on the range

Services Set for Robert Vasquez

Longtime restaurateur was mainstay of local Mexican food dynasty

By Virginia B. Wood, 10:30AM, Thu. May. 1, 2014

Robert Vasquez in front of his restaurant
by John Anderson

Breakfast taco lovers were shocked and saddened to find the doors locked at Tamale House No. 3 (5003 Airport Blvd.) Monday morning due to the fact that owner Robert (Bobby) Vasquez passed away over the weekend.

UPDATE: The Vasquez family has announced that Rosary will be at 7pm, Thursday, May 1 at Angel Funeral Home (1600 S. First). The funeral mass will be held on Friday, May 2, at Our Lady Maronite Catholic Church (1320 E. 51st) with burial to follow at Assumption Cemetery (3650 S. IH 35)

When we were discussing the funeral, Robert Vasquez' daughter, Elaine Alba, said red was her father's favorite color and the family hopes his friends and loyal customers will wear red in his honor. She told us the family wanted to express their gratitude to her father's long-time companion, Connie Salazar, and her family for their care and attention to Mr. Vasquez during his period of declining health.

Longtime Tamale House #3 employee, Shirley Trevino, spoke highly of her employer and explained how he created a positive and supportive atmosphere for his staff. "He was such a good-hearted man, but you had to follow his rules. The main rule was that we could not change the recipes. They were his Mother's recipes and he wanted the food to always be the same. The other rule was to pass the savings along to the customer. He never put in air-conditioning and he kept the prices the way they were to pass the savings along."

Both Elaine Alba and Shirley Trevino said the family has yet to make any decisions about the future of the restaurant, but Trevino says the employees would like to take a shot at keeping Tamale House # 3 running. We'll keep you posted.

Vasquez was the son of legendary Tamale House founder Carmen Vasquez and operated the funky little Airport eatery since 1977, even longer than she sold tamales and tacos out of a cinder-block building at what was then the corner of West First and Congress Avenue. The family has not yet released any information about funeral or memorial services, but we will share more info after speaking with them. The restaurant is closed until further notice.

write a letter