My husband and I were recently returning from the small town of Wilson, Arkansas and decided to make a stop at this iconic Arkansas restaurant. The Tamale Factory was a place we had heard of often but never actually visited.
I’m SO glad that we decided to get a little off our route home and make a stop at the Tamale Factory!
We adore tamales! I have written about the tamales at Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales and now it was time to try the tamales at The Tamale Factory.
Where is The Tamale Factory?
The Tamale Factory has an address that says Augusta, Arkansas, but it is actually not in the town of Augusta. It is a few miles south of in what some might describe as the middle of nowhere.
I will say that our GPS had no problem finding it!
Address: 19751 Highway 33 South Augusta, Arkansas Phone: (870) 347-1350
Ambiance at The Tamale Factory
The restaurant is built into one side of a barn which is set on a gorgeous plot of family owned farm land. We pulled into the gravel parking lot about 20 minutes early and we were fully prepared to wait in the car until the 5:00 opening time.
However, someone spotted us and we were invited to “come on in and have a drink while you wait.” That sounded great to us!
It was fun to watch the pre-dinner preparations going on in the busy kitchen which has a window open to the dining area.
The Tamale Factory is one of those famous Arkansas restaurants that everyone in the state has heard about. I highly recommend that no matter where you are in the state you should make the effort to visit. It is worth the drive!
This is a unique and fun place.
Is it the Same As Doe’s
If it reminds you of Doe’s Eat Place there is good reason for that
The original Doe’s is located in Greenville, Mississippi. And there is also a Doe’s in Little Rock. Most people might not realize that the two restaurants are similar but not the same.
From what I understand, the owner of the Tamale Factory, George Eldridge, bought the rights to the name, Doe’s Eat Place, and started his own restaurant in Little Rock.
Originally he got his tamales from Greenville until the USDA shut that down.
Then he began sourcing his tamales from a tamale factory in Newport, Arkansas. When that closed down he started his own factory in Augusta and perfected his tamales!
Eventually he put the USDA-approved factory in a barn right next door to his Doe’s-like outpost, The Tamale Factory.
His daughter still owns Doe’s Eat Place in Arkansas.
Here is an interesting article from the Arkansas Times about the history of Doe’s Eat Place.
The Food at the Tamale Factory
We sat sipping our beers, perusing our menus and watching the action.
The cozy dining area filled up quickly with hungry, but happy people. There is a full bar and you also have several beers and a few wine selections to choose from.
The menu at The Tamale Factory is small and, duh, tamales are a must!
We ordered 6 tamales to share between the two of us. That was not enough, by the way.
The tamales are something special, y’all. These are classic Delta tamales made right there in the factory and served with a delicious homemade chili. The spices in the tamales are perfection. They are tasty and flavorful, but not too hot.
The tamales were excellent on their own and with the chili – it was a perfect combination!
Honestly, I’m getting hungry for them again just writing about them.
In addition to tamales the restaurant is, like Doe’s, known for their steaks.
We weren’t hungry enough for a steak, but we could see them coming steaming and juicy from the kitchen and, wow, they looked amazing!
We will be going back for a steak. I’ve also heard that their hamburgers are excellent and a good hamburger might be my favorite thing ever.
We ordered a half dozen broiled shrimp to share along with our tamales. You could also select fried shrimp if that is your preference.
The entrees all come with a small soaked salad, french fries, and Texas toast.
The broiled shrimp was very good and smothered in a garlic butter that just begged to have the Texas toast dipped into it.
Perhaps you can tell that we liked everything from the state of our plates when we were finished. I highly recommend this restaurant. It is definitely worth the drive from…well…almost anywhere!
The Tamale Factory is only open on Friday and Saturday from 5:00 to 10:00.
They do recommend that you make reservations for parties larger than 6 and I can see that this would be a good idea as the place filled pretty quickly.
This is a restaurant that is both casual and a spot for a special occasion. It is simple perfection!
Thanks for stopping by!