On the Menu: At Dirty Birds Bar and Grill you can eat, drink and be messy
Restaurant chain originated in Pacific Beach in 2008
If you like the Zen of waves crashing on the beach, the buzz of diehard fans cheering for their favorite sports teams, and more amalgams of chicken wing flavors than lifeguard stations along San Diego’s coast, then Dirty Birds Bar and Grill is the spot for you.
Co-founders Jonathan Ollis, known by the moniker “Johnny O,” and Adam Jacoby opened the original eatery in 2008 on Mission Boulevard, just a stone’s throw from the Crystal Pier.
Ollis, a West Palm Beach native, said he transplanted his Floridian passion for wings, spicy sauces, sports of all manners and a “high five/big smiles kind of vibe” to the Southern California coast.
Want to visit?
Dirty Birds Bar and Grill
• Address: 4656 Mission Blvd. in Pacific Beach
• Phone: 858-274-2473
• Website: dirtybirdsbarandgrill.com
• Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
• Good to know: Happy Hour is 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, with half price bone-in wings and pitchers of beer. In addition, Monday nights are “all you can eat chicken wings, Tuesdays has Happy Hour specials from open to close and Wednesdays have half-price boneless wings and pitchers.
• Also good to know: Various Dirty Birds sauce flavors are bottled up and available for retail and online ordering at dirtybirdsauces.com. A portion of the proceeds from all PMP Warrior sales benefit SOMBFAB (Some of My Best Friends Are Bald), a peer support group for teens and their siblings affected by cancer.
The concept has taken flight, spreading brick and mortars throughout the county. Dirty Birds can now be found in the College Area, Liberty Station, Ocean Beach, and at UC San Diego.
The restaurant chain also keeps on truckin’ with a scaled back menu of 20 chicken wing flavors, chicken sandwiches, smothered fries and tots, onion rings and cheddar breaded cauliflower served on the fly in the Dirty Birds Food Truck.
With Father’s Day this month, why not let dad hang loose in the beachy, cozy, woodsy sports cave and wing paradise, eyes glued to one of 13 flat screens, hands dripping in one of 40 sauce flavors?
These sauces come in various heat and sweet levels, including the most popular Dirty Ranch (a blend of classic buffalo and creamy ranch), Spicy Garlic, PMP Warrior (celebrating a sweet and spicy blend of red jalapeno sauce and touch of honey), Diablo, Honey Hot and Flaming Honey Mustard.
Some fun shared appetizers on the menu include fried pickles, mac ‘n cheese balls and loaded tots.
Ollis said his personal favorite menu item is the “Dirty Chicken” sandwich, blending seasoned chopped chicken and bacon with Dirty Ranch Sauce, topped with mixed cheese on a toasted roll.
But the most important ingredient, according to Ollis, “is the love we put into our food that is always fresh, and seasoned just right,” that draws a devoted, local clientele, and slew of seasonal tourists.
Dirty Birds has received national recognition for its charitable community efforts, and has been named among the best wing spots across the land by Yahoo! Sports and The Daily Meal.
Dirty Birds has also been endorsed by a line-up of pro football players/customers whose signed jerseys are plastered on “The Dirty Wall of Fame.”
“We created an atmosphere for anyone with a positive outlook on life to kick back, relax and escape from daily grinds,” Ollis said while beaming. “It’s an awesome place to catch a big game, enjoy a couple cold ones, meet new friends and create lasting memories while enjoying some of the best chicken wings in the nation. Cheers!”
But Ollis said he considers his greatest accomplishment the ability to inspire a generation of future entrepreneurs to “wing it” just like himself and Jacoby.
Recipe from Dirty Birds Bar and Grill
Dirty Birds Spicy Garlic Wings
Serving: 12-16 wings
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
• 2 pounds of chicken wings
• 1 bottle of Dirty Birds Diablo Sauce
• 2 bulbs of garlic
• 2 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. black ground pepper
• half a lemon
• 2 tsp. garlic powder
• 4 T. extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and prep a shallow baking pan with foil. Drizzle virgin olive oil over the top of the foil.
2. Pat chicken wings dry with a paper towel. Once dry, season chicken wings with dry spices and place in baking pan.
3. Cut the tops off 2 bulbs of garlic and place in the baking pan.
4. Drizzle remaining olive oil over garlic bulbs and chicken.
5. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until fully cooked.
6. Once cooked, place chicken in a large bowl. Squeeze garlic over the top of the chicken wings and coat with Dirty Birds Diablo Sauce. Toss until fully coated and serve hot!
Courtesy of Dirty Birds Bar and Grill