Popular Greenwood Restaurant Boasts Fresh, Made-From-Scratch Food

Writer / Matt Keating 

Photographer / Mark Bell

It’s not unusual to see long lines of customers at The Tamale Place, 1155 E. Stop 11 Road, Greenwood, waiting to get another round of their delicious Mexican fare.

Co-Owner Angela Green wouldn’t have it any other way.

She says The Tamale Place has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and she is grateful for all of the loyal customers who have helped their business thrive.

“When we first started, I was worried we weren’t going to make it,” Green says. “We really thought we would go out of business after the first few months when we really had trouble getting enough customers. We weren’t sure if there would be a need for what we were making, so we just perfected what we were making through trial and error and hoped for the best.”

The hard work paid off. The Tamale Place has grown from one establishment on the west side of Indianapolis at 5226 Rockville Road to a successful franchise with three locations.

“The secret to our success is that we make everything from scratch,” Green says. “We cook and grind the corn, and we make sure everything is absolutely authentic and fresh. Our tamales are made with corn dough, which makes them so delicious. We first boil our bags of white corn with a trace of lime. After that, we wash and grind the corn to make the fresh Mesa, which is corn dough. That really makes them stand out. It’s why our tamales are so good.”

Green co-owns The Tamale Place with her husband, Vladimir Ronces, and her mother, Leora Green.

“I met Vladimir in 1999 in a small restaurant in Acapulco on Condesa Beach,” Green says. “That’s really where the story of our restaurant begins. We loved the same food and wanted to share it with others.”

Cut to 2003 when Green, Vladimir and Leora started “Tortilleria Angelita” on the west side of Indianapolis. Green noted that in the beginning they only made and sold their white corn tortillas.

“Word spread that our tortillas were big and delicious, and we saw the business really start to grow,” Green says. “Our tamales are about a half pound each, so you don’t go away hungry. We took off from there and never looked back. We have loved being able to expand and grow.”

A second location at The City Market followed, and the Greenwood business opened in 2014.

“Employees used to leave after all the tamales were sold for the day, but that changed in 2010, when we decided to stay open for more business which also featured other food items such as tacos, tortas and nachos,” Green says.

Customers have their choice of mild tamales with beef with red sauce, chicken in red sauce, chicken in green sauce, pork in green sauce or pork in roasted red sauce. There is also a “Recessions” tamale with mild to medium pork, and “Chicken in Oaxacan Mole,” which is served a little spicy. Another tamale has beef, poblano chiles and cheese.

“If people like their tamales spicy, we have plenty of those too with pork, chipotle beef, chipotle chicken, hot and spicy pork or chicken verde in a banana leaf,” Green says. “We also have vegetarian tamales and sweet tamales with pumpkin, pineapple and raisin, chocolate or apple with pecan. They have also been popular.”

The tacos, tortas and nachos have also been big sellers, resulting in both happy customers and increased sales for Green and her family.

“We have been blessed with loyal guests who keep coming back,” Green says. “They tell us they love the unique, fresh taste they can’t get elsewhere. I tell them it’s because we stress that everything is all natural. We don’t use any preservatives at all. That really makes the difference. We really promote that and keep telling people to stop in again soon.”

The Tamale Place is located at1155 E. Stop 11 Road. You can give them a call at 317-300-8748 or visit them online at thetamaleplace.com.

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