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Rhoda’s Famous Tamales

714 Saint Mary St., Lake Village, AR - (870) 265-3108
Posted By Michael Stern on 2/17/2003 4:39:00 AM
The name of Rhoda Adams’ café is no lie. The tamales are delicious, and well deserving of the fame they have earned up and down the Mississippi Delta. She makes them with a combination of beef and chicken; the meats combined with steamy cornmeal are wrapped in husks that when unfolded, emanate an irresistibly appetizing aroma and are a joy to eat as a snack or meal any time of day.

Beyond tamales, the menu at James and Rhoda Adams’ little eat-place by the side of the road is a full roster of great, soulful regional specialties. For fried chicken or pigs feet, pork barbecue or catfish dinner, you won’t do better for miles around. Early one morning Rhoda made us breakfast of bacon and eggs with biscuits on the side. Even this simple meal tasted especially wonderful. Rhoda is one of those gifted cooks who makes everything she touches something special.

We’ve always considered Arkansas one of America’s top-seven pie states (along with Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Virginia, Texas, and Maine). Rhoda’s pies are proof. She makes small individual ones that sell for a dollar and full-size pies that go for $7. We’ve never tasted the coconut or the lemon pie, but we can say that her sweet potato pie and pecan pie are world-class.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Rhoda Adams wasn't there on the day of my visit, so my food choices were limited to tamales and burgers.  With tamales this good, I wasn't complaining!
"Rhoda Adams wasn't there on the day of my visit, so my food choices were limited to tamales and burgers. With tamales this good, I wasn't complaining!"
Cliff Strutz





We took a few of these homey cupcakes to eat as we traveled south along the river. When they were gone, we wished we had bought more...
"We took a few of these homey cupcakes to eat as we traveled south along the river. When they were gone, we wished we had bought more..."
Michael Stern


It's a long-standing custom in these parts to make small pies suitable for splitting among two people, or for one person with a good appetite. These little lovelies are pecan and sweet potato.
"It's a long-standing custom in these parts to make small pies suitable for splitting among two people, or for one person with a good appetite. These little lovelies are pecan and sweet potato."
Michael Stern


Rhoda's bakery case is proof that Arkansas is one of America's top pie-producing states. That's a full-size sweet potato pie in the foreground. In the background are individual lemon meringue and coconut custard pies. Superb!
"Rhoda's bakery case is proof that Arkansas is one of America's top pie-producing states. That's a full-size sweet potato pie in the foreground. In the background are individual lemon meringue and coconut custard pies. Superb!"
Michael Stern


Even a basic ham-'n'-egg breakfast at Rhoda's sang with soulful flavor.
"Even a basic ham-'n'-egg breakfast at Rhoda's sang with soulful flavor."
Michael Stern


Rhoda Adams, pie (and tamale) maker extraordinaire. Note how her tamales are bundled by three: a nice snack or hors d'oeuvre.
"Rhoda Adams, pie (and tamale) maker extraordinaire. Note how her tamales are bundled by three: a nice snack or hors d'oeuvre."
Michael Stern


As relaxed as your home kitchenette, Rhoda's chairs and tables are situated in such a way that you can sit and chat with her and her husband James while you dine.
"As relaxed as your home kitchenette, Rhoda's chairs and tables are situated in such a way that you can sit and chat with her and her husband James while you dine."
Michael Stern


We tip our hats to Russ Pennington, the traveler who tipped us off to this extraordinary cafe by the side of the road.
"We tip our hats to Russ Pennington, the traveler who tipped us off to this extraordinary cafe by the side of the road."
Michael Stern



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