Wednesday, April 17, 2013

North Memphis - Jock's Hot Tamales

Last Friday I ended up trying some good Delta-style tamales that fate put in my path. That morning I cleared a bunch of scrap metal out of my garage and drove it up to the Mid-Town Auto Parts and Salvage yard at Chelsea and Evergreen.  Despite the junkyard's name and its proximity to Midtown it is in an area any Memphian would refer to as North Memphis. 

It's located north of Northside High School and the North Memphis Library. The location of the old Firestone plant is due west of it and the intersection of Chelsea and Hyde Park is due east. That is about as North Memphis as it gets.

For those of you who have never sold scrap metal, there are several salvage yards along Chelsea that buy it. You turn in your copper, brass, aluminium and stainless steel at a relatively small scale near the entrance at Mid-Town. You turn in steel and cast iron further back in an area where you drive across a giant scale, unload, then drive back across and get paid based on how much less your vehicle weighs. You show your license and get thumb printed at both locations. I had a few pieces of brass and copper and a pretty good bit of steel. I got $23.62 for my brass and copper and $4 for my steel. There is a reason thieves target brass and copper.

After I left the scrap yard I was driving down Chelsea when I noticed a van parked at the corner of Chelsea and Thomas advertising "Hot Tamale Man," "Jock's Hot Tamales" and "The Best Hot Tamales in Town." It had flashing lights on the roof alongside speakers that were blasting soul music. there was no way I could pass an opportunity like that up.

The price ended up being $5.50 for a half-dozen tamales. They were good and spicy without being overly greasy and I had to force myself to stop eating after four of them. The final two made a great afternoon snack a few hours later.

Delta-style tamales can be delicious but they aren't very photogenic since they inevitably just look like cornmeal mush wrapped in wax paper. But the ones from the Jock's Hot Tamales van deliver on taste.


  1. Did you really eat four of them? A half dozen of a delicious Mexican dish? You're a monster:) So funny! Just keep in mind that english editing service - reduce their regular prices!


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