Best of 2000: Best Exotic Mixed-Fruit Stand

Pedro's Fruit Cart
Rio Suchiate and Rio Nazas,
outside Ministerio Público, Tijuana

Your best fruit lunch awaits you outside the state-police offices and holding cells in Tijuana. Pedro's fruit cart has everything, from mangos to tuna (not the fish, the prickly pear: fruit of the nopal cactus). Pedro's is where cops and prosecutors and lawyers and litigants gather, order fruit, and chew fat. Gun-toting detectives come out with their handcuffed prisoners, lean them against the side of the nearest car, and make them wait while they grab a fresh-squeezed piña (pineapple) drink from Pedro (about 50 cents). But come for Pedro's mixed fruit and honey special. For $3 he'll skin whole mangoes, pears, prickly pears, bananas, apples, papayas, melons, or anything else you ask for, chop them into chunks, pile them in a bowl, lay down a snowy summit of cottage cheese, sprinkle raisins, whole Brazils, and other nuts, then -- bliss! -- glug golden honey over the whole thing. He'll add a plastic fork and half a dozen napkins to deal with the inevitable mess. It's heavy. You'll have to take it over to the maroon bench under the trees. You'll probably join half of Tijuana's legal bench there. And when you get down to the honeyed juices, what the heck, be prepared to lift, drink, stain your shirt. What can they do? Arrest you?

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