By Barbara Zaragoza
It’s hard these days to go anywhere South of the I-54 without someone telling me they are making hundreds of tamales for friends and family. It’s a Christmas tradition. Granted, most people want to make them at home with many family members participating. However, if you’ve got too many things to do before Christmas Day, where can you buy the best tamales?
Tamales Ancira is my #1 pick for the best tamales — I would argue — in the entire county. They create a taste bud delight that lets you go back in time over 8,000 years ago when the Mayans and Aztecs made these delectable gems. This small restaurant, located on in western Chula Vista, has the largest number of flavors I’ve ever found. They make their tamales fresh and by hand everyday. You can choose from beef, pork, chicken, cheese & jalapeno, picadillo, chicharron, sweet corn, beans & cheese, pineapple or nuts & raisins.
Their prices are also extremely reasonable. You can also do take out and enjoy their party pack of 100 tamales. If you’re there to catch lunch or dinner, order their kid-crazy Raspados (the equivalent of shaved ice, except with many more flavors, such as tamarindo and chamoy) and the famous champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate). Mmmmm. (Address: 2260 Main St, Chula Vista, CA 91911. (619) 424-3416)
On the other hand, if you can’t stand ordering out and need to make everything by hand, fair enough. In the same complex as Tamales Ancira, you can head over to El Ruiseñor (Address: 2260 Main Street, Chula Vista). They carry ingredients you can’t get anywhere else, in particular, an incredible selection of dried chiles. Tamales naturally go with mole sauce, don’t they? Everything for mole is here at El Ruiseñor for your own homemade recipe. But–okay–if you need to cheat, they sell three kinds of pre-made mole sauce (just add broth): oaxaca, rojo and verde.
Now, for those die-hard political types, here’s your weekly South Bay updates:
- The Chula Vista City Council approved $3.2 million of Measure P sales tax funds for infrastructure. This will be allocated to police and fire vehicles, 9-1-1 emergency communication equipment and street pavement. It’s important to know where our money is going, so I have added the full press release here.
- In addition, the City Council voted to create a Citizen’s Oversight Committee to monitor the spending generated from the half-cent sales increase. (Chula Vista Star News)
- CBS 8 reported that the Chula Vista Police Department provided 1,000 meals, enough food to serve 3,500 people for the holidays. People lined up outside Walmart in Chula Vista where they got their shopping carts filled.
- Beacon Classical Academy faces closure due to alleged violations. Trustees voted to serve the school with a notice of violation. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- In response to a study that showed northeast National City has a Fire Department coverage gap, a two-person fire squadron will oversee the area. (Chula Vista Star News)
- You may remember my write-up of the bike shop Hub & Spoke Cycleworks. They’re fantastic, not only because they sell and build new bikes, but because they offer many events that bring together the community. This week — well deserved — they just won the San Diego Bike Coalition’s “bike-friendly business of the year.” (San Diego Union Tribune)
- Stay Tune! In January the brand new IB Public Library opens with state-of-the-art amenities.
- The City of Imperial Beach filed a counter lawsuit against Coronado and the Navy. IB wants to get the wastewater contract with the Navy. Coronado wants it too. (San Diego Reader)
- The American Friends Service Committee is letting you know about your rights as an immigrant. They encourage people to report any maltreatment by U.S. border agents as well.
- A U.S. Border Patrol agent received bail after being accused of smuggling backpacks he thought were loaded with drugs across the border fence. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- A Tijuana city councilman did not get bail and remains behind bars after facing money laundering charges. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- The LA Times reports about the large number of migrants from Haiti, Africa and Asia that the city of Tijuana must try to absorb as these homeless, poverty stricken and desperate men, women and children seek asylum.
(North of the Fence will be off the next two weeks. Wishing the South Bay a very Happy New Year!)