Philadelphia, PA - The food at Juana Tamale is inspired by Mexican cuisine. The owner, Juana Zavala, focused on her own personality in designing the interior, comparing the restaurant's design to a Pee-Wee Herman playhouse or Alice in Wonderland.
Juana Tamales Adds Bold Flavors to East Passyunk Ave
The restaurant is located at 1941 East Passyunk Avenue, in the former Figs & Olives, and features bold Mexican street food. Zavala's background is unconventional, but a New England native, she moved to South Philadelphia in 2009.
In addition to tamales, Juana Tamale also serves birria tacos and corn tortillas filled with stewed goat meat and grilled crispy in skimmed fat. The menu features birria tacos, tamales and bacalao tamales. Among the menu items, birria tacos are her specialty. Birria tacos are popular with locals, and the birria taco is especially popular.
Chef Zavala was recently chosen as a guest chef at Jose Garces's new Chefs In Residency Program. A year-long program invites Philadelphia guest chefs to Volvér to showcase their signature dishes as part of a fixed menu for six to eight weeks. Her Mexican comfort food dishes are perfect for any occasion. You can also try out her new menu items, such as the popular meat and vegan tamales.
The menu is a bit unique, too. It focuses on tamale dishes and includes vegan wings, ramen, and other unique items. The restaurant also adds a 20% gratuity to each bill, helping provide employees a living wage.
Unlike other restaurants in the neighborhood, Juana Tamale offers more of a street-food vibe. The menu features tamales and Birria Taco and is an excellent spot for trying some authentic Mexican-influenced fare. There will be a special menu for vegans.
The restaurant is only open three days a week, and the current hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, 3 to 9 p.m. Friday, and 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday. It's also open for off-premise catering.