I went on a little Fruitvale food trawl today. Ate at the usual suspects (Ojo de Agua truck- had a very nice Torta Espanola- egg, chorizo, ham, avocado, and assorted veggies....a delicious grease bomb for a mere $4.50), and spotted a little cafe called "World Cup Cafe- The Tamale Queen" across the street. Had a cheese and chile, and a chicken tamale. I'm not a huge tamale afficiando, but they tasted good to me. $2/each, she also sells them by the dozen frozen, I think for $24. The menu also included coffee and various other treats, I didn't have time to inspect too carefully.
The most compelling aspect of this clean, charming little place was a beautiful tiled patio, replete with fountain, in the back. It was really lovely. The proprietress (a very nice lady) told me they have an open mike tonight, plus Brazilian music.
There was a little newspaper blurb on the counter. Says the Tamale Queen is Maria Martinez, a 68 y.o. single mom who raised 3 kids. She did all the construction work on the beautiful patio herself, including the stonework and mural.
I think an evening on her patio would be well spent!
World Cup Cafe (The Tamale Queen)
1212 Fruitvale Ave. (directly across from Ojo de Aqua)
Oakland, CA 94601