Tienda’s Tortilla Factory – Levelland, TX

Daniel (breeding partner and spouse) and I traveled Northwest this weekend for my high school reunion. James McMurtry has a song about our town, but you probably have heard of it because the Loboette (girl wolves in Spanish) basketball team won the state championship like a million times. No? You don’t care about 4A school sports? Yeah me either, my letter jacket says journalism on it. But say you die and you were a horrible person and God or Buddha or Shiva or Allah decides that you must experience hell, you could end up there. What would you do for food?

I recommend Tienda’s Tortilla Factory over on Houston Street across from the First Baptist Church (FBC) where I used to spend many hours thinking impure thoughts. Tienda’s, as you can imagine, is a family owned joint that has lots of rumors of selling joints along with their food. You’re supposed to go to the drive thru and order a jalapeno burger and a diet coke, or so they say. But the breakfast burritos (not tacos, burritos) are pretty much the best in the world. They’re big and full of real eggs, bacon, chorizo, papas (potatoes) and/or cheese. The tortillas are made on site of course. They serve menudo to the loyal locals in the morning, but have lunch and dinner entrees scrawled on a dry erase board as well. AVOID the queso. Camilla, when she was age 2 exclaimed “that’s not queso” when it was put before her. I was beaming with pride when I looked down and saw a glop of cheez whiz in a little bowl. However, the chips and salsa are something to experience. The salsa isn’t spicy but has a distinct flavor. When I taste it I am flooded with memories of skipping class or hiding from church choir practice. The chips are seasoned with lots of salt and chili powder but there’s something else mixed in. I think it might be celery salt but whatever it is, it’s powerful—powerful like the mighty lobo on a hunt for a neighboring Frenship Tiger.

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Tienda’s has highchairs, is nursing friendly, and the person manning the register might smile at your kid. It’s cheap and good. But when it comes time to pay they only accept cash or checks. I really think cash is the way to go especially if you aren’t sure how much is in your checking account. Our friend, treker meker, while in college got a call from the sheriff one evening and was told to report to the police station. He spent a good 4 hours in jail before he was told that months before he’d written a bad check at Tienda’s. He was never notified of the hot check and the tortilla factory owners just turned it over to the police. After pawning a television to clear his name he still went back there from time to time to eat, it’s that good.

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If you’re bringing kids with you then you may want to pack a ziploc bag full of quarters. A sign in front reads “No quarters for the machine or carwash”. The carwash was obvious because it’s across the street next to the FBC, but we finally realized that in the other room there is a junk machine full of disney princess figurines that cost $1 in quarters. Ironically they also sell hemp bracelets.

I think they’ll be around for years to come. They’ve added on a room to the restaurant since my days at LHS even though the town’s population has decreased by a tenth.

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4 responses to “Tienda’s Tortilla Factory – Levelland, TX

  1. Pingback: How To Learn From Your Father’s Mistakes on Father’s Day « TrackSuit CEO

  2. Rumors are only rumors but as i have known for many years this family …. The Tienda Family in 2006 lost 3 generations in 2006 many quick to start gossip. The plan cold fact is they have sturggled a big loss. Instead of judging or spreading rumors shouldnt we do more to help the 2 ladies left to tyry to keep the fine food alive ? Many fly by nites come and go. Tiendas is family owened & the youngest of 3 has poored her heart & sole in to keeping her fathers customers happy. So have a heart next time in Tiendas enjoy a home cooked meal…..

  3. I agree. we have been thru a lot. I am 26 i worked at Tienda’s all thru my teenage years, and was always there as a child. I think the comments about the joints and stuff is very mean. As for the gentleman who got in trouble for the hot check… It’s not fair to business owners to get hot checks either. I think my aunt and grandma are doing a great job. It has been four and a half years and they have made it this far. My grandpa would be proud. It was very hard for the business and the family losing the two main men. They are greatly missed. =(

  4. I have been so hungry for your hot sauce. We moved from Levelland several years ago and I always thought you had the best hot sauce.
    I know you would not give out your family secret receipt but, if you could just a little let me know what you put in it. Like I said I dont live there anymore and I would love to make me some, just for me. I wrote Naomi a letter to see if she could help me out and they never e-mailed me back.They make a pretty good hot sauce but, we like yours better. I have really been hungry for it. Dont know when or if I will make it to Levelland anymore. Could you help me out?

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