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The City of Portland, Oregon

Sustainability at Work

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How could a restaurant cut its energy in half? Ask Tamale Boy.

owner Jaime Soltero Jr. poses next to tamales

Tamale Boy owner Jaime Soltero Jr. grew a brick-and-mortar business out of his popular tamale truck. When it was time to build his restaurant, he wanted it to be as efficient as possible.

And he succeeded! The Tamale Boy restaurant uses about half the energy of a restaurant he formerly helped manage.

Here’s how:

  • Tamale BoyEnergy Star rated equipment everywhere: fryer, ice machine, refrigerated cases, and dishwasher
  • Super-efficient LED lighting
  • A tankless water heater, which provides both energy savings and improved performance
  • A NEST thermostat that is smart enough to learn the restaurant’s schedule, program itself, and can be managed from Jaime’s phone
  • A vent hood with a Variable Speed Drive exhaust fan that automatically senses when to ramp down
  • Occupancy sensors in the bathrooms
  • Insulation in the walls and ceiling

Thanks to the investments in energy efficiency:

  •  Air flows better in the restaurant, especially in the kitchen
  •  Power and gas bills are about 40% lower
  •  And, his staff enjoys working in an environment that is conscious of being energy efficient.

Don’t forget the food!

Not only is the building sustainable, the food is too! Tamale Boy buys organic local vegetables and meat when possible and has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.

The tamales are made following a recipe passed down in Jaime’s family for years, “it’s tradition that makes them so special.”

tomatoes   women behind pile of kale at Tamale Boy   pile of tomales

Tamale Boy is located at 1764 NE Dekum St, Portland OR 97211.

Want to green your restaurant? Get in touch with a sustainability advisor and visit our website to learn more.