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You don’t expect to find culinary bliss amid the cacophony of this Woodside hub, where the LIRR and the elevated 7 train crisscross and every three minutes or so a jet thunders overhead on its descent into La Guardia. Yet there it is, ensconced below the tracks—an unassuming bastion of Mexican tamales worthy of an interborough expedition or a pit stop en route to anywhere else. Like a gift, the Oaxaqueño tamale comes wrapped with string: Peel open the banana leaves to reveal a hot, steamy mass of fluffy corn masa riddled with hefty chunks of ineluctably fatty pork and dripping with enough greasy red-chile oil to make a magnificent mess. More portable are the smaller corn-husk-wrapped varieties, in which morsels of chicken are dispersed sparingly, like condiments. Another version combines stringy melted cheese enlivened with red and green peppers. But it’s the masa that haunts you, with its moist, springy texture, toasty corn aroma, and earthy, mouth-filling flavor.
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