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Dec 4, 2011 09:57 PM

Holiday Tamales

I am looking for suggestions for best bets for Christmas tamales (Mexican style). Tamales Ancira could be a possibility -- Yelp says they PB location in closed, though. Can anyone confirm this? Where else should I consider?

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  1. For commercial tamales, Tamales Ancira really is one of the best options. They're tamales are pretty good. Yes, their PB loation is closed, but their Escondido and Chula Vista locations are still open.

    You might want to ask at Northgate, Vallarta or Pancho Villa if they're doing holiday tamales.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      At the Little Italy farmers market on Saturday there is a vendor that has excellent tamales. Since Xmas eve is on a Saturday maybe work out an arrangement with them.

      She is on the south side of Date street near the State street corner.


      1. re: DiningDiva

        I drove by the Escondido location a couple weeks ago, and there was a For Sale sign in the window. I was sad. However, if they have them again this year, Mi Rancho Market down the street next to Peterson's has good tamales this time of year.

      2. Ahh, back in the day, Liz from Ancira used to come by my work with tamales...

        Last night, Linkery had rabbit and turkey tamales for sale. $3 a pop. We ate the rabbit ones tonight - tasty! Pastured turkey ones will be consumed either tomorrow or tues. I don't know how long supplies will last (or if they will have other varietes), but imagine they'll be on sale for at least a few more days. Might have to go back for thirds...

        1. I really enjoy Ancira tamales and the PB location has been closed for several years..
          Costco has some decent tamales..
          Esco or CV Mex markets for holiday tamales...sadly, the traditions aren't being passed down.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Beach Chick

            Beach Chick,

            I'll have to agree with the CostCo tamales EXCEPT for the green chili & cheese!

            Plastic cheese...d;^(

            1. re: pRon

              That's all I get but I gussy up those bad boys with serrano chiles, sour cream, hot salsa and the plastic cheese doesn't taste so plastic..
              ; )

              1. re: Beach Chick

                Hey BC,

                Don't get me wrong BUT I'm lactose intolerant and if I'm going to eat 'cheese' I want it to taste like cheese! I'll never forget the roadside cheese and green chili tamales I had 20 miles south of Ensenada on the way back from the total eclipse in La Paz...d;^)

                I doctored my costco ones up also,

                1. re: pRon

                  Tamales roadside south of Ensenada are delicious and can't compare to the Costco green chile and cheese but to your point of 'plastic cheese' taste..
                  Never tasted the plastic cheese you've experienced..maybe you microwaved them in Tupperware and the BPA's invaded your tamales, hence, the plastic taste.

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    Those pieces of American cheese individually wrapped in plastic are what I refer to as 'plastic cheese'. It has a unique flavor and texture that is not the same as 'real' cheese, especially when melted..

                    Those green chili cheese tamales from Costco have that flavor and texture.

                    I get tamales before or after mass. The church ladies make them for the Feast of Guadalupe and also for Christmas. Usually Cotija or similar cheese in the vegetarian ones.

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      Hey BC,

                      I have been known to microwave things, but almost never in Tupperware!

                      I'm glad they work for you though...d;^)

                      1. re: pRon

                        I'd take those little tamale bombs of cheesy, chile goodness south from Ensenada anyday over the Costco ones..
                        My beloved 'trash disposal boyfriend's' wife is making me some killer tamales for
                        Christmas..can't wait for those bad boys!

            2. I had a dozen chicken tamales from Ancira on Main St. Chula Vista last month and was disappointed. Without some good fresh salsa they would have been borderline inedible. I was really surprised since all they do is tamales.

              1. Northgate Market does a nice job with the holiday tamales. I don't know if the tamale lady at the Hillcrest Farmer's Market will do holiday tamales, but her standard ones are great.

                1 Reply
                1. re: scottca075

                  Oh, it looks like I'll miss that since I won't be in town until the 23rd. Boo.