In 2000, Evelia Coyotzi left Tlaxcala, Mexico, to find a job in New York. In September, 2001, she was working at a McDonald’s near the World Trade Center. When it closed after 9/11, she began to make tamales at home, in Queens, to sell from a shopping cart on the street corner. In the shadow of the elevated subway tracks, she arrived every day at 4:30 A.M. to catch the early-morning rush of commuters. For 20 years, Coyotzi made a living this way, earning countless loyal customers and catching the attention of Anthony Bourdain. In January, 2020, she took out a lease on a storefront half a mile from her cart’s usual spot. This past March, she finally opened it.
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