chicken charlie’s frybq / clairemont


Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 11+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

10 Responses

  1. Doesn’t it make the fair food less special if it’s served all year round? But I guess if you want to avoid the crowds you could go here in the summer. No paying for parking or fair admission! I don’t expect this place to be around too long but that’s coming from someone who doesn’t usually eat fair foods in the first place!

    • mary says:

      Hi Lynn – There are these fried mushrooms at the fair that I loved and I tried having them at the actual restaurant they’re from and they didn’t taste the same… so in way it does make the fair food less special. Also, I kind of only want to eat fair food once a year anyway… haha.

  2. at least you got to try this place once though. I agree with lynn that i don’t see this place as having any lasting appeal. yeah, their food is fried (and they’ll fry anything it seems), but that seems like a one trick pony to me.

    • mary says:

      Hi CC – I think the appeal of the fried fair food is that you can only get it for a limited amount of time, making you want it more. Do I really need fried Oreos year round? Not really. I wonder how they’re doing.

  3. Lauren says:

    Bummer that this place wasn’t better, another restaurant from Balboa Mesa I have had my eye on. I think a little bit of the fair magic is lost in the translation to a brick and mortar location. But at $5, I might still try them!

    • mary says:

      Hi Lauren – Yeah, I think that’s what the allure is – is that it’s at the fair! Oh well, maybe other people dig it more than I do. We were in that area last Saturday and every place was crazy busy! Must remind future self to not go over there on Saturday evenings, hah.

  4. MPH says:

    Chicken Charlie’s is the best in “I don’t feel like giving a damm” eating.

  5. Mary, we’re sorry your first experience at our restaurant was not the best experience for you. We have been working every day to improve food and service in the restaurant, and reviews like yours help us to understand where we can improve and do better. Thank you for that.

    We have taken a couple of your concerns to heart (namely the chicken, because we were experiencing problems with it on the kitchen side for some time). We have fixed the issue and hope you will come back to try it again, or enjoy one of the many other items we have on the menu that aren’t necessarily fair related including our grilled chicken sandwiches and salad, rotisserie chicken and 1/2 lb. ribeye cheesesteak. We are also adding new menu items all the time and this week will be announcing one of the best happy hour beer specials in San Diego.

    Again, thanks for coming in and for the honest feedback. We work everyday to improve so we can give back to the community that has provided us with so much.

    • mary says:

      Hello Chicken Charlie – Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post/review! Nice to see someone is out there reading these and taking them to heart. The restaurant could do more to make the experience a friendlier, more memorable experience so maybe we will stop in again to see the changes that have happened. Thanks!

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