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Simply the Best Tamales I've Ever Had

I’ve tasted tamales from far and wide—San Diego to Cancun, Texas to New York City (New York City?!?!...get a rope). They’ve been manufactured by nameless grandmothers, local white linen gastronomes, and Bobby Flay. Yet, none have inspired me to wax evangelistic…until now.

Last Friday, a friend of mine surprised me with a plastic bag containing a nondescript Styrofoam container. Inside were four steamy hot, foil-wrapped square pucks. Little did I know then that what was inside would shine far brighter than their aluminum sheathing.

None

My generous gift-giver told me they were Oaxacan-style tamales he’d picked up at a favorite place of his near his home in North County. That spot is Vista's Panaderia Oaxaquena Y Restaurant, and it’s one I’m already setting time aside to go visit in person based on the incredible flavor of their banana leaf-wrapped tamales.

All too often, tamales are nothing more than a smallish spoonful of meat surrounded by bland, dense masa, but these are stuffed with plenty of succulent chicken and a hearty dose of sweet, dark Oaxacan mole sauce teeming with Theobromine richness and cinnamon spice.

None

Even the masa has great flavor and, like the chicken, a good amount of moisture. This, not only makes them enjoyable to eat, but also the type of treat that can stand up to microwaving. My tamales tasted every bit as spectacular the next day. Just what I like—a delicious provision I can stock up on.

These are simply the best tamales I’ve ever tasted, and something I plan on enjoying for a long time to come. I highly recommend checking them out for yourself. Panaderia Oaxaquena Y Restaurant is located in a strip mall at 1275 South Santa Fe Avenue.

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I’ve tasted tamales from far and wide—San Diego to Cancun, Texas to New York City (New York City?!?!...get a rope). They’ve been manufactured by nameless grandmothers, local white linen gastronomes, and Bobby Flay. Yet, none have inspired me to wax evangelistic…until now.

Last Friday, a friend of mine surprised me with a plastic bag containing a nondescript Styrofoam container. Inside were four steamy hot, foil-wrapped square pucks. Little did I know then that what was inside would shine far brighter than their aluminum sheathing.

None

My generous gift-giver told me they were Oaxacan-style tamales he’d picked up at a favorite place of his near his home in North County. That spot is Vista's Panaderia Oaxaquena Y Restaurant, and it’s one I’m already setting time aside to go visit in person based on the incredible flavor of their banana leaf-wrapped tamales.

All too often, tamales are nothing more than a smallish spoonful of meat surrounded by bland, dense masa, but these are stuffed with plenty of succulent chicken and a hearty dose of sweet, dark Oaxacan mole sauce teeming with Theobromine richness and cinnamon spice.

None

Even the masa has great flavor and, like the chicken, a good amount of moisture. This, not only makes them enjoyable to eat, but also the type of treat that can stand up to microwaving. My tamales tasted every bit as spectacular the next day. Just what I like—a delicious provision I can stock up on.

These are simply the best tamales I’ve ever tasted, and something I plan on enjoying for a long time to come. I highly recommend checking them out for yourself. Panaderia Oaxaquena Y Restaurant is located in a strip mall at 1275 South Santa Fe Avenue.

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Comments
1

The truly best tamales are from El Tejate on Mission in Escondido. Also Oaxacan and wrapped in banana leaves, they are rich and smooth (I prefer the pork with brown mole) with generous amounts of meat. One is a meal by itself.

June 6, 2012

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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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