If you read that you are going to be driving in the general vicinity of a place called Fat Mama’s Tamales that is the home of the Knock-You-Naked margarita there isn’t a lot of debate about whether or not you will stop. You just do.
When we arrived in Natchez, Mississippi at the end of our drive along the Natchez Trace Parkway we were looking forward to some lunch and a tour of some antebellum homes. It was scorching hot outside with the thermometer in the truck staying consistently over 100 degrees. This made lunch extra appealing, with cold beverages and air conditioning seeming like the best plan possible. We knew we had found the right place when we saw the bathtubs…
Inside we found cheerful yellow walls, bright, fiesta-like decor and even whimsically painted toilets in the bathrooms. Fat Mama’s has no wait staff so you have to order at the counter, pay at the counter and then come and pick up your food when it’s ready. Not a big deal since the dining room is spacious, but not huge. We decided to try the tamales, of course, the Gringo Pie – listed as Fat Mama’s Favorite in the menu – and the knock-you-naked margaritas. We added on some chocolate chip pretzel cookies after we ate.
The margaritas came out first. I was pleasantly surprised to find no overly strong tequila taste coming from my glass, just a nice tart margarita. I probably should’ve known better considering they are called knock-you-naked. I slurped through the second half pretty quickly and paid for it with a seriously upset stomach for about 30 minutes in the car. Too much tequila too fast is my guess. Fat Mama’s sells cute little bottles of the margarita mix that you can pick up for mixing at home. We saw them some other places around Natchez for about $1 more so make sure you go to the source if you want to save some money.If you don’t want a margarita but enjoy a good draft beer, try the Southern Pecan. It’s a very nice nut brown ale type beer, good flavor and only a touch of bitterness at the finish.
The Gringo Pie came out first – three tamales topped with chili, cheese, onions and jalepenos. It was okay. I think, by visiting Solly’s Hot Tamales first we may have spoiled ourselves for any other tamales. It was certainly not bad by any means. Mr. Taco Traveler and I finished it off with no problem. It just wasn’t anything truly remarkable.
Tamales came out next. The first thing I thought when I took a bite was, “Oh, they obviously use masa flour.” There is a distinct flavor to masa flour and it completely permeates every bite of Fat Mama’s tamales. If you love that flavor you will really love these tamales. Unfortunately, it is not a flavor that I love so I was a little turned off. The texture was a little softer than other tamales we tried and they had a little less sauce clinging to them. Mr. Taco Traveler enjoyed them but we both agreed the tamales were disappointingly average.
The chocolate chip pretzel cookies at the end were good, though not “to-die for” as was suggested to us. Maybe we’re just food snobs?
With that said, I would still say it is worth a trip to Fat Mama’s if you are in the Natchez area because people will ask if you’ve been there if they know anything about Natchez. And you can get great knock-you-naked T-shirts and stickers that make for fun vacation souvenirs.
Fat Mama’s Tamales, 303 South Canal St. Natchez, Mississippi earns 3.5 tacos out of 5 – 1 taco for good atmosphere, 1 taco for the food and 1.5 tacos for the margaritas. If you’re in Natchez, make sure you go get knocked-naked (I keep wanting to type knocked knaked) at Fat Mama’s. You’ll have fun.
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