Last Friday Jake and I were running some errands in the evening when I started thinking about dinner. And yet again, I was having a craving for chicken wings. We hadn’t found our “go to” spot yet and I was scoping out Yelp for ideas on places we hadn’t tried yet. We had T with us so we couldn’t do a bar (like Duck Dive) and somehow I stumbled on this place in Encanto (my old hood) called Wings and Fish.
I mentioned to Jake that they had something called “Bean Pies” as well as “African Fries” and his curiosity was piqued. I suggested maybe going someplace in Ocean Beach since that’s where we were and traffic was pretty bad… but he had to know what the African Fries were! We took some creative ways through Point Loma and Downtown to get to the 94, bypassing all the awful traffic on the 5, to get down to Encanto.
I am incredibly familiar with this neighborhood since it’s where I grew up and I knew exactly what plaza this would be in. Their website states that they have been here since 2000. They recently rebranded this year and used to be called Salaam Fish House (it is still the same owner). They have pretty much the same menu but have changed their decor and name. They do fish tacos on Tuesdays and have 50 cents wing night on Wednesdays (the special for wing night ends at 5PM).
This is the inside of the shop which is tiny. Jake, T and I are in the corner here. There is one little high round table with two little seats, plus three other chairs for people who are waiting for their food. It’s very much a take out place since there is no room inside. On the counter there is a sign for a special, Chicken and Waffles, and a plate of homemade cookies for sale.
Closeup of the menu. The other side of this has a couple of coupons.
[two piece snack pack with whiting fish / $4.25]
Jake and I wanted to try out the fish. You have the choice of either red snapper or whiting. Jake suggested the whiting and told me it was “less fishy” than the snapper. It it one fish sliced in half with a thin breading on it. I found it to be incredibly fishy and did not enjoy the taste of it at all. Jake agreed and said it wasn’t supposed to taste like that, so maybe it was just off that day.
We got the 18 piece meal deal for the wings, which included fries and a drink (which was either their own brewed tea or Shasta soda). We got 6 wings with three different flavors and the guy working at the counter asked the cooks to separate the flavors for us so they wouldn’t get all mixed together (yay).
These are MEATY wings! They’re larger than other wings we have had at other spots. They are fried in a nice batter and sauced very well. The sauce makes them a little less crunchy, of course, but you could still taste the crispness of the wing and the batter. The buffalo was a bit too spicy for me considering I had no sauce to dunk it in (they only offer ketchup and hot sauce at the restaurant). Jake and T really loved this one for the spicy flavor of the sauce.
Next up: the BBQ wings! Again – very large, very meaty, very juicy wings. The skin was nice and crisp and the meat was flavorful and yummy. The BBQ sauce is mild and sweet – the perfect thing to eat after eating that hot one – hoo boy! These were also quite saucy which made Jake happy since he loves his food to be slathered in sauce.
[sweet heat wings]
The Sweet Heat wings though were by FAR our favorite of the three sauces we tried (the only one we didn’t try was the Hot). Again – a beautiful, wonderful outer crisp skin and the perfect amount of sauce. The sauce was very smiliar to a Thai sweet chili but felt a little lighter than that. Perhaps it’s mixed with something else? It has a nice sticky sweetness to it and coats the wing quite well. It has just a touch of heat that you notice after devouring a couple of wings but the sweetness balances it all out.
Here’s a close up of the African Fries which we got with the fish and as our side with the wings. The guy at the counter told us the have special seasonings on them to give them their flavor (which he didn’t identify). The fries are on the softer side and reminded me very much of the Slap Chips I tried at Capetown in Miramar. They had a softness to them like they were meant to be cooked that way and had a great variety of spice on the fries. I have no idea what was on them, but it was a unique seasoning that I hadn’t tried before. Almost like a few twists on Old Bay (but with more punch).
T also wanted to try the homemade cookies. The one on the left is a cranberry oatmeal cookie with white chocolate chips and the one on the right is a cranberry oatmeal as well… but no chips. I didn’t really care for either one, they were a bit too dry and crumbly for my tastes but T seemed to like them.
I had really wanted to try the Bean Pie but they had already sold out that day! The nice gentlemen told us that the bean pie is similar to a sweet potato or pumpkin pie but that they tend to sell out quickly. Hopefully I can get a piece the next time we visit (and there will be a next time since we really enjoyed those wings).
Next door to the restaurant is a nice looking panaderia as well, but we didn’t stop in since we had hot food that I wanted to get home before it got cold on us.
We brought all the food home and ate our dinner in Jake’s backyard. Bentley tried to get a little food from us by being cute. Sorry, pup, but you’re not allowed!
It was a pretty nice evening and we even got “Simpsons” clouds that night!
Wings and Fish
6201 Imperial Ave
San Diego, CA 92114