Situated in a dense strip of Bagley Avenue in Mexicantown, Evie's Tamales has been serving its cornhusk-wrapped tamales for over three decades. When we arrived on a recent Saturday morning, the restaurant was buzzing with activity, evident by the stream of customers arriving at a steady pace. Evie's space has expanded into three locations around town, and while the Bagley storefront appears small, even plain on the inside, it packs a punch with its menu.
Initially, Evie's began inside Honey Bee Market. But, eventually, business took off. So in 1982, owner Evelyn Grimaldo decided to move out and open her own store, she told the Free Press back in 2007. "Since then, we've expanded three times," she told the newspaper. The timing was ripe, too, she noted. "There was only one other place at the time that was doing them — Nuevo Leon on West Vernor."
And while most may be familiar with Evie's signature tamales, that wasn't the real reason we dropped by last weekend. Outside the restaurant's front door, a yellow sign screams for attention: 99-cent breakfast burritos. That's an eye-popping deal that one just doesn't come across all too often. It's comically affordable.
Those who hear the word "burrito" likely think of a giant tortilla stuffed with produce, beans, rice, and guacamole — or, when it comes to breakfast, something basically like an omelette wrapped in a tortilla. That's not the case with Evie's. Here, things are much simpler. We figured that out as soon as we ordered a burrito — potato and eggs — and the server responded with, "Only one?" Imagine our amazement.
Besides our pick of the litter, Evie's offers three other breakfast burrito options to complement the scrambled eggs: chorizo, ham, or bacon. You'll need at least two to fulfill your appetite (for $2!), and it's worth your time to add salsa on the side to top off the mix. They may sound simple, but these burritos have received shoutouts from the likes of Thrillist on two occasions: Back in February, writer Jeff Waraniak, included them in a list of Detroit's top hangover cures, saying, "No breakfast burrito this delightful should cost 99 cents."
And it's true. This is a greasy, righteous deal. Hangover or not, these burritos are an important deal. Think about it: One dollar.
Evie's Tamales is located at 3454 Bagley St., Detroit. Open 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday.