A mention of killer tamales on Vallejo Bites (linked below) sent me scurrying to downtown Vallejo last Friday. Made only on the weekends, theyre still hot fresh from the steamer if you show up in the morning. Pork or chicken, and theyre a buck apiece. Corn tortillas are made fresh here every day and you can buy masa for making your own tortillas or tamales.
Made in the traditional style with lard, these are good, but I wouldnt call them killer. The masa is coarse ground with mix of smooth and grainy textures. The pork in the filling is in chunks that pull apart in tender strings in a medium spicy chili sauce. I would have liked more sauce but an added dab of salsa did the trick too. These met the test of holding together enough in a dense mass to eat out of hand, but were not quite as unctuous or spicy as my illusionary tamale.
The tortillas are nice too with a chewy elasticity and reasonable thickness. The freshly ground corn lends greater intensity.
Worth a stop if youre in the neighborhood.
Tortilleria Pinto [Solano County]
1717 Sonoma Blvd. (at Indian Alley)