The next stop on our road trip was Fresno. It was the closest to Sequoia National Park that Chaz felt had the best gluten-free options for me. It was also where he found CASA de TAMALES, a family-owned restaurant making artisan tamales. Everything in the restaurant is gluten-free and the beans and rice are also vegan…which is not normally an option for vegans. There are also several vegan options and vegetarian options. And dessert. We were too full to try the dessert tamales, so maybe next time.
We wound up there late, near closing time, and the staff was very helpful when we ordered. It’s a fast-casual place, so you order at the counter and they bring you the food when it’s ready. I had the Shredded Beef tamale and the Green Tomatillo Chicken tamale along with the Berry Hibiscus Tea. The tamales were absolutely divine. I don’t think I’ve ever had tamales that good before. They were so good, I practically inhaled them.
Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks was great. Since I didn’t get to hike Fern Canyon or the Redwoods while we were in Arcata, it felt like a good alternative. However, I didn’t quite comprehend the enormity of the parks on top the distance to and from. The walk to the tree was fairly easy from the regular parking lot – it’s all downhill. The walk back was a challenge for my spoon-limited self. We had to stop many times on the way back up, most places I couldn’t even sit – I had to make do with leaning against something. But, it was all still beautiful.
We were pretty hungry when we finally got out of the park (hours later). It was late and a long way back to Fresno. We both thought it was a great idea to grind on some tamales. It took a while to get to an area with cell reception, but when we did, I discovered that they were already closed for the night. Boo.
Don’t you fret, though, the day we left for L.A., we made sure to stop for our tamale fix. This time around I had the Shredded Beef tamale (again) and the Spinach Artichoke tamale with their famous Sweetie, which is 1/2 Mint Lemonade and 1/2 Berry Hibiscus Tea. The drink may sound weird, but it was tasty and I would get it again.
If you’re in Fresno and need something gluten-free, go try these tamales. They won’t disappoint.