Best Tamale - 2009
Yeah, we know Frontera Fresco is in Macy's basement and not the sainted Mission, that it's part of a chain run by a guy from Chicago, that the portions are small and the prices are hefty, and that the service can be on the downright surly side. But the fact remains that the sweet corn tamales served on the premises are as delectable as anything you'll find west of Topolobampo, Rick Bayless' Near North Side temple to regional Mexican cuisine. The masa has the texture of a soft, supple custard, the rich filling of ricotta and melted goat cheese is balanced by the fresh cilantro and sweet green chiles, and a peppery fire-roasted tomatillo salsa accents things nicely. This impeccably simple $4 street snack goes well with a glass of the house raspberry–prickly pear limeade; top-shelf tortas, quesadillas, and huaraches are on the menu as well.