It all started in 1928 with Walter Berryhill, his bicycle and his personal recipe for homemade tamales.
For years, Berryhill sold his tamales from a pushcart on the street corners of Houston's posh River Oaks area. When he retired in the 1960s, Berryhill took his cart, tamale press and recipe and went home - much to the dismay of his loyal clientele.
The famous recipe and the little tamale cart sat in a warehouse until 1993, when the first Berryhill restaurant was born. It was a little taqueria, lovingly called Berryhill Hot Tamales.
Today, the Berryhill family boasts 14 restaurants and a reputation for serving some of the best Mexican food in Houston.
The generously packed tamales - offered with fillings of beef, chicken, pork, spinach and corn, or bean - are still the crowd favorite. Choosing which type of tamale to order is tough, so most regulars (like me) order a variety - getting a few to eat onsite; extras to take home.
Today, my son and I went to Berryhill in The Heights for lunch. As usual, I ordered a plate of tamales, along with sides of Spanish rice and charro beans (Mexican equivalent of ranch-style beans). And, as usual, everything was delicious!
Next time I go to Berryhill, I will consider ordering something other than tamales. (I hear the Fish Tacos too are the best in town.)
Of course, I say that very same thing every time I head over to Berryhill. However, when I actually walk back in there, I always want the tamales! Most often, the ones filled with pork!