After our overnight stay in an Airbnb in the small, quaint, town of Wilson, Arkansas. My husband and I headed out into the farmland of Arkansas for a visit to the boyhood home of Johnny Cash. Despite our large breakfast at the Wilson Cafe it was now late afternoon and we were getting hungry so we decided to continue our mini-vacation with a backroads drive to try out a restaurant that we had often heard about but had never eaten 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. 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!
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 before opening time and we were fully prepared to wait in the car until the 5:00 opening time. However, 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 restaurant that those of us who live in the “big city” of Little Rock have often heard about from other food loving people. Even though they do very little advertising the word of mouth has definitely spread. When hanging out with friends someone will say, “Let’s all go out to the Tamale Factory one weekend!” However, we are more likely to go to Doe’s instead. You see, Doe’s Eat Place and The Tamale Factory are both owned by the same family and have similar menus but Doe’s is located in Little Rock.
However, I highly recommend that the Little Rock crowd to make a visit to The Tamale Factory in addition to Doe’s! It is worth the drive! This is a unique and fun place.
The original Doe’s is located in Greenville, Mississippi. Most people might not realize that the two restaurants are similar but not the same. Mr Eldridge bought the rights to the name to start his own restaurant in Little Rock back in 1988. Although he originally got his tamales from Greenville, he eventually began to sourcing them from a tamale factory in Newport, Arkansas all the while improving the recipe. When that closed down he started his own factory and perfected his tamales!
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. 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. You could choose to add hot sauce as well, but we thought the chili and the tamales together provided just the right amount of spice. 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!