The state of Mississippi tends to get all the press when it comes to tamales but Arkansas also has a couple of standout joints. Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales and Pies in Lake Village, Arkansas is the most well known and, in our opinion, the best.
Rhoda’s is located in a small building just off the main highway that goes through the town which curves along the shores of Lake Chicot.
Lake Chicot is the longest oxbow lake in North America, one of many formed by the ever changing course of the Mississippi River.
Rhoda’s serves a mix of soul food and southern home cooking as well as tamales. Just try as many different items as your appetite can handle. I promise you won’t be sorry that you did.
NOTE: I was saddened to hear that Ms Rhoda passed away in August of 2023. She was 85. These are quotes from this article from her children:
“She cooked her food with love,” said Adams’ son, James Adams III.
“And my Momma loved people. She loved everybody,” added her daughter, Dorothy Adams Mitchell. “She loved her customers.”Arkansas Democrat Gazette
What a legacy!
Miss Rhoda used to almost always be at the restaurant. – she was there every time I’ve ever visited!
Her daughter, who was already doing most of the cooking the last time I was there, plans to keep the restaurant and her mother’s legacy going.
I know she will do an amazing job as she is also a lovely, gracious, and welcoming woman who seemed to have her mother’s recipes down perfectly.
The weather was cold and the skies were grey on last visit to Rhoda’s. However, the small restaurant was warm and cozy and the air was infused by the smells of great home cooking.
Rhoda was sitting in a comfortable chair covered in a blanket in front of a space heater. She told me that her knees were giving her troubles and we discussed whether or not she might eventually have a knee replacement.
She told stories about how she had been selling tamales for 60 some years and used to go all up and down the road selling her tamales.
It sounded like her children were still having a hard time convincing Miss Rhoda to slow down and take a rest.
But let’s talk about the food.
It’s not just the tamales – although they are a must – but you should also have some vegetables and some cornbread. I’ve heard that the burgers are absolutely delicious as well although I haven’t tried one myself.
Then there is the pie. You must have some pie. I ate mine too quickly to take a photo! Seriously. Just have the pie. A visit to Rhoda’s is no time to try to cut calories.
Try the sweet potato pie or the pecan or a specialty of the house which is both baked into one pie.
But the tamales were how Rhoda got her start in the restaurant business and so no matter what else you try, tamales must be a part of your meal. Get a dozen and dig in to their messy perfection.
Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales and Pies is a cash only establishment and is open every day except Sunday. Check the hours as they vary from day to day. They are on Facebook here.
Thanks for stopping by!