Generations of my family have eaten here. Opened in 1939, same year my grandfather opened shop, the Zuniga family has been kicking out great Mexican food for the masses! Amanda and I cruised on down to 230 Third Street in Hollister to officially review the little tamale parlor.
As soon as you walk into the building you are immediately greeted by a friendly waitress. Once seated you are brought a basket of a combination of flour and corn chips. The salsa is pretty average, not bad - just not as spicy as I prefer. I know the menu by heart, because I have been a regular diner for oh... 26 years, so I concentrate on eating the chips while Amanda decides on what to order.
Both our meals came with a soup or salad. I ordered the soup (surprise, surprise) and Amanda took the salad. Their soups are always so good. Today's soup de jour was Chicken Noodle, the broth was spicy so I enjoyed it. Amanda's salad was not the best looking thing I ever seen but, that didn't affect the taste and apparently it was just fine.
Amanda ordered a combination plate of a chile relleno and chicken enchilada. She seemed to enjoy the meal however, thought the enchilada sauce was off. I ordered the cheese enchilada with rice and beans. I didn't mind the sauce, in fact I wish there was more of it on my enchilada. I like a lot of enchilada sauce so I can mix it in with the beans and rice. I have ordered almost everything on the menu at least once. In my opinion, I prefer to stick to either the tamales or any of the enchiladas. The rice is nice and fluffy, and the refried beans are sort of comfort food to me. My grandfather would always order the whole beans, they are not my thing but he loved them. My dad prefers the ground beef tacos and I have heard the nachos supreme here are pretty amazing. You be the judge! Check it out and get back to me!
All in all the Progresso Tamale Parlor is a great family run business here in San Benito County. The food is very consistent and the best part is you always run into people you know when you go there. I enjoy the beautiful art work, that is adorning the walls, which are all for sale - kind of like an art gallery/restaurant! The holiday season is approaching and they have a special holiday menu to buy both savory and sweet tamales by the dozen! A great idea for last minute gifts or a dish to take to a Christmas Party! One and a half thumbs up.
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