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Best of 2001: Best Tamal-Elote-Champurrado Stand

Tamales Los Unicos
25th and C, Golden Hill
619-238-1513

There's something about standing outside in the chill of the night, unwrapping your own personal Sinaloa-style tamal, taking a slurp of champurrado, and chatting with everybody else in the pool of light. Alma and her husband Fernando set up their Tamales Los Unicos cart in the driveway of a body shop at 3:00 every afternoon and stay open till 9:00. They serve pork tacos al vapor, but the real delicious combo is tamales and champurrado. Cut the red wool string binder, open the steaming golden cornhusks, and chow down on a doughy mix of potato and chile and tomato and onion and hot sauce. To help it down, ask for one of Mexico's oldest drinks, made of chocolate, masa -- corn dough -- and cinnamon. Champurrado. Thick, rich, sweet, hot. Finish off with an elote, made of sweet corn paste, and guess what? You've filled yourself up, made friends, practiced your Spanish, and spent, oh, maybe $3-$4.

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Tamales Los Unicos
25th and C, Golden Hill
619-238-1513

There's something about standing outside in the chill of the night, unwrapping your own personal Sinaloa-style tamal, taking a slurp of champurrado, and chatting with everybody else in the pool of light. Alma and her husband Fernando set up their Tamales Los Unicos cart in the driveway of a body shop at 3:00 every afternoon and stay open till 9:00. They serve pork tacos al vapor, but the real delicious combo is tamales and champurrado. Cut the red wool string binder, open the steaming golden cornhusks, and chow down on a doughy mix of potato and chile and tomato and onion and hot sauce. To help it down, ask for one of Mexico's oldest drinks, made of chocolate, masa -- corn dough -- and cinnamon. Champurrado. Thick, rich, sweet, hot. Finish off with an elote, made of sweet corn paste, and guess what? You've filled yourself up, made friends, practiced your Spanish, and spent, oh, maybe $3-$4.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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