There are people who know how to make you feel comfortable in their home and then there are Mexicans. In my humble opinion, no one does it better than our neighbors to the South. In high school I taught the daughter of a local Mexican family English and they, in turn, invited me to their home for dinner on many occasions. They were always stuffing me full of food. Telling them I was full was no excuse. One time, my parents came over for dinner and my Dad ate 14 tamales. I will never forget hanging out in the living room of their house with their daughter while my parents and her parents laughed and chatted around the dinner table for more than an hour even though her parents spoke no English and my parents spoke no Spanish. When I miss that convivial spirit or just miss good tamales, I head to Las Palomas, a tiny Mexican grocery store on the Upper West Side. They sell tamales only on the weekend (for $1.50 each!), but last time I stopped in they had tacos too. In fact, a couple of people were eating them off plates in the store – it felt like I had been transported from the City to La Puebla. Las Palomas also sells some good Mexican groceries that can be hard to find elsewhere including tamale wrappers, cactus, espazote, and various peppers. In the true Mexican spirit, whether you speak English or Spanish you are always welcome here.
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