Found myself in Watsonville over the weekend and picked up a dozen tamales ($15) to go from Lucy's #3 at 611 Main across from Jaliscos Restaurant. I assume this is a relative to a place in San Jose that has been briefly mentioned on the SF board. I ate them reheated using a microwave so only a brief report on quality:
The masa was of a medium density with a very strong corn flavor and aroma. They were not overly fluffy or waterlogged though the microwave may have dried them out a bit. Less powerful pork fat flavor than my reference Santa Cruz El Paisano tamale but I enjoyed the heightened corn flavor. I found the Masa/filling ratio to be a bit too heavy on the masa side but not horribly and this was definately not the flavorless mushy masses you get at so many sit down mexican restaurants.
I opted for pork filling- they also had chicken, chile/cheese and sweet?. The pork was shredded and flavorful but could have used a bit more of the braising chile sauce added in for flavor and moisture. I found the side dish of arbol chile salsa to be important to add flavor and moisture.
Overall a very good tamale and while I still prefer the pork fat and chile powerhouse of El Paisano's tamales, I could see other hounds prefering this version. The menu of this 5 table rest. also had tacos, buritos, quesadillas and chile rellenos though toppings were limited to carne asada and lengua.
I seem to remember seeing a sign on a place in the southern part of town (perhaps on main near salinas) advertising the "best tamles". Anyone know this place?