Tamales Without the Blues   Leave a comment


Up until a few years ago, anyone who drove through the if-you-blink-then-you-miss-it town of Hartsel in Colorado’s South Park was familiar with the neon-blue storefront housing Dorothy’s Tamales. Decades ago, Dororthy (there’s an actual Dorothy) started selling tamales in her home a few miles east of town and then moved to what can best be described as a wide trailer – painted that distinctive blue. It was a great place to stop for good Mexican food and pick up tamales to take home after a day spent in the mountains.


Without fanfare, Dorothy moved from Hartsel to Fairplay, well, to the southside of Fairplay along U.S. Highway 24. Gone was the color, gone was part of the smaller town’s character and, most importantly, gone was the ease of stopping.

Finally, we visited the new location. The restaurant faces the highway but it’s on a frontage road, so access is somewhat complicated. It’s a much larger facility but the menu appears pretty much the same. Oh, did I mention the restaurant is also a bowling alley?


Even with a new address, the tamales are worth the extra effort to reach. Filled with chicken, pork, vegetables (I’ve never tried these), cheese or buffalo, the tamales can be smothered in red or green chili. I opted for the pork with red. The shredded meat, masa and chile are well-balanced so no single element overshadows the other.

It’s nice that frozen tamales are still available to bring home for later; so we did.

Dorothy’s Tamales
Four Plates
12771 US Hwy 24,
Fairplay, Colo.


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