Pass through Natchez. Check. Snap pics of historical homes. Check. Park your car and gaze at the mighty Mississip. Check. And then head to Fat Mama’s Tamales for a Knock-You-Naked Margarita. Check. And double check.
We’d been to Fat Mama’s years ago. We’d heard about the tamales served out of a log house on Canal and decided we couldn’t leave without one. But this time around, we found a newer version — new building, bigger parking lot, and nicer bar — but still on Canal Street and still serving those homemade tamales and signature margs.
Jimmy and Briton Gammill started experimenting — making tamales on Saturdays just for family and friends. And then the idea to “go big” became a reality! But it wasn’t without a lot of trial and error in the kitchen — so much so that their kids, noting how much was being cooked up in order to find just the right concoction, said, If Mama and Daddy keep messing up the tamale recipe, she’s going to be a ‘fat mama’ from eating all the mistakes.” (From the website you can access here.) Thus Fat Mama’s Tamales was born, open since June 9, 1989.
The view from the bar allows you to look at the boards and talk to locals. Like Barbara. Who started right up telling us how much she enjoyed working with the restaurant. Then she asked one of the waitresses for a folder from behind the counter. She rummaged around until she found this picture she’s holding. It’s Barbara all right in the recognizable Fat Mama’s Tamales outfit she wears to events and fund raisers. We’ve raised over $50,000 for charity, she said with great pride. And deservedly so.
And what was Barbara drinking? A Knock-You-Naked Margarita, of course. There’s only one flavor but these limey little margaritas are served in different colored plastic cups with a party inside!
We ordered one of the heaping favorites: Gringo Pie. Three tasty, tender tamales covered in cheese, chile, onions, and jalapeños. And it’s a heap, for sure!
You can dine in or dine out. And even though some folks think this is just a bar with food on the side, you can see it’s family fun for all ages.
T-shirts come in a rainbow of colors . . .
and Community Iced Tea (I knew about their coffee, but the tea was news to me!) sits on a sideboard for refills.
We paid Mary Katherine on our way out. She, too, said she loved working there. And everyone else seemed happy with the party atmosphere of pinatas, bright floral tablecloths, and people diving in to fire and ice pickles, boudin (a spicy Cajun sausage of pork and rice) or a hot ham-and-cheese po-boy.
So, if you’re headed to Natchez for one of their many festivals (Click here for more info), or you’re just in town for a taste of the South, stop by Fat Mama’s for a tamale — or two or three or a half dozen! You’ll love ’em!
Fat Mama’s Tamales
303 S. Canal Street
Natchez, MS 39120
Online orders: https://www.fatmamastamales.com/store/home.php