Today I'm sharing one of my favorite weekend indulgences. On those rare Saturday mornings when we don't have plans and I can drag Nik out of bed before 1pm, I often make a beeline for the Ferry Building Farmer's Market.
While I adore this market, it is not the prospect of waiting in a 30 minute line for Blue Bottle coffee, dodging tourists nor paying $5 for an avocado that motivate me to become presentable and face the world on a Saturday morning. Actually, it's the tamale stand.
Tamales are, like sushi and coffee, sacred things in San Francisco. Everyone's got a favorite. Some swear by the civic center or mission tamale ladies. Rustic as those tamales are - you can't beat their wheelie carts or prices - trust me, these gringa-made Ferry Building versions give them a run for their money.
You'll find them at the back of the market. Hard to miss, just follow the sound of the bad buskers that always camp out across from the stall. These lovely steamed masa delights are made by Primavera, a Sonoma-based joint that makes homemade tortillas, tamales and salsas. It's run by Karen Taylor, a self-taught chef of mexican cuisine who makes a mean chicken mole tamale and an amazing pumpkin & white cheddar one. Make sure you douse them all in the roasted tomatoe salsa that's served in a bucket at the stall.
A bit pricey for Mexican food, you might complain. But note that Taylor's ingredients are all locally sourced and organic. You're paying for that - and the travel costs from Sonoma! The good news? If you really like these, Primavera is opening a store that sells all of their products retail - so you can get them outside of the area farmers markets. . . if you're willing to drive out to Sonoma, that is.
Next time you're at the Ferry Building market, tempting as it might be to grab an Out the Door sandwich or stop at Rose Pistola in the very front of the market, venture to the back. These tamales are totally worth it.
Ferry Building Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8am - 1pm