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by Lucy Kramer
Universal Tamal is a local Mexican restaurant owned by the Sanchez family. Since its start in 2006, this restaurant has been one of the shining stars of Goshen’s downtown.
Serving authentic Mexican food, their menu is full of delicious options. A few available choices are tortas, tacos, gorditas, and my personal favorites: tostadas and tamales. Their horchata is also hands down the best I’ve ever had.
Jocsan Sanchez, a sophomore at GHS whose family owns the restaurant, walked me through the lengthy method in which they go through to make their famous tamales.
“That’s a process, the tamales,” said Sanchez. “So you first start by cleaning the corn husks and then you make the masa. It’s in like a mixer, it’s a big pot mixer and then we put the masa from the pot into a box. Then we scoop it, just with your hands, onto the corn husks. Throw it over you to the next person; the next person just rolls it which flattens out the masa, so you could spread it evenly. Then there is two other people that put the filling in—they wrap it. I’m guessing around each day, [we spend] two to three hours [making tamales].”
Shout out to Universal for going above and beyond for their customers; I’m extremely grateful.
Despite all of this work, tamales are still affordable: $1.50 for one. Most of the products range about 1-4 dollars per item, which can be bought in bulk or upgraded into a meal that is served with rice and beans.
Their menu isn’t the only thing that puts them ahead of the game. Walking in, you’ll feel right at home—although the aroma is probably quite a bit better than your house.
This restaurant is built on family, so that’s exactly what it feels like.
“[The restaurant] gave us a lot of opportunities [of] what we can do in life,” said Sanchez. “Especially with my siblings: me, Josuel, and Jocelyne. It’s helped us a lot.”
The Sanchezes have created a business that equally benefits the community. When a restaurant is important to the owners, you can tell. It’s very clear this is true with Universal, and GHS students agree.
“We love Universal Tamal so much, like that’s our go to Mexican food place,” said Joya Drenth, a GHS sophomore. “Personally, I love their chips and salsa; literally the best, my favorite salsa ever. Love their horchata, just love the atmosphere. Everyone that works there is really nice and welcoming.”
Although the Sanchezes have a solid foundation in place, they are continuing to strive forward with plans for the future.
“Things change,” said Sanchez. “We remodeled the place, getting out there more on social media right now too, menus have changed, it’s just advancing more.”
Universal Tamal has a lot of things going for them: their atmosphere, customer service, and prime menu. Make sure to stop by. You don’t want to miss out, trust me.
Their hours are 9 am to 9 pm Friday through Sunday, and 10 am to 9 pm Tuesday through Thursday. They are located at 225 South Main Street.