Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kentucky Fried Buches:The Original Gangstas of Tijuana soul food since 1963

After a day of frying chicken necks, it's Miller Time at KFB

Fresh tortillas from a nearby tortilleria

Crispy,crunchy buches

The tribute band fulfills a unique role in the entertainment world. There is a universal set of songs that all bar bands, casual outfits, and party bands call from their reperatory. Rolling Stones, Earth Wind and Fire, Jimmy Buffet, CCR, James Brown, etc.But, some bands are so iconic and unique in either lead vocals(ACDC), I've watched hundreds of singers crumble trying to do "You Shook Me...", their arrangements(Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd),their vistuosity and style(Van Halen), or in their theatrics(Kiss), that they have to be studied by all participants and well rehearsed. It's the love of their favorite bands music that makes so many dedicated fans commit to a tribute band weekend after weekend to recreate it as authentic as possible. Some of these acts are quite good, like the Van Halen Tribute, the Atomic Punks.

Kentucky Fried Buches represents one of these artists, so iconic, that they are the only ones in their category. To the best of my knowledge, deep fried chicken necks aren't done anywhere else in Mexico.Since 1963, Felipe Escoto Barajas(owner) and his family have been serving their savory neck tacos to the people of Tijuana and many a traveler.Along with brothers Juan Escoto Barajas and Fco. Chavez, Felipe works alongsode his son Ivann Escoto Sainz. It's a family affair.

The house special, deep fried chicken necks with a signature salsa

The menu!!

After struggling with hot fried necks, a taco is assembled

Magic salsa

While reading a post by kindred spirit, Teenage Glutster, I saw that he found a couple of fried buche trucks in East LA, serving the same salsa to accompany, claiming to be Tijuana style buches.

Well, they are from TJ, but KFB is the lone keeper of this culinary tradition. As the Teenage Glutster accurately described, the ratio of skin to meat is utterly pleasing, and calling themselves KFB was a stroke of genious.It's Tijuana soul food, greasy and heart warming.Deep fried buches are everything KFC wishes it could be.Economical, novel, and luscious.

KFB is all about simplicity. There is a fry tank for the buches,and a salsa that looks so simple, tastes so familiar, yet is truly original at the same time to complete the winning flavor formula. Fresh totillas are a stone's throw away at any one of a dozen tortillerias, and only salt and toothpicks are on the tables.I remember coming here back in 2001 and just laughing 'til it hurt at the name, Kentucky Fried Buches! The first time I had these I was eating the whole buche with the bones in the tortillas 'til I saw a local picking the skin and scant neck meat onto the tortilla.OK, party foul, let's try this again.Definitely better without the bones.The menu is a sign on the wall that says "una orden $35", which consists of 5 buches, salsa, and tortillas.There's also soda.Recently they've doubled the menu, there's now pozole on the weekends?After 46 years, one of them says, "I think we should have some pozole, you know, like on the weekends",dad replies,"OK, but you have to make it and put up the sign."

From right to left, Felipe Ecoto Barajas(owner), Ivann Escoto Sainz(son and heir to the throne), and employee

Table salt and toothpicks are all you need

The restaurant is located a couple of blocks from the Tijuana monument arch at La Revo and Art. 123.It's in a seedy but safe part of town.Famous music groups playing in Tijuana stop here, and at some point every family in Tijuana has been here, and the many revelers and night owls make it out each evening to satify their fancy.As I was leaving the other night a banda group came in and blasted away while we tried to talk, and a few street characters came by to amuse.All for under $4USD for food, beverage,live music, and comedy show!

I told the boys that they were being paid tribute by a couple of loncheras in East LA. They smiled and graciously nodded to acknowledge the compliment. Felipe then said,"Esta bien...........pero no es igual." I will go and check out the Atomic Punks and have a good time, but nothing will ever beat the concert I saw with my dad when I was in sixth grade at the Oakland Coliseum. Eddie, Dave, Alex, and Michael when Van Halen only had three albums under their belt. Go to Tijuana and see the original,still as good as ever, in dowtown Tijuana, Kentucky Fried Buches.

A banda serenades the staff at the end of another day in the Zona Norte

Kentucky Fried Buches
670 Ave. Constitución
Zona Norte
Tijuana, Baja California Norte


Eddie Lin said...

One day. KFB and me.

streetgourmetla said...

Extreme foods TJ here we come.

Anonymous said...

Great Post! Have you ever been to Birrieria Guadalajara Pues! ? it's on the same block as KFB but across the street. Seriously good birria de chivo.