Dirty Birds (visit 2)

Well, I recently found out that one of my good friends is semi-obsessed with chicken wings… as in, she’d eat them everyday for lunch if she could (or something like that, haha). So, after discovering this, we decided to go to Dirty Birds in Pacific Beach sometime. Actually, she was with me on my first visit to Dirty Birds, which left me with generally favorable impressions.

Dirty Birds

We decided on a late Tuesday night dinner, after an evening of badminton/exercise, with hopes that it wouldn’t be super crowded by 10PM. Unfortunately, the place was still quite busy – I guess the Tuesday all-day happy hour (half price wings and domestic pitchers) is too good of a deal for lots of people.

Dirty Birds

We ended up waiting about 20 minutes and snagged a row of seats by the window counter before we could get an actual table. There were four of us, which made conversation somewhat awkward – especially considering that the place was pretty loud.

No one was interested in a domestic pitcher (as in, Coors Light), but my 3 dining companions all ordered a draft to drink…

Dirty Birds

I can’t remember what the dark beer was, but the one on the right is the Green Flash 30th St, which I really liked. Not pictured is T’s Stella Cidre – I’m not a big fan of ciders, so I guess I wasn’t interested in photographing it… haha.

We ordered an appetizer to share, the loaded tater tots…

Dirty Birds - Loaded Tots with Pulled Pork

Loaded Tots with Pulled Pork [$8]

I also ordered the exact same thing during my last visit – the tater tots are super crispy, and topped with a hard-to-fail combo of cheese, barbecue sauce, and pulled pork (you can also choose sliced steak or diced bacon for the meat). If you love tater tots, this is a must-try here.

For the wings, S, A, and I decided to share twenty pieces, which are normally $22, but since it was Tuesday, cost only $11!

Dirty Birds - Lemon Pepper & Fireball wings

Lemon Pepper & Fireball wings

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Bao’s Awesome Burgers & Sandwiches revisit

Bao’s Awesome Burgers & Sandwiches, or BABS for short, is one of my favorite “hidden gems” in San Diego. S and I really enjoy their burgers, which are a little different from a standard burger as you’ll see later in this post. It had been a while since our last visit, and when I read about Kirbie’s recent visit on her blog, I had such a craving that S and I went there for dinner that day.

The place had undergone some renovations since my last visit. The place used to be quite dim, without much decor on the walls. The tables and chairs also used to be a little bit worn. This time, however, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the walls had been re-painted, the place was brightly lit, and there were new tables and chairs. Everything felt much brighter and more welcoming, and there seemed to be more customers there than our previous visits, too!



I thought this plastic burger was really cute and had to take a photo, haha.


The menu still looks largely the same. S had their Original Burger – he doesn’t like too many fancy things on his burgers.


Original Burger [$4.99]

Remember what I said about the burger here being special? Well, as you can see, the patty is really thick – and that’s because it’s stuffed with melted cheddar cheese on the inside!

Patty stuffed with melted cheese

Patty stuffed with melted cheese

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[SD Pacific Beach] Awesome wings at Dirty Birds

My very first blog post on Jinxi Eats was about Carolina Ale House, in Durham NC – the best chicken wings I’ve ever had.  In fact, to this day, S and I have judged every wings place against Carolina Ale House, and we have sadly concluded that none could compare.

But I am relentless in my quest to find delicious wings wherever I live.  Lately, a friend recommended Dirty Birds in Pacific Beach – loaded tater tots and wings in over 20 different flavors?  I’ve got to check it out.

The place was pretty crowded for a Tuesday evening – then again, Tuesday is all-day Happy Hour (1/2-price wings and domestic pitchers).


Since the “domestic pitchers” only referred to Bud light and Coors light, my friends ordered a couple of the microbrewery beers on tap.  I’m not a beer connoisseur, but I really liked the Magic Hat #9 :P

The loaded tots were highly recommended, so we had to order some…

Loaded Tots: tater tots topped with melted cheese, pulled pork, and BBQ sauce, $8

For the meat topping, you could choose between diced steak, bacon, or pulled pork.  I went for the pulled pork – even though I was a bit scared of what this restaurant would do with “pulled pork” – but it turned out to be delicious!

Three orders of 10-piece wings: Honey Mustard, Roasted Red Pepper (“RPG”), Dirty Ranch, Maple Chipotle BBQ, Buffalo, Spicy Garlic, $6 each (HH price; $12 regular price)

The wings themselves were nice and crispy and tender inside.  My favorite sauces were probably the Spicy Garlic and Maple Chipotle BBQ.  As for the rest, I guess they were not so special – still tasty, though, and there are still plenty of other flavors that I would love to try.

Side note #1:  The heat level of the sauces were ranked from 1 to 5, with 1 being totally not spicy (such as Honey Mustard) and only one flavor ranking a 5, the Habanero.  The hottest that we ordered was the Maple Chipotle BBQ, at 3.5… but honestly, it wasn’t that spicy.  This isn’t just my opinion, either!  My dining companions, who are much less spicy-tolerant than me, were the first to point out the misleading heat labels.

Side note #2: My friend actually said that the Spicy Garlic reminded him of bean paste fish (豆瓣魚), a Taiwanese dish.  None of us believed this hilarious comment, but once we bit into the Spicy Garlic… well, let’s just say that you couldn’t untaste the 豆瓣魚 flavor.  Haha.

The bottom line?  I had a great meal here at Dirty Birds, and at $6 for 10 wings during Happy Hour, it really doesn’t get much better.  Next time I have a wing craving, I will be back!

Last side note:  All photos courtesy of ekimc’s iPhone :P

Dirty Birds
4656 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA
(858) 274-2473


Carolina Ale House’s Jumbo Chicken Wings

I’d had a craving for wings for a few days, so last night at 11:30, we went to Carolina Ale House, whose wings were voted the winner according to Indy Week’s Best of the Triangle (also, every Wednesday, Carolina Ale House has a special of $2.50 for all drafts, which is what caught Sidney’s attention).

We arrived at what I imagined to be a pretty typical bar scene, with (drunk) karaoke on the patio and people shooting pool and generally walking around indoors. The restaurant is quite spacey, so it didn’t feel crowded. We seated ourselves at a corner table to avoid the loud music, but the waiters still found us pretty quickly. We ordered the wings, which they offered in several flavors: teriyaki, honey BBQ, buffalo, honey buffalo, and spicy habanero. The honey buffalo sounded tempting, but I decided to go with the original buffalo.

The big surprise was how large each wing was! On the menu, they were called “Jumbo Chicken Wings,” but I had thought that was just a name. Now I know why they’re “jumbo”!

Upon first bite, I knew why they were voted #1 wings in the Triangle. It was a wonderful blend of crispiness from the fried batter and the tenderness of the meat, and there was just the right amount of buffalo sauce – not too little so that you’re not satisfied, but not too much so as to overwhelm the taste and soak up the “crunch.” (For the same reason, I also don’t dip wings in any dressing. It’ll also save you calories – although I suppose if you’re eating wings, you’re probably not thinking about calories in the first place.)

The wings were completely satisfying – I happily finished my whole tray quickly and licked my fingers at the end. It was an awesome experience, and I’ll definitely be back for more – perhaps to try the honey buffalo next time.

Restaurant: Carolina Ale House (Durham location)
Jumbo Chicken Wings
$7.79 for 10 pieces / $15.29 for 20 pieces / $34.99 for 50 pieces
– Definitely a worthwile appetizer for your meal or a great late-night snack!