All-Star Tamales @ Alemany Farmer’s Market…
As usual, the air is balmy and the sky is overcast. Just as it should be on any respectable Saturday morning. It’s the perfect weather to cozy up with a bowl of soup on your overstuffed couch you paid too much for, and if you didn’t know, it’s also the perfect condition to visit a thrift store, antique store or a farmer’s market. In this algidity, you create a certain intimateness for the activity you’re taking part in. As luck would have it, you can find good food at the outdoor market. If you can manage to successfully zigzag through the joys that are an endless array of local produce, you will find a single file of food trucks and food stands at the back of the parking lot. The line at the Alemany’s Farmer’s Market is affectionately called, Food Row. It’s quite possible you might solely come here just for the food, possibly tamales, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
All-Star Tamales can be found at various markets throughout the city, so the location varies. But, once you have one of All-Star’s 14 different tamales, you will be sure to bring your hung-over, eye moco crusted, melancholic heart to the Alemany’s farmer’s market ever Saturday morning. This is just the soul satisfying music that can soothe your beastly soul. And an easy temporary soothing moment it is, tamales are $2.75 a piece, $5 for two is even better. One red pork tamale wrapped in a corn husk and one green pork tamale wrapped in a banana leaf, because pork is what I do. Red and green salsa carefully self-drizzled and cascading onto the golden (and lard free) masa. There are very few moments where I’d believe a manteca free anything could be so oleaginous, but All-Star’s masa definitely is. It contains the natural buttery sweetness of the maize and that delightfully rugged texture you expect to find from the use of cornmeal. Enough heat to get the juices flowing, but not so much that you have to keep eating because the pain is so brutal. “Just keep eating it and it’ll be ok.”
A black out moment. When I came to, there was green salsa on my sunglasses, hanging from the collar of the shirt.
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For those of you who have sworn off the swine, or the flesh in general, there’s a Vegi Vegan Tamale – remember, the masa is lard free. It has black beans, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. And all the other kitchen sink ingredients. The ingredient list is about as complicated as a person who thinks they’re Vegan, but occasionally eats fish. Oh, who are we kidding? All those kooky vegans are complicated.
Almost everyone was standing around this vendor, ignoring the poor Fava woman nearby, washing the tamales down with a Tamarindo Jarrito.
Definite mood improver.
Wednesdays @ Heart Of The City Farmers Market in Civic Center, 7am -3pm [Tenderloin]
Sundays @ Alemany Flea Market – 100 Alemany Boulevard, 6am – 2:30pm [Bernal Heights]