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Sweet Tamales In OC?

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I would like to try some really good sweet tamales this holiday season. If anyone knows of anyplace that makes them really great, preferably in Orange County, I'd appreciate if you'd share.

If there's a really spectacular place in the Greater Los Angeles area, I guess I could be persuaded to drive a bit.

Thanks for any help you could give.

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  1. I've been meaning to post about this...had a wonderful tamale de piƱa last week from El Gallo Giro in Santa Ana (open 24 hours). It was humungous, twice the size of the ones we get at home (San Francisco area). And, four times as good! The masa was weighty but fluffy at the same time. There's a molten pineapple pie filling-like center. I had part of it fresh from the steamer, then the rest of it reheated the next day after over night in the fridge and it was almost as good. My sister thought it was too sweet, but I reminded her that it was dessert. I noticed that they also have fresa (strawberry) tamales too. Next time.

    While you're there, don't miss the atole de fresa. On first sip the strawberry flavoring in this hot corn-based drink wasn't that obvious, but then one of the hot and soft blobs of whole strawberry slides into your mouth. I wish I could find this at home.

    I also had a torta de pollo which was OK but not great. Didn't like the bread that much and the whole thing was underseasoned. The papaya agua fresca with small pieces of fresh papaya was great.

    I was happy to find out that this place is open 24 hours. I think I'm picking up breakfast here my next trip down.

    Link: http://www.elgallogiro.com/

    10 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      t
      torta basilica

      Where else did you end up eating? Did I miss the review? Happy Holidays!

      1. re: torta basilica

        Mea culpa. I'm remiss in getting back to y'all on the many suggestions (and setting up something with woo!). Have only posted this one and on Han's ice cream so far. More soon.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I was wondering what happened... :)

          Hope you are enjoying the food scene in SoCal. Give us a shout sometime and maybe a group of us can get together for lunch/dinner. Looking forward to your reviews.

      2. re: Melanie Wong

        Did you notice if they had tinga? They never have it when I'm there. I like the quesadillas there, but only when they're fresh.

        1. re: nubi

          I did a quick scan of the guisados on the steam table which were mostly labeled and I don't remember seeing tinga.

        2. re: Melanie Wong

          Thanks for the info on El Gallo Giro. I want to got here. How did you find it? Do you happen to know a cross street there at the Bristol street location?

            1. re: kc girl

              Edinger diagonally across the street from Servite. The best thing is their Bakery next door for "Tres Leche Cake".

              1. re: russkar

                Is it Servite or Mater Dei (sp?)?

                1. re: nubi

                  Your probably right, I have friends whose sons go to both and probably confused them. Thank goodness someone on this board thinks about something other than food.

          1. My husband grew up in Pico Rivera. He always gets his sweet and other tamales from Varis. They are traditional with raisins and anise, but very good!