A Christmas tradition, the tamale becomes a spring affair each April.
The Friendly House 78th Annual Tamale Festival at CITYSCAPE in downtown Phoenix had a different twist this year ... mayors from 10 Valley cities used their taste buds to judge tamales to see which restaurant has the best one.
The Friendly House, a non-profit organization, conducted its fund-raising tamale festival recently, and the mayors stepped up to judge after a panel narrowed the contenders down from eight to three.
The mayors asked restaurants in their cities to participate and contribute 12 dozen tamales, which would be provided as part of a dinner combination to festival-goers.
Mayors Sharon Wolcott of Surprise, Lana Mook of El Mirage and Jerry Weiers of Glendale participated along with mayors from Phoenix, Tolleson, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Mesa, Guadalupe and Maricopa.
The restaurants chosen to have the best tamales were the Sanctuary in Scottsdale, with Fuego Bar and Grill in Tolleson and Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant in Mesa tying for second place.