By Megan Irwin
It's hard to see it underneath everything, but this is one of In Season Deli's famous tamales.
Somehow I managed to live in Tempe for seven years -- right down the street from In Season Deli for two of them -- and never know this place existed. Which is almost a tragedy as far as I’m concerned. Especially when I think of all the crappy places I ate in college, while In Season was hiding on Mill only a block from the student newspaper where I spent pretty much every second of my spare time.
I mourn the loss of hundreds (possibly thousands) of vegan tamales I will never eat.
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I love tamales. I would venture to say they are my favorite Mexican food. But for some reason, the green corn variety seems less common than its beefy counterpart. And finding a vegan one? Forget it. But now, after years of claiming to “love” burritos (when I really only moderately like them) for lack of anything else to eat, I have found my dream tamale. Better late than never, I guess.
In Season has been around for years, though it recently switched ownership, and this tamale recipe is old school. A friend of mine who grew up down the street from Mill says this place was famous for both its tamales and beans (sadly, those were missing from the menu when I visited.) I can see why.
It was tiny, but flavorful. The chili sauce was spicy, but not overly so. (Disclaimer: I have a wimpy tongue when it comes to hot spices… you might prefer yours hotter.) This place is hidden from the Mill Avenue main drag, so if you don’t know it’s there, you might not find it. Tip: it’s right behind the Cricket cell phone store.
In Season is possibly one of the last – if not the last – old Mill Ave. shops left. That alone is reason to give it your business, but the simple menu (and especially my beloved tamales) will make you glad you did.