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L&W Tamales and a Mazda CX-3 on Toledo Bend

mazda cx 3 1 I am an unofficial member of the “Krewe Of Will Travel For Food”. I should have a card that I keep in my wallet and a magnet that I’m able to attach to my car. I’ve traveled to New Orleans for lunch, Ruston for a sandwich, and now Toledo Bend as an excuse to stop in Zwolle for some tamales.


What are tamales?

My definition of tamales are pockets of corn meal stuffed with pork and seasonings created by Jesus for me and you! Wikipedia describes them as “a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa (a starchy dough, usually corn-based), which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.” Now I’ve never had any of the cheese, fruits, or vegetable stuffed tamales and for the sake of this blog we are going to stick to Zwolle tamales.

If you’ve ever heard of Zwolle, LA, I’m willing to bet that you heard of the tamales. For my readers outside of the area just know that if you ever want some AMAZE BALLS tamales, you have to go to Zwolle. Don’t buy the tamales in the stores that say “Zwolle Tamales”. Nope! Do yourself a favor, join my krewe and actually travel to Zwolle, LA and roll up on someone’s trailer and enjoy the deliciousness. After all, that is what I did.

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I hopped in a 2016 Mazda CX-3 AWD courtesy of my friends at Mazda and DriveShop and drove to one hour south to Zwolle in search of some tamales. On a previous trip to Zwolle, I discovered a particular brand of tamales but on this trip they were closed so we had to come up with a new plan quickly. My road trip buddy, Brandy immediately jumped on google and found L&W Tamales. I called them, they were open, and we didn’t need to preorder so that is where we went.

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When we drove up, I knew we were exactly where we needed to be. Not because the sign said L&W but because we rolled up on someone’s trailer. Rolling up on someone’s trailer in Zwolle is a good thing. In other parts of the country, this may be a cause for alarm but not where Zwolle and tamales are concerned. We got out the car, walked into the trailer and were greeted by a woman who immediately said “Y’all must not be from here”. Was it THAT obvious? Probably not, but I think everyone in Zwolle knows each other and she didn’t know us. She was kind of dry, not very friendly, just wanted to know what our order was and for us to be gone. AGAIN friends, this is NOT a bad thing!

Even though I had never been to L&Ws before, I told Brandy that I bet they didn’t take cards. Sholl nuff! I was right! Luckily I had some cash on me for our purchases. L&W sells mild, original, and spicy tamales. Brandy wanted to taste before purchase but I was already convinced that I was buying as many dozens as I could with the cash that I had. We were able to sample an original and we both were sold! AHHHHHHHHHHH Mine eyes have seen the glory of Tamale Heaven!

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We decided on four dozen spicy and one dozen original. Before we left Shreveport, I had already taken some orders, so we were transporting tamales back home. When we got to the car, we realized that we needed one more dozen so we scraped up some quarters and spare dollars to get $6. This time when I walked back in, the woman was a lot friendlier and even asked what kind of writer I was. Did I mention that when we initially went in Brandy dropped her infamous “I’m Brandy and this is Jada. She’s a travel writer”? Anyway after chatting with my new friend, I made it back to the Mazda CX-3 and Brandy and I opened up a dozen and went to work. Since we would be having dinner later on, we settled for only eating a couple of tamales. If we didn’t have other plans, I could’ve eaten a dozen by myself, easily.

On The Road Again

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toledo bend

We hopped back on the road and made our way to Toledo Bend. Toledo Bend really was the purpose of the whole trip, but who passes up an opportunity to grab some good eats in Zwolle? Obviously not us. We made it to Many, LA just as the sun was going down to capture these pictures of the Mazda and the water.

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After driving the car, I realized that the Mazda CX-3 is a great car for a single person, a college student, or a seasoned citizen. The fact that it could fit such a wide array of customers says a lot about the vehicle. It was compact, a little too compact for me. With a 6’2 14 year old, there wasn’t enough leg room in the back. That is perfect though for a parent wanting to buy their kids a car but don’t want all their friends riding with them. The gas tank wasn’t very large, so I was able to fill up for $12. That is great for someone on a fixed or limited income.

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The CX-3 included my favorite Mazda feature to date, it read my text messages! I’ve told y’all before that I love this feature and the same held true this time.

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I had a lot of fun on this adventure and I can’t wait for the next!

L&W Tamales
1547 Oak St, Zwolle, LA 71486
(318) 645-6407
Call in your order before you go!

If you’re interested in checking out the Mazda CX-3, holler at my friend Susan Moffitt with Moffitt Mazda at 318-746-2175.


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  • Regina Sepulvado April 08, 2016 08.49 am

    Thanks for this wonderful review of the famous Zwolle Tamales! This is actually my parents business and all our tamales are made from scratch and homemade! We take pride in our products and would love for you to come back and visit us!! We always love to see people enjoying life and leaving happy with their bellies full!! Thanks again for your wonderful review and hope to see you soon!

    • Jada April 08, 2016 08.52 am

      Regina!! Girl! Those tamales were so good. I’m trying to see when I’m coming back to get some more. You guys are great!

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Hi I'm Jada! I'm a blogger and freelance writer. I love all things related to travel, food, and entertainment.

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