: Eat a Welding Shop Tamale

Posted by Holly Whitfield | August 9th 2012 4964 0

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:

DJ's Custom Welding, Memphis, Tenn.

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.

DJ's Customs tamales, Memphis, Tenn.

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.

Tamales from DJs, Memphis, Tenn.

DJ’s serves their homemade tamales every Friday and Saturday. Bring cash, because this isn’t the sort of place that takes plastic.

Go there:

DJ’s Custom Welding

2992 Summer Ave.
Memphis, TN 38112
901) 314-6029

Show Comments


  1. Evil says:

    Only in Memphis.

  2. Aubra says:

    So how did it taste? Worth it? 🙂

  3. Cheryl says:

    No way! We were thinking of trying these the other day! Have you been to Camino de Michoacana? 

  4. Matt says:

    and Mexico 🙂

  5. critter42 says:

    Isn't Summer one of the greatest streets in Memphis for finding things?

  6. lori jones says:

    And the Turkey Legs are to die for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've also got to say the BEST RIBS SO FAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Dewayne Johnson says:

    Thanks to everyone ( ALL) :-):-)"s  WE DON'T JUST WELD CRACKS WE ALSO SMOKE RACKS And the Homemade Hot Tamales are served everyday Monday thur Saturday and the grill food Friday & Saturday once again THANKS AND COME AGAIN

  8. Weezer says:

    I'm defienlty goin' there

  9. Joylynn says:

    Our family is taking a road trip from Michigan to Dallas. We plan on staying in Memphis for 2 nights to explore! Your blog is awesome and has given us some great ideas of fun things to do while we are there with our kids!  Keep up the GREAT work! 🙂

  10. Mike says:

    Has anyone tried hatties tamales I hear they are the best. In memphis I saw their mobile truck on Lamar 

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