Hola Good Lunchers!
Who doesn’t like steamy hot masa wrapped in corn husk stuffed with, well, just about anything? That’s the epic beauty of a classic tamale. You can put anything inside one, and the right tamale can be perfect any time of day. If you haven’t bumped into the Tamales Los Mayas food cart then you’ve been missing out on both one of the best tamales to be had in town hands down, and a great story to come out of our city to boot. In a city saturated by tech startups and billion dollar global icons, it’s super refreshing to be reminded that awesome success can be made here at the pedestrian scale, too. Alicia’s story is edible proof, and we’re absolutely psyched to offer you her delicious, deeply sentimental tamales for your next lunch.
Alicia Villanueva came to California close to fifteen years ago from Mazatlan where she grew up making tamales with her mother and grandmother. Tamales actually predate ancient Maya. Their portability revolutionized not only the way food was prepared for armies and populations, but pioneered an entire culture of Mesoamerican cuisine that continues to inspire chefs today. So what better place to find a tamale revolution than San Francisco? After quietly selling hers door-to-door for years to make ends meet here, in 2010 Alicia landed a coveted space at La Cocina, an innovative business incubator that assists low income women of color and immigrant communities. Ever since, her tamales have taken off and changed her life, and altered the Bay Area tamale scene in a big way.
As she likes to say, “my tamales are stuffed with love, and the best people are stuffed with my tamales.” Today, while running a hugely successful food cart
throughout the week, she has turned her handcrafted tamales into a full on thriving catering business that has found her special scented leaf wrapped meals in offices like G.E., and parties like the Treasure Island Music Fest all over the Bay. Soon, her tamales will be sold at all Whole Foods, and have already been shipped as far away as Europeand Australia. The world is catching on.
Check out her menu. We highly recommend the chicken and mole tamales, and with lots of avocado salsa! But, you can’t go wrong with any of them really, not even here baby tamalito pops. They’re adorable! So, the next time your crew is hankering for a true taste of authentic latin food made with the deepest sense of tradition, load them up with Alicia’s tamales. She’s going global and when you taste them you’ll know why!
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p.s. Do you have repeating and scheduled lunches? Let us help you with them.