The Tamale Lady has been a Mission staple for nearly 20 years, rescuing bar patrons from drunken escapades with delicious tamales at the perfect moment.
And this Monday, San Francisco will reward her kindess and hard work with a 58th birthday party fit for a local hero.
Virginia Ramos, a house cleaner by day, started selling tamales at night to put five of her seven children through college. She's a common sight throughout the Mission and the SOMA nightlife, where she wheels around her delectable treats and sells them for $4.00 each.
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"I love this place; this is the only home-cooked meal I ever get!" One bar-patron exclaims in mini-documentary "Our Lady of Tamale," featuring 30-second songs submitted by dozens of San Francisco musicians in honor of Ramos.
"She's been my guardian angel so many times," another patron says. "And I just want to thank you, Virginia."
The Tamale Lady's actual birthday is June 26, but Zeitgeist, one of her frequent stops on her nightly tamale rounds, will commemorate the date on Monday, June 18 with a blowout party featuring music, movies and drink specials.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed the Tamale Lady's age as 49.
Check out a clip from "Our Lady of Tamale" below: