Fresh-cooked pork tamales are going for $7 a dozen at Gerardo's, and they're very good. After eating a sample dozen, I decided to get my Christmas tamales there this year. There is a sign on the front door warning customers to order their holiday tamales in advance. Gerardo's is expecting a rush as the last-minute tamale shoppers hit the streets on Christmas Eve -- me among them.
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Last year, I resorted to ordering my Christmas tamales from somebody on Craigslist. I figured that's where I could find all the little old ladies who used to walk around with bags of tamales. There were lots of them all right. But I ended up with quite a few underdone tamales in the sack I bought. And that's pretty typical. I remember one year when I bought a sack of tamales from a kindly old Mexican lady in a parking lot. When I got home I discovered they didn't have any fillings. There are plenty of tamale sellers on Craigslist again this year, but I am considering them a back-up plan in case Gerardo's runs out. (Gerardo's is at 609 Patton, near Cavalcade.)