San Diego Wing Week 2015 - recap
It all began last year with City Beat's San Diego Burger Week, where I practically ate a burger a day for a week (and avoided 'em for almost a month after). Then they created Wing Week, and well, I just couldn't turn that down either... With options galore (30ish restaurants), a $5 basket of wings was mighty tempting!
Common Theory Public House
I'd been wanting to check this place out after seeing it on local bloggers Kirbie's, Mary, Jinxi's, etc blogs. It was close to work so I convinced a few coworkers to join me for lunch.
I got two orders of Salt and Pepper Wings for the table. This batch was crispy hot deliciousness. The "pepper" portion of it wasn't black pepper as I expected but flakes of RED pepper! So by the end, my lips were burning a bit (I'm weak spice) but OMG they were so tasty I couldn't stop! The wings came in an order of 6 and were a generous size with juicy meat underneath the skin. I only managed 7 wings before calling it quits.
Another person ordered the Sweet and Spicy Wings. Throw in the word "spicy" and I'm already slinking away, but these turned out to be less spicy than the Salt and Pepper Wings! The general consensus was that these had a great flavor to them with the right amount of sauce to skin ratio. None of this crazy drenched stuff. Another stamp of approval.
One guy ordered the Hell Fire Wings for himself. We offered him other flavors to try but he said his tastebuds were defunct after that first piece! The lesson to be learned? Save the hell fire for last!
I did stir up a little action while ordering... the menu and online listed three flavors but waiter said only two (hell fire, sweet and spicy) were available for wing week. Say what? I wanted me some salt and pepper wings since the others were obviously spicy... I stewed for a bit, then had a little chat with the owner at the bar. The reason for exclusion was that those wings took longer (extra steps of frying, etc), but he'd give us the deal on them anyway. Hooray! I got what I wanted and those turned out to be my FAVORITE!
South Park Abbey
The specialty is their smoked wings and multitude of flavors, at least 8+. I met Dennis and his two friends here for dinner and let them order to their heart's content. I was practially full from the "North Park Wing Crawl" earlier that day (next section).
Even after a gut-busting afternoon, I decided to take a bite of these BBQ wings and was shocked from the mouth burn! Turns out they were really Honey Habanero Wings. Whoo, too hot for me! Dennis finished them off but thought the flavor was overshadowed by the heat.
I snuck a piece from the Teriyaki Wings as well. Now THIS I can handle. I liked how it was slightly fried underneath the chicken wing skin, creating a nice base for a saucy finish. The flavor was balanced between salty and sweet so worked for me.
The best flavor was unanimous: the Dirty Wings. My notes mentioned a somewhat sweet and sour to them but with plenty of garlic goodness. It's something you have to try for yourself. I wouldn't mind going back to get a 'better' taste.
Here's the highlight of the evening. The spicy Tough Guy Wings required signing a WAIVER and our two friends were up for the challenge. Dennis and I just watched in amusement, cuz we ain't crazy.
Look at all that sauce on the Tough Guy Wings! One wing in and a friend desperately needed ice cream! The other was sweating quite a bit. A second ice cream later, all the wings were gone. Good job guys. Here's a virtual *high five* from the internet.
North Park Wing Crawl
Mary from This Tasty Life set up a wing crawl in North Park since there were multiple locations within walking distance. We were joined by Mary's bf Jake, her friend Laura, and J.S. from Sun Diego Eats. We started out at South Park Abbey and smartly avoided the burn, since only Jake does spicy in this group. Instead we had the Dirty Wings (favorite) and the Garlic Buffalo. Then we all hopped into a car to hit University and 30th street, where most of the wing action was.
Everyone's favorite wings were the Teriyaki Wings from Toronado. See the grill marks? Makes me sooooo happy that we have a grill too. I gotta try this one day!
The worst wings were Mango Habanero Wings from U-31, which were wimp sized and poorly thought out with sweetness overload.
I could go on and on but Mary already did a great writeup here.
Wing week was definitely a great promotion, allowing us to explore a few new plaecs. Next year I want to do a downtown crawl (21+). It may be over for now but 2016 will roll around before you know it! And burger week is seriously JUST around the corner. I think that will have to hold me over until the next <food> week!