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Consider this: La Bamba offers only one product:  Tamales.  But... you have to keep in mind that their tamales are made in-house from fresh ingredients, and at only $2.00 each, you can afford to enjoy at least a couple of them. That's a bargain, but wait until you savor one of their delicious tamales...

Photo:  Back in January, 2012, Joseph's Auction Town closed, so La Bamba was forced to relocated to their present location, just outside the former auction yard, on Atkinson Street.  Actually, the location is better, as the new location is a little "less shabby," and it faces the street, so if anything, it gets more foot traffic, as Joseph's Auction Yard was truly a sad affair during it's last couple of years...

Photo:  You place your order at the "Order Here" window, and before you know it, your plate of fresh tamales is waiting for you at the "Pick Up Here" window to your right.  I think the elapsed time between placing my order and picking it up amounted to about 30 seconds... That's fast by any standard!  On this early Sunday afternoon, April 14, 2013, I was surprised that I was the only customer in the restaurant at the time of my visit.

Photo:  The menu is displayed on the wall behind the counter, and La Bamba offers tamales in the following varieties: pork, chicken, beef, cheese and chili, vegetables, "sweet tamale," pineapple, raisins and strawberry. Strawberry tamales? Maybe I'll try one some day.  Besides canned sodas, that's their menu. . The restaurant is plain, shabby, and very low-tech, but a lot of fun.  If you're not a customer, move on, as there are signs posted everywhere, both in English and Spanish that read "Tables are only for the use of La Bamba customers."    With your order in hand, you find a spot at one of the many tables, unwrap your tamale, and enjoy a little slice of heaven.

Photo:  Ernesto, the owner of the business, was the only person working today, and he was very busy cleaning up, as it was 3 O’clock, and they were almost out of tamales, and getting ready to close their door for the weekend.  I didn't pester him to take a photo of me.

Photo:  ordered a pork, and a chicken tamale, and the price of admission was only $4.00 for two tamales.  The tamales were wrapped inside of moist corn leaves, the masa was perfect, and the filling was just like the filling that Aunt Esperanza used to make, as La Bamba's tamales are authentic, and could pass for tamales made in a tiny town in "Anywhere," Mexico.  These tamales were GOOD!

Great tamales, great people, and authentic Mexican cuisine.  If you're looking for great tamales, look no further than La Bamba, in Roseville.

Let's look back to 2012, when Tamales La Bamba was located inside Joseph's Auction Town, who is, sadly out of business.  

I've been a resident of the City of Roseville for nearly 10 years, and I attend the weekend Denio's Farmers Market and Swap Meet on a regular basis, but I'd never been across Vineyard Rd. to Joseph's Auction Town, which has been at the same location since. 1970.  Auction Town is dwarfed by its neighbor Denio's, but Joesph's has many amenities that Denio's doesn't have, such as a beer stand that serves $2.00 draft beers, and a delightful little Mexican diner, by the name of La Bamba Tamales, who serves delicious, fresh, in-house made tamales.  La Bamba offers only one product:  Tamales.  But... you have to keep in mind that their tamales are made in-house from fresh ingredients, and at only $2.00 each, you can afford to order a couple of them.  It's a sign of the times as, at this visit, on Sunday, January 8, 2012, $2.00 for a tamale seems like a bargain...

 

Photo:  La Bamba is located in a very plain building, at Joseph's Auction Town.  You can't miss the place, as they have signs placed all over the grounds pointing to the location.  To my knowledge, La Bamba is the only restaurant in the greater Sacramento area that exclusively sells tamales.

La Bamba Tamales is located at the east end of Building "C" and you really have to look for them to find them, as they don't have a sign.  As you enter Auction Town, you'll see a temporary sign that points you in the general direction, but you'll find La Bamba easily if you head to the end of building "C" that's closest to the railroad tracks, and just follow your nose.  La Bamba is very unpretentious, as really all it is a covered stall, with three large doors, open to the elements, with a counter where the staff prepare tamales, take your money, and make change. The dining is furnished with folding tables, plastic chairs and a few picnic tables, the floor is a concrete slab, and the walls are painted a rather garish turquoise.  If you look up at the ceiling, you'll see decorative garlands, no doubt left over from last year's Christmas tree, and bare fluorescent light bulbs.  Mexican banda music is playing in the background.  Naturally, Spanish is the language of choice for most patrons.

 

Photo:  You place your order at the "Order Here" window, and before you know it, your plate of fresh tamales is waiting for you at the "Pick Up Here" window to your right.  I think the elapsed time between placing my order and picking it up amounted to about 30 seconds... That's fast by any standard!

La Bamba Tamales is family-owned and operated by mom, dad, brother and sister, and operates Saturday and Sunday, keeping Auction Town's hours of 0700 to 1700.  To place your order of tamales, you walk up to the window that says "ORDER HERE" and you're by dad, who writes your order on one of those little menu pads that waitresses used to use during the 1960's, does the math by hand, takes your money, and hands it back to you. The menu is displayed on the wall behind the counter, and La Bamba offers tamales in the following varieties: pork, chicken, beef, cheese and chili, vegetables, "sweet tamale," pineapple, raisins and strawberry.  Strawberry tamales? Maybe I'll try one some day.  Besides canned sodas, that's their menu.  Then, you move next door to the "PICK UP HERE" window, and you give your order to mom, who will place your tamale on a plate, along with a napkin or two, and a plastic fork. If you ordered a drink, sister will grab it from one of the ice chests that are sitting by the order window, as La Bamba doesn't have electrical refrigeration for their drinks, as there's only one 1970's vintage home style refrigerator in the restaurant, and I assume the meat gets the priority treatment. The restaurant is plain, shabby, and very low-tech, but a lot of fun.  If you're not a customer, move on, as there are signs posted everywhere, both in English and Spanish that read "Tables are only for the use of La Bamba customers."  Meanwhile, brother stands behind the counter looking bored, as his role seems to be that of busboy, trash guy, and janitor.  With your order in hand, you find a spot at one of the many tables, unwrap your tamale, and enjoy a little slice of heaven.

 

Photo:  As I'm waiting for my order of tamales to cool, I take in the scene of the kitchen/dining room at La Bamba.

I ordered a couple of beef tamales, and the price of admission was only $4.00 for two tamales.  The tamales were wrapped inside of moist corn leaves, the masa was perfect, and the filling was just like the filling that Aunt Esperanza used to make, as La Bambas tamales are authentic, and could pass for tamales made in a tiny town in "Anywhere," Mexico.

If you're a fan of salsa, like I am, La Bamba provides verde or rosa salsa... I prefer salsa verde, as the photo shows.

 

Photo:  My order of two delicious beef tamales, after I'd unwrapped them from the corn husks.  These tamales are as good as it gets... I highly recommend La Bamba for delicious tamales in the greater Sacramento area.

Great tamales, great people, and authentic Mexican cuisine.  If you're looking for great tamales, look no further than La Bamba, in Roseville.

Tamales La Bamba
100 Atkinson St.
Roseville, CA 95678


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