Cross Street Chicken and Beer with Korean Fried Chicken - San Diego, CA
When I get a craving for fried chicken, Cross Street Chicken and Beer is one of those places that pops into my head. The restaurant used to only offer dinner hours after 3pm but I was thrilled once they added lunch hours. The drive is only ten minutes away from work! It IS in the middle of Convoy so parking can be a pain. We typically have to walk a few blocks if we don't luck out with parking.
There's a sign-in at the front to add your party size. The service counter and kitchen is to the left upon entering. Do you see that rubber chicken there? It has a couple of special signatures on there... more on that later.
A large communal table is in the middle of the restaurant and they separate parties using a little green planter! We like sitting out in the patio area on a nice breezy day.
There's also an outdoor play area with a giant Connect 4 game to the left of the patio. Most of our blogger friends have visited including Fayes Fork and Soo from HungryOnes and Kirbie's Cravings and Kirk of Mmm-Yoso. We're just a little behind on posting but we've been here multiple times!
The rubber chicken is back! One of our friends was adventurous enough to try the spicy chicken challenge, which requires you to sign a two page waiver! We were amused by the baby bottle filled with milk (for those who can't handle it), the yellow rubber chicken, and a flashing red siren. The rules included a time limit, a burn period (after finishing the wings) and I think something about not using napkins. Unfortunately for our friend, he seemed to have gotten some of the BIGGEST chicken wings ever... it took a while to get through the second one (size of a child's fist) and his lips were BURNING! In the end, the wings won. Maybe next time someone will victoriously sign that chicken...
Here's a pic from one of our earliest visits where a single order of wings looked this fat and tasty! It came in a set of six.
Salt and Pepper Wings ($11) - opposites attract. garlic, red chili, green onions, salt and pepper (of course). tossed to perfection
For comparison, here's a recent visit. Seems like the chicken wings have shrunk in size but they do give you 6-7 wings. I loved the fried shell and the seasoning was fabulous on the juicy chicken. It had just a tad bit of spice due to the extra jalepenos plus some flavor from the onions and garlic. Dennis thought there was too much separation between the fried batter and meat plus the insides were a little too moist for him. It's okay honey, you can give them all to me!
Seoul Spicy Wings ($11) - a sauce inspired by the Korean household staple of gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) along with other complementary ingredients
Dennis preferred the Seoul Spicy Wings which had a lower batter to meat ratio. These were covered with a stickier sweet glaze with a nice finishing kick. The batter still had a crunch even with the sauce on top. A couple people in our party thought these were on the spicier side. I couldn't help eating a whole wing myself despite this!
Soy Garlic Wings ($11) - a classic Korean duo that will satisfy all 5 senses
Another flavor we tried were the Soy Garlic Wings. The batter seems a little thinner here allowing the soy garlic flavor to adhere better. It was an interesting flavor but we like the first two much more.
Kim Chi Fried Rice ($10) - fried rice with kim chi, spam, peas, carrots, onions, and egg
The Kim Chi Fried Rice was topped by a beautiful fried egg and well balanced, especially compared to versions elsewhere which seemed to be going downhill. The infused kim chi flavor carried a little bit of heat, just bareable for me after I had finally cooled off my mouth from Seoul Wings! On another visit, it tasted a little different, with firmer rice as well as a higher cabbage / kim chi ratio. The staff did mention they had to make new rice so maybe it was taken out too soon? Third time might be a charm.
Loaded Frankentots with fried chicken ($12) - beer battered under a blanket of caramelized onions, drizzled with our house sauce, loaded with tender pieces of white chicken meat
These are the Frankentots though there's also the option of fries. For us, leftover tots (if you have any) are always better than leftover fries! The chicken tenders on top had crunchy batter and a salt and pepper seasoning. The thousand island style dressing can be a little strong sometimes but overall it's a tasty combination!
Corn Poppers ($7) - cheese bites with cheddar, corn, jalapeno, potato, and savory bacon
We love the corn poppers here. The basket isn't that big with only 7-8 pieces but they are well fried with a super tasty corn filling.
Corn Cheese ($8) - glorious melted cheddar, monterey jack and mozzarella cheese melted over sweet buttery corn
Corn cheese is another Korean dish that seems to be popular here. These are buttery kernels with stringy cheese which sometimes glumps into fried cheese on the bottom of the pan. It's a bit oily overall but something nice to try at least once. We would rather get the corn poppers instead.
Chicken' Waffles ($11) - two chicken with sweet Belgian waffles, have it classic or spicy
During our most recent visit, we ordered the chicken and waffles. These Belgium waffle had a firm edgy bite plus sugar crystals buried within the batter! You hit a really sweet spot here and there through a little crunch in your mouth! They reminded us of the liege waffles we had tried during our Brussels trip as well as the local Wow Wow Waffle (now Atypical Waffle). Those reviews are coming soon...
I'm still quite a big fan of this place after multiple visits. Dennis knows that if he's in Convoy and wants to bring me back food, this is always a welcome treat! That crispy skins and juicy meat keep me coming back for more. If we weren't going here, my next favorite would be the salt and pepper wings from Common Theory. Cross Street also serves beer here per their name but we don't drink as often. Ever tried Korean Fried Chicken? Do you have a go-to wings spot?
Cross Street Chicken and Beer
4403 Convoy St
San Diego CA 92111