City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Tamales in Smyrna


A while ago, a reader emailed be about a food stall in Smyrna called Noemi’s. It operates every Wednesday, from 4-8 p.m., in the Cumberland United Methodist Church parking lot alongside a couple of other proprietors selling handmade crafts. Noemi’s sell pre-made tamales from its parent Kennesaw restaurant — Noemi’s Cocina.


The tamales are kept warm in coolers and cost between $2.50 to $3.50 per tamale. (They are slightly discounted if you buy them in bulk.) The stall is cash-only and the tamales are bagged and then tagged with description labels inclusive with a full list of a tamale’s ingredients.

I purchased a pork, beef and chicken tamale — all with cheese and salsa verde — and hurried home to dig in. Overall, I had to heavily salt these to draw out their anonymous flavors. I did get these at the tail end of the day so I’m wondering if time was a factor.

Have any of you all tried these? What do you think?

- by Gene Lee, Food and More blog

18 comments Add your comment


August 16th, 2011
1:45 pm

I tried 4 different types. The only one that I liked and would buy again was the beef. The others were very bland. I think the beef was brisket.

jack trent

August 16th, 2011
1:54 pm

do they have a business license to operate??


August 16th, 2011
5:42 pm

Whoa. I was all over this until I saw “$2.50 to $3.50.” I realize Smyrna, GA is not Mexico (or even Turkey), but in Mexico I was buying tamales out of such a cooler for fifty US cents.


August 16th, 2011
6:20 pm

I like the pork, but I had it with her sauce and that’s what makes it special.


August 16th, 2011
8:04 pm

Totally off topic, but can someone ask Bob Townsend if he actually tasted the food at LeRoy’s Fried Chicken? If so, how was it?

Just curious.


August 16th, 2011
8:44 pm

Photo looks good but I’d be worried about temperature fluctuations and food-borne illness as a result… Also, not a cheap tamal at all for that price.

Sk8ing Momma

August 16th, 2011
9:05 pm

BTDT…They’re yummy! :)


August 16th, 2011
9:06 pm

Not sure about the tamales but Cumberland is a great church!


August 17th, 2011
12:48 am

If they have a brick and mortar restaurant, they probably have a license.

george milton

August 17th, 2011
12:57 am

“until I saw “$2.50 to $3.50.” I realize Smyrna, GA is not Mexico …but in Mexico … tamales out of such a cooler for fifty US cents”

Clearly you’ve never made tamales. They usually come out best with Pork but beef or chicken can be very good if the chicken is shredded perfectly. Making tamales takes many hours if they are done right. They can be made cheaply with a ton of lard like Mexican style or with margarine which makes them healthier and more expensive. Mexicans usually make them with cheapest $2 pork and while they can be made very good with cheap ingredients and sold for what is usually $2 for a good one 2.5 – 3.5 dollars sounds very fair to me. I make homemade ones for my family and would never sell them simply because it is too much work to give them away at any price.

carla roqs

August 17th, 2011
8:32 am

what is BDTD?


August 17th, 2011
8:41 am

@M.Johnson —

Yes. I ordered and tasted LeRoy’s food twice. But First Look is just that — an overview feature and not a review. It runs in print in the Wed. Living section. Look for Jenny (I think) to follow-up with a formal starred review in due time.

To answer your question — I appreciated the quality of the ingredients and cooking, and generally thought some of the early criticisms were a tad overwrought. The place is new, being tweaked, and should get better.

— B.T.

carla roqs

August 17th, 2011
9:04 am

i thought someone else already reviewed that place. i remember comments being made regarding the name of the place as well as the taste/non taste of the chicken and sides. i did wonder as well, though if townsend had tasted the food. nice response.

Jo Daddy's Golf Course

August 17th, 2011
9:45 am

I’ve had ‘em…they’re ok…kind of expensive – and the cat selling them is a little creepy…

M. Johnson

August 17th, 2011
10:21 am

Thanks Bob. I’ve been there one time, read several reviews and was just curious about your take.

Wondering if it’s a fad or she’s here to stay, even with the high prices. Winter will be interesting.


August 17th, 2011
9:04 pm

Great Tamales and very large!!! Same amount of meat as masa. Eat them all the time, Best in the Atlanta area by far.


August 18th, 2011
11:07 am

Love her tamales! Been following her for about a year now and can’t wait to get the next one. My favorite is the brisket cilantro!


August 18th, 2011
5:59 pm

These tamales are great! Anything but flavorless in my opinion, and not the “cheap” tamales you will find at most Mexican restaurants. Noemi’s makes everything fresh, and uses quality ingredients. The tamales are always literally too hot to handle-no worries about temperature control, and they have their health inspector sign clearly posted at all times- 100 A is the score! I frequent the stall at the Little Five Points Farmer’s Market shopping center in Chamblee. Had never had a tamale before, and decided to stop by one day last year and the rest is history. Brian manages the stall. He is always personable and friendly, and is quick to offer advice on new flavor combinations. I’ve tried most of the combinations and my favorite is the pork, ancho chile peppers, onion, and cheese. Yes, they are a little pricey, but you get what you pay for. Stop by, you won’t be disappointed!