These days I have a job that puts me in the vicinity of the Ferry Plaza Building and every Tuesday and Thursdays, for now, they do sort of a limited version of their traditional Saturday farmer's market. It features a handful of fruit and veggie vendors along with a small array of local food vendors including Wise Sons, Tacolicious, 4505 Meats to name a few. One recent Tuesday I wandered amongst the stalls and, but had already sampled most of the places before. Thus by process of elimination I ended up making my way to Donna's Tamales tent/stall/booth to see what they had to offer.
I liked a good tamale every now and then, though I try not to make it too much of a habit, you know, it's corn and all those carb things but I could smell their sweet aroma and was definitely intrigued. They have a decent slew of choices and most all of them are $3.75, a price I thought was a good deal (especially at the Ferry Building) as long they weren't tiny little things. I bellied up the table and ordered up two that sounded tasty.
Here we have the red pepper and goat cheese and and the green chili cheese. As you can see they were a pretty decent size so that was a plus. They are served hot and steaming so be careful when you open them. Another plus is they have a salsa bar with salsa, tomatillo sauce, a spicy red sauce and some tangy vinegary cole slaw. Each is its own treat and you can get as much as you want, though try not to get greedy. The first was loaded with red pepper, goat cheese and white corn--a combination that sounded interesting, but didn't ultimately work for me. I think it was the goat cheese that put me off when normally I like it, just not here. I think some other cheese with the peppers and corn would have worked better. The other had green chiles and white cheddar and was a more traditional play on a tamale and it worked really well. It was all gooey and spicy and really good. But of course it's the tamales themselves that are really the star here. They are soft and firm logs with that lovely sweet taste of mashed corn. Even though I wasn't a fan of the goat/pepper filling I was a fan of the tamales themselves-hot corn goodness. And just for good measure here's another shot of them.
I actually enjoyed the cheese chili so much I went back for another one, but on a different day, I'm not a glutton you know. (Not too much anyway) I guess if you are swinging by the Ferry Building on some random Tuesday or Thursday and you are looking for a quick, tasty filling bit for lunch that won't break your wallet, you should stop by Donna's Tamales. They are serving up some fresh, traditional masa tamales loaded with yummy gooey cheese. And while they don't do anything with meat filling, you won't miss it. They have plenty of filling combos, many vegan friendly, that I'm sure you'll find something to your liking. I mean, I did, and anyone who reads this blog regularly knows what a picky b**ch I can be with food, so there you go.