First Look: Tamale Joe’s in Franklin

Tamale Joe's
photo by Donna Vissman

Tamale Joe’s, a fast-casual Mexican food restaurant, specializing in a 100-year-old tamale recipe, held a preview event for the community at its location at 2000 Mallory Lane next to Dick’s Sporting Goods in Franklin.

Based on Grandma Casi’s tamale recipes, grandson Jose Morales (known as Tamale Joe) has created a menu featuring the longstanding family recipe with four tamale options – pork, brisket, beef and poblano.

Partnering with his friend, D. Vincent Williams, a songwriter who has cuts with Rascal Flatts, Diamond Rio, and Craig Morgan, he spoke about moving to Nashville over 25 years ago and it was their dream to open a restaurant. Saying, “Me and Joe have been friends since we’ve been friends in grade school… there is nobody with a bigger heart and cares more about people.”

Ten years ago, the two decided they wanted to open a restaurant. Not only do the two love food but they love music as well, so they have built a stage where live music will be played.

And keeping with that promise, they brought songwriters Wendell Mobley and Lee Thomas Miller to perform “It Ain’t My Fault,” “Your Gonna Miss This,” and “There Goes My Life” for the preview event.

The restaurant is currently open every day at 11 am, offering a limited menu prior to their grand opening on July 31. A full bar is open offering everything from traditional margaritas to whiskey, beer, and wine.

The limited menu consists of Gourmet Tamales with three options, two entree selections, chips and salsa, guacamole, queso, Mexican rice, and frijoles.

  • DOÑA CASI’S RED PORK -classic pork tamale smothered in red chili sauce
  • TJ’S BRISKET- beef brisket tamale, featuring Oh My Joe! Classico
  • TJ’S PICADO TACO- beef, pequino pepper, potato, poblano
  • TJ’S STREET TACOS -2 tacos + side or 3 tacos • chicken, classic or steak
  • TJ’S VILLA QUESADILLA – cheese, chicken or steak • guacamole by request

The restaurant will have its official grand opening on Saturday, July 31. A ribbon-cutting event with Williamson Inc will take place on Tuesday, August 3 at 3 pm.

Tamale Joe’s is currently hiring for bartender, cook, or service team member. Find the application here.

Find the latest updates for Tamale Joe’s on Instagram.

See photos below.