I love love love tamals. Love them! Being that Dona Maria has Tamale in the name I thought they'd be a sure bet. A discounted $10 dining certificate from Restaurant.com gave me the push I needed to give the restaurant a try.
Frank and I dined in the Tenaya location earlier this week. We were one of three tables dining in. It was awfully quiet for such a large space. Our server was friendly and attentive.
We asked for a hotter salsa than the one given and they came back with a delicious smoky spicy option, Chipotle, if I had to guess. It was excellent. We loved the heat. Albondigas soup followed, it was pretty good, I enjoyed the flavorful meatballs.
Both entrees were combos: tamal enchilada style and beef & bean burrito, and chile relleno and cheese and chili tamal. It was fine, but highly Americanized. This gringa likes the real deal so it was a disappointment. My tamal was pretty bland and dry, it needed more zest. I covered mine in the yummy hot salsa and it did the trick. Needless to say the enchilada style went over better.
I really need an abuelita in my life. I wish I could make authentic Mexican eats at home. It would save so much time, effort and belly space that is now spent on so so bites made to please gringos.