Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 9
Last week the husband and I went to Dirty Birds in PB for all-you-can-eat wings.
OK, he went for the wings. I went because we were hungry, lazy, on the cheap, and I had a coupon.
As much as I love my neighborhood, I'm still getting in to the habit of exploring it beyond the natural beauty. As a transplant local, I tend to avoid the hubbub of Garnet on weekends, but then sometimes forget that on weeknights, all the good stuff is still there.
And not only is it there, but the good food is everywhere, the deals are plentiful, there's room to sit or stand and the atmosphere is awesome.
It's a proper beach town if there ever was one.
We headed over around 7:30pm, Matt famished for saucy bits and me just praying there was a non-meat option beyond steamed broccoli and bbq sauce. (I've been a vegetarian for longer than some of my friends have been alive, but I'm not the pushy kind, obviously, being that I was the one who suggested we dine at the wing joint. What? Coupon, cute name, Matt loves wings a it's all win, baby.)
Lo and behold, not only does Dirty Birds hook up the fowlnevores, but it also offers a handful of veg-friendly options! The villagers rejoice!
As Matt made the daunting decision of what flavor his first ten wings should be, I pondered over my non-meat options.
I don't like "burgers" when I make them, but sometimes restaurants make them better, especially if it's not a generic store-bought patty.
They had veg patties for sliders and burgers, so that gives the possibility that they're made in-house.
Either way, the important thing was there was one with BBQ sauce, and I was all in. (I'm a special kind of vegetarian.) It also had jalapenos and fried onions.
The fact that earlier in the day I'd only had a banana and oatmeal was becoming ridiculously apparent.
The night before had been long and wobbly, so we let our livers dry out for the evening and stuck to good ol' water to drink.
That didn't mean I wasn't going to check out what beer they had, and how much it cost.
Tuesday night, the flyer on the table told me, is happy hour... ALL DAY. 1/2 price wings and domestic pitchers. (Frugal feasters: Depending on how many wings you can eat, that 1/2 price special could actually be a better deal.)
I checked the drafts and it's not a stellar selection, but at least they had one of our solid standbys, Stone IPA.
A lot of times, of course, "domestic" doesn't apply to "craft" beers, but if that's the case, just go on Thursday.
Because it's $8 pitcher night. Not just happy hour, friends.
And that's what's important here.
I live in my hood, but I can't necessarily make it to any "happy hour" because I have a regular job and traffic is an evil demon.
Still, I want to be able to come home from work and not care that it's almost 8pm before I think about dinner and know that I can still get the hookup from a good local joint.
Matt chose the special of the day, an Asian sauce of clever but easily forgotten name. He then went on to the Flaming Honey and the Maple Chipotle BBQ, both in 5-wing servings, before finally admitting he was stuffed.
All and all, he ate 5 tiny little chickens, his appetite supposedly stifled by lack of beer. (Sure, sure.)
What should have cost us $21.99 was only costing us $13.99.
In addition to this, I had my aforementioned coupon. (There's these little "Beach Break" coupon books floating around town, and if you see one, grab it. Trust me.)
My burger added another $10 to the bill, but then my coupon knocked $5 off. (Oh, and I forgot to mention: my burger came with a choice of fries, mac & cheese, tater tots, pasta salad or a house salad. Yeah, whatever you like on the side, they've got. Even the first basket of wings came with a side)
That brought the total to Just about $20, which is the perfect price for going out and grabbing dinner, especially if it involves gorging for one patron, and leftovers for the other.
Satisfied? You damn right.
I'm checking those deals later on in the week. And next time? I'm getting veggie sliders.
Visit DirtyBirds yourself at 4656 Mission Blvd, or at www.dirtybirdspb.com