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New location makes tamales for sandy

Sandy's Tamale Factory opened in March

A popular Gresham specialty restaurant has found a new market in Sandy.

Antonio Paez’s Tamale Factory opened in Sandy on March 22. Since then it has been consistently busy, Paez said.

“It’s been very well accepted in Sandy as a unique concept,” he said.

In February 2013, Paez started the first Tamale Factory in downtown Gresham. Later that summer, he opened a food cart of the same name in downtown Portland.

Since opening the store in Sandy, on Proctor Boulevard, Paez has closed his food cart in Portland to spend more time at his eastside eateries. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Antonio Paez opened Tamale Factory in Sandy in March. It serves meat and vegetarian tamales ready to eat.

Tamale Factory is a specialty tamale shop that serves handmade meat and vegetarian tamales.

Paez said the tamale shop got its start through the popularity of his family’s homemade tamales. He and his wife used to hold annual New Year’s parties and serve tamales. Paez said he was surprised at how much their guests liked them.

Growing up in Mexico, Paez remembers going to tamale shops to pick up dinner, an experience he has missed while living in Oregon. He said he hated having to go to a Mexican restaurant to sit down for a tamale — he would rather pick some up at a tamale shop. Eventually, he took matters into his own hands.

All of the tamales sold at Tamale Factory are handmade at an off-site kitchen, with all natural ingredients. Paez said it is quite a production to make them all. The tamales are then transported and steamed inside the Tamale Factory.by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Paez said customers really enjoy the shops roasted jalapeno salsa, and he is happy to offer samples.

While running the Tamale Factory in Gresham, Paez learned that it might be a good idea to start a shop in Sandy. “We had a lot of people coming from Sandy to buy tamales,” he said.

So when he heard about an open space in Sandy in December 2013, he jumped at the chance.

Patrons of the Tamale Factory either can stop by for a quick lunch and order two tamales, or pick up a dozen or half dozen tamales to take home and steam later, thus avoiding the grueling process of making tamales on their own.

Paez said his most popular meat tamale is made with pork and green salsa. His most popular vegetarian flavor is the spinach and mushroom tamale. Even kids are represented on the menu with a bean and cheese tamale. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Paez attributes some of the shops popularity to its location. He says a lot of customers stop on their way through Sandy.

In addition to the everyday flavors of tamales, Paez occasionally offers specials. Right now, Tamale Factory is serving its Southwest tamale, which features red salsa masa with a black bean, corn and pepper filling.

The non-vegetarian option includes bacon. For Cinco de Mayo, Tamale Factory will introduce Chipotle BBQ pork and chicken tamales.

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