Thrifty tamales

illustration by MARK STIVERS

Remember Thrifty stores and their cheap ice cream? Now Thrifty is the place-whose-name-can’t-be-written, and that place sucks, even though they still have Thrifty ice cream. Anyway, what does this have to do with the tamale lady, Maria Mendoza, and her $1 beef, chicken and pork tamales she sells with Javier outside Thrift Town on El Camino Boulevard Wednesdays through Sundays? Nothing. Mendoza, who keeps the tamales safe and hot in a red cooler, has been shilling these masa-wrapped lunch snacks for a couple of years. I recommend the chicken, which pulls apart and has a nice zing. Oh, and you can pick up cheap threads, too, after lunch. Double deal.