There's Only One Tamale Lady

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The wonderful Tamale Lady (Virginia Ramos). Photo from Twitter.

The city erupted with the news on SFist last week that The Tamale Lady (Virginia Ramos) was no longer allowed to wheel her cart o’ tamales over to sell them at Zeitgeist anymore, due to a crackdown from the ABC and Health Department. Zeitgeist (somewhat helplessly) made the announcement on Facebook, and while it can certainly be scary to have your liquor license threatened, the bar was pretty quick to step away from the shituation. But fortunately other parties in the city (including District 9 Supervisor David Campos) are trying to figure out what they can do to help sort out Virginia’s needs, like getting her access to a commercial kitchen and securing a catering permit for her.

Virginia is adored by too many people to count, with her uncanny ability to show up and save your drunk ass when you need her most, with a “hey man, how you doing?” as she hands you a hot tamale and unrolls a paper towel for you. Seriously, this woman lives and loves to feed you. (Have you ever seen the documentary about her?) She is more of a San Francisco icon than almost anything you can think of. Well, except the fog. Whatever, the fog comes and goes, but Virginia is steadfast in her mission to feed you.

It’s not too late for Zeitgeist to rise to the occasion and offer to host a fundraiser for the return of the one person people are happy to see there (cough), but in the meantime, Virginia will be celebrating her 60th birthday this Friday June 21st at The Eagle Tavern, starting at 7pm. You can also keep track of her (and her hilarious tweets) on Twitter—heck, why don’t you call her and order some tamales for your next event, lunch, or party since a big portion of her revenue just disappeared? The Tamale Lady hotline is 415-218-1443. And I look forward to coming home to some good news about her situation, because I know this city is gonna rally. It’s something we do well here.