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Grub Street: Best Cheap Eats in NYC

Hot Tamales Factory Tamal 13 Essex St., nr. Canal St. 917-691-5524

Mexico native Fernando Lopez has been working in New York kitchens for 14 years, cooking Chinese, red-sauce Italian, Thai, and practically everything else but Mexican. Now, he makes tamales for a living, nixtamalizing corn into masa right on the 13-seat premises and steaming the rolled and stuffed husks in a contraption that monopolizes almost his entire workspace. Tasty as they are — and of the five on offer, the rajas con queso ($2),


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