South Park Abbey 1946 Fern St. (South Park)
619-696-0096 Happy Hour: All day on Mondays; and 3 to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday Beer and Wings Worth Flapping Over
The craft beer craze is alive and well inside this casual, neighborhood “abbey,” giving patrons a versatile selection that continues to grow.
Food: The hickory-smoked wings are a must, a revela- tion compared to anything we’ve had before. Choose from nearly a dozen different sauces, although keep the Buffalo-garlic fl avor in mind.
Value: Various deals extend to beer-and-burger com- bos for $10 as well as local drafts for $1.50, which change daily. In addition, a portion of what you spend goes to various charities.
Menus are delivered promptly and chalkboards legibly spell out the beer choices.
Duration: You have four hours to eat and drink on discount Tues- days through Fridays, and the entire day on Mondays.
A perfect match is struck with IPA and smoked chicken wings at South Park Abbey. (Photo by Dr. Ink)
Get Happy! Dr. Ink
Throughout Western Europe an “abbey” defi nes a structure inhabited by monks or nuns. At South Park Abbey, religious inten- tions go missing in lieu of conviv- ial congregations of neighborhood folk imbibing craft beers, cocktails and some of the most magnifi cent chicken wings in town.
But don’t be mistaken. There is a commitment to goodwill resid- ing within these walls in the form of philanthropy, whereby three percent of all sales goes to a vari- ous charity that customers select from a chalkboard list. Those organizations include the Ameri- can Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. In other words, you can indulge while giving to the betterment of people, animals and the environment, whether you’re of the stingy ilk or not. During happy hour, patrons
receive a little charity of their own. All draft beers (about 16 in total) are $1 off while a local “draft beer of the day” sells for $1.50. And we’re talking hearty pours. In addition, well drinks cost $3 apiece; beer- and-burger combos sell for $10; and an order of hickory smoked wings with your choice of sauce drops from $9 to $7.
For those who remember this spot when it operated as South Park Grill, new owner Adam Neitzke has punched down its pretense with a half-dozen fl at screens, wooden tables and a smoke-friendly patio. On Sundays, he says the Abbey turns into “football central.” “Holy Moses!” I exclaimed to my vegan friend when taking the fi rst bite into an order of chicken wings coated gently in garlic-Buf- falo sauce. The oak-aged Rumble IPA sitting under my chin became a footnote against these meaty ap- pendages, which undergo hickory smoking and perhaps a follow-up
deep fry for achieving crispy skins. Neitzke wouldn’t give away the cooking secret as well he shouldn’t to protect their unique- ness from industry copycats. He claims to have sold about three tons of the stuff in the past year. While mowing through the wings with utmost brevity, my co- hort stayed several gulps ahead of me with a Manzanita IPA, brewed just miles away in Santee.
The beer’s prominent hops and placid sweet fi nish served as his wash-down for the carrot strings garnishing my plate.
Neitzke says that his beer list re- mains a work in progress as he con- tinues building the draft and bottle selection to refl ect his favorite Belgians and IPAs. As for the wings and accommodating happy-hour prices, he’s keeping those intact to get more people in the door.u
San Diego Uptown News
Nov. 25–Dec. 8, 2011
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