Kentucky Fried Buches
670 Avenida Constitución, halfway between 1st and Baja California Streets, Tijuana
Chicken necks are not appreciated on this side of the line. But where Constitución heads for the border and the street is filled with the drinkers and drifters and cops and loose women of Tijuana's zona norte, two brothers have built the business their father started on nothing but chicken necks. They have become one of the busiest fast-food places in town. You climb steps to their high counter. You notice hundreds of little log-shaped things dancing away in deep-fry oil. They're about four inches long and an inch wide. "We have been cooking chicken necks for 35 years," says Felipe, one of the brothers. "We go through 600 pounds of them every day. We get them from America. America doesn't use chicken necks." Buches -- necks -- are 25 cents each. Buy four for starters. Get a 50-cent bottle of Coke to wash it down. Bite in. It's kind of slip-slidey, but once you get the flesh and the crispy outside together and pull it off the knuckly bone, a nice herbal, garlicky fried flavor comes through. Wrap in a tortilla. Splat with their homemade salsa. Enjoy. "César Chávez ate here," says Felipe's brother Salvador. "So did Fernando Valenzuela. We even had Charles Bronson and Cheech Marin."