In 2002 Michael Balderas quit his job as a machinist for over 20 years to follow his father Dan’s foot steps. At 17 years of age Dan joined the U.S. Army, working in food service for six years. Dan learned the ins and outs of cooking while furthering his education. He returned to the United States in 1952 and was stationed in Fort Hood. He was promoted to staff sergeant and became master in charge of the restaurant kitchen. Dan had dreams of owning a restaurant, so with the support of his beloved wife Connie, Dan started selling tacos from the trunk of his car in Round Rock, Texas. Dan & Connie’s name may be as iconic to longtime Round Rock residents as their restaurants.
So with the help and guidance of Dan and Connie, Michael took a leap of faith with him and his wife Juany. They started cooking tamales in their home and selling them on the streets along with their daughters Alyssa and Arianna in Houston, Texas. With the heat in Houston the vehicle they used was kind enough on some days for the A.C. to work, but they continued to sell them. Michael had faith they would sell out and they did, and the next day, and the day after that. Soon that was not the only thing selling out. Their stove was also going out, and their home smelled like spices. They both came to a decision to open up the first factory. Not long after that, they opened up and made it official “Balderas Tamale Factory” on Grant Rd. A small space with bar stools, a window that looked into the kitchen, and walls covered in sheet metal. A space that still has the same layout today, and is well known. Within the 9 years of opening the restaurant on Grant Rd they expanded several times and because the customers deserved better, larger seating area, and more work space for the crew to add more menu items; they started from scratch building bigger and better on Jones Rd. While much was new, rest assured the menu items and taste stayed the same.
2019 was a momentous year for the Balderas Family. Most significant was that, after a brief illness, our beloved founder, husband, and father, Mike Balderas passed away in April. He was wise in so many ways and prepared us to continue to fulfill his dream to make Balderas Tamale Factory the standard by which all others are assessed. We are proud to be well underway toward his goal.
The restaurant today includes the home-style cooking, decor and Tejano Music he grew up on in San Antonio.