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wings and fish / encanto

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.

Wings and Fish / Encanto - San Diego, CA

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).

Interior - Wings and Fish / Encanto - San Diego, CA

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.

Wings and Fish menu / Encanto - San Diego, CA

Closeup of the menu. The other side of this has a couple of coupons.

Two Piece Fish with Fries - Wings and Fish / Encanto - San Diego, CA

[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.

Buffalo Chicken Wings - Wings and Fish / Encanto - San Diego, CA

[buffalo wings]

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.

BBQ Chicken Wings - Wings and Fish / Encanto - San Diego, CA

[bbq wings]

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 Chicken Wings - Wings and Fish / Encanto - San Diego, CA

[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.

African Fries - Wings and Fish / Encanto - San Diego, CA

[african fries]

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).

Cookies - Wings and Fish / Encanto - San Diego, CA

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.

bentley-begging-for-chicken

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!

summer-blue-sky

It was a pretty nice evening and we even got “Simpsons” clouds that night!

Wings and Fish
6201 Imperial Ave
San Diego, CA 92114
(619) 527-7137

'7 Responses to “wings and fish / encanto”'
  1. Faye says:

    What’s up with wanting wings lately – because *I* also have been craving wings all week too! I was in OB today and actually had some wings!

    The fried fish looks nicely seasoned though. I usually like cod for my fried fish and chips. That thin white fish needs to eat a sandwich or something.

    Doesn’t $1+/wing seem pricey to you. I can’t believe how expensive wings have gotten over the years. I thought they used to be so cheap. I bought some wings last week (from 99 Ranch) and tried to deep fry them naked (no flour, etc). I couldn’t get the skin as crispy as I wanted though. Have you tried deep frying wings before?

    • mary says:

      Hi Faye – Must just be a wings kind of vibe lately! I hope you had good wings in OB!
      I suppose $1+ for a wing seems a little pricey. The ones here at Wings & Fish though are large and really meaty so I don’t mind paying for it. Wings do seem pricier now though! I have not tried deep frying wings, usually I like to grill them instead. Maybe they use cornstarch to get that really crispy skin – that’s what I tried doing when I baked them around Super Bowl time and they were really good.

  2. Two things! Dammit! Number 1 – My coupon for Salaam Fish House is now “invalid” because this place took over! But the good thing is, Number 2 – This place took over!!!!!

    Want to give this a try! Those look like meaty wings!

    Bentley is so cute! What kind of dog is he and how old (or does his face just have white fur)?

    • mary says:

      Hi CC – Bummer about the coupon! The wings here are really good – nicely fried, very crisp, and so meaty!

      Bentley is a Chihuahua – Jake thinks he’s mixed with something else, maybe a terrier of some kind. He is 16, if you can believe it! He’s quite spry for a dog his age!

  3. Me again. Just read the old yelp reviews of Salaam Fish House (which doesn’t indicate that they are “closed”) and they mention the special ‘bean pie’ and their ‘African Fries’. Perhaps it’s the same food/cooks but different name and/or owners?

    • mary says:

      Hi CC – It is the same owner as Salaam Fish House, they rebranded the restaurant this year to try and reach out to a wider audience. It’s pretty much the same menu, too. I talked with the owner, Carl, today. His son in law works taking orders up front and his son works as a cook. I almost got a bean pie today but I had already picked up some donuts from Donut Panic and didn’t want to get another dessert! We will be back!

      • Ooh Donut Panic! That’s right, those vegan donuts are only available Sun and Wednesdays! :)

        I mentioned the coupon thing because you have the same coupon book. In any case, I plan to check out Wings and Fish soon.

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