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[Photos: Sara Markel-Gonzalez]

I have finally found my favorite tamales. And they aren't sold by a lovable lady who fishes the steaming corn packets out of a huge aluminum pot in a grocery cart on a street corner. Not that I have anything against the wandering carts—but they can sometimes be hard to track down, and often the quality can be hit or miss.

No, these tamales are sold in a storefront, a tiny taco shop on Corona Avenue, and I have been ordering them week after week on Sundays. Taqueria La Casa Del Idolo, best known for their taco trucks in Manhattan and Queens, has my favorite tamales, and here's why. The masa is tender and soft, with a sweet and earthy corn flavor, steamed just enough to be fully cooked, no more. Of the two kinds that I've tried, rojo and verde (the rajas and dulce are always sold out by the time I get there), the green tomatillo salsa is spicy and the red is mild, and they are both overstuffed with shredded chicken—incredibly tender, and far more plentiful than you imagine would fit into such a small package.

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I have not been let down by these tamales; they're consistently delicious, and without question the best I have found in Queens. And at $1.00 each, a bargain.

Where do you get your favorite tamales?

Taqueria La Casa Del Idolo

91-07 Corona Avenue, Corona NY 11373 (map)
718-271-0384

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