EDIT: Regarding the La Loma Tamales
1) Before I wrote this review, I asked if there was cheese in the vegetarian tamale. No, they do not.
2) I asked about chicken broth/meat broth. They told me no.
3) After eating a tamale at the MGM counter service restaurant, I purchased a 6 pack of frozen tamales which are made at the restaurant's other location and available at one of the little markets inside the MGM. The frozen tamales come with a complete listing of ingredients. I read it three times before purchasing. They use vegetable lard (aka shortening) and specifically list vegetable broth. Natural flavors are listed, so I suppose there is a *small* chance that some sort of animal-derived product is involved, but I doubt it.
I will dutifully grill the staff next time I am there and ask for a full ingredient list of the tamales, but I have a feeling they are the same as the frozen packages.
The Midtown Global Market is awesome! Lots of my favorite restaurants have their second location in the MGM, set up as smaller counter-service versions of the full sized restaurants.
Everest Cafe is the mini version of Everest on Grand, and they have tasty momos - steamed or fried veggie dumplings for fairly cheap. La Loma has excellent vegetarian tamales, perfect at 2 bucks. They're vegan, too. Holy Land is there with a mini buffet as well as a mini grocery store to pick up their goods. West Indies Soul, Andy's Garage, Safari Express -- just to name a few other counter service restaurants at the MGM.
I love to go to lots of different vendors and get my fill on a variety of foods. I also love to pick up a few groceries from United Noodles or an Asian Market or the Produce Exchange organic market.
There are also a plethora of little shops which sell everything from clothing to jewelry, spices to unique gifts.
I always have a fun time taking it all in and eating a ton of good food for great prices.