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The jalapeno cheeseburger at Tamale's in Hastings isn't much to look at, but it tastes good. That much is for sure.

Week No. 14 • Tamale's

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Hastings,Minnesota 55033
Hastings Star Gazette
651-437-5911 customer support
Week No. 14 • Tamale's
Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

For a Mexican restaurant, Tamale's in Hastings sure serves good American food. They played host to a group of four Star Gazetters on Friday.


While my co-workers indulged on chimichangas, rellenos and a tamale, I was the weirdo who ordered a cheeseburger.

But you know what? It was really good. The bun was soft, the burger thick and the cheese and jalapenos were just right.

The burger's appearance didn't blow me away. Why would it, I thought? What would a Mexican restaurant know about serving up good burgers?

Well, somebody there knows something about burgers. That much was apparent.

Don't expect a wide selection of burgers. There are only four: the hamburger, the cheeseburger, the jalapeno cheeseburger and a California burger. But feel free to get creative. Grab the salsa and dip your burger in it. Get a side of queso and slather that on your burger. How can you go wrong?

Don't like burgers?

If burgers aren't your thing, you'll have plenty of options at Tamale's.

There are fajitas, fajita burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas and tamales. There are taco salads, fajita salads and dinner salads.

For kids, there are six options, all of which come with rice or beans and a dessert. The options include a taco, a burrito, an enchilada, a cheese quesadilla, a corn dog or chicken nuggets. They are priced between $5.75 and $6.05.

What Christina says

Regina Medical Center dietician Christina Gapp looked over Tamale's menu and had this to say about healthful options there:

"If you are like me, you probably reach first for the tortilla chips and salsa. Eat as much salsa as you like, but only place a handful of chips on your plate (or napkin) and eat no more chips. Enjoy the guacamole just to taste a bit. Healthy fats or not, it's still loaded with fat and calories. Likewise with cheese: rich in protein and calcium yet laden with saturated fat, eat 3 bites.

• Beans, beans -- these gems are excellent in fiber, carbohydrate (the good kind), protein, vitamins, and minerals, and low calorie. If refried beans are your delight, buy the fat-free version in the grocery store and check the nutritional content for restaurant fare. Protein helps us feel satisfied.

• Choose dishes that have plenty of fresh veggies, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa, like a tostada and a taco. Ask for low-fat sour cream and if unavailable, use sour cream sparingly. Choose corn and whole-wheat tortillas over flour tortillas because they have fewer calories, less fat, and more fiber. Six-inch tortillas will help you keep your calorie intake under control. Mexican rice is often made with tomatoes and very little, if any, fat. Soup and half a taco salad are excellent, especially if you have a cold this time of year."

As always, if you have ideas, comments or suggestions about this piece, please let me know. My phone number is 651-437-6153 and my e-mail address is crichardson@hastings

Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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