Mary's Hot Tamales

Address: 1931 E. Magnolia Ave. Knoxville, TN Phone: (865) 637-2033
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This Deltastyle dish was formed in the flood plains of Mississippi and is wrapped in the history of slavery. Owner Clara Robinson can remember as a little girl the thrill she had, along with sister Mary, buying hot tamales from Mississippi street vendor Charlie Green. Green, who later became a Knoxville educator but continued selling tamales, convinced Mary and Clara to move to Knoxville. When Green became ill, he persuaded the ladies to open a tamale business and taught them his grandfather's recipe, which dates back to slavery years. Mary is now deceased, but Clara still runs the 20-plus-year-old restaurant. You'll miss some true Knoxville culture if you don't stop by and see her.

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City: Knoxville, TN
Subregion: East Tennessee

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