Another depressing season for Chargers fans, and another Super Bowl to watch a team that can, or did, kick our asses in the regular season take home the title. Feelin’ the NFL blues? Well, buck up, Bolts fans—I have just the recipe to butter up your football-party experience.
Last year, I was invited to an all-dudes gathering, and I knew just what to bring that would score the “most valuable guest” honor. When I arrived at Golden Chopsticks (1430 E. Plaza Blvd. in National City, 619-336-1888) to pick up my platter of salt-and-pepper wings, I saw that I wasn’t the only one hankering to share the ultimate lip-smacking party food—there was a line 50 people deep waiting to place their orders.
Pro tip: If you call ahead and request a pick-up time, Golden Chopsticks will do their best to have it ready. Bypass the line and walk right in.
For $72, a full platter comes with 100 to 120 wingettes and drumettes. Or, you can wuss out and get a half-order for $36. Either way, this is a deal for the plump and meaty wings, with their physics-defying crunch that maintains its bite from a 30-minute car ride ’til the last quarter of the game.
The golden-fried batter flecked with just the right amount of flavor-enhancing MSG forms a single crunchy layer of chicken skin, and a bite reveals moist meat that comes clean off the bone in chunks. Garnished with confetti of green onion, sautéed garlic and chili flakes, the umami factor soars along with your game-day reputation.
The big game wouldn’t be complete without beer. Go the local route with Ballast Point Brewing Company’s Big Eye IPA, a beer whose peppery Centennial Hops will bring out the vittles’ spice while its malty backbone helps to round out the experience, says brewer Colby Chandler. It’s a bitter yet balanced beer that comes in at 7-percent ABV that’ll have your party-mates buzzin’ as they plow through an order of the best Chinese chicken wings in San Diego.
I got an invite to the man cave again this year. The condition? Bring those goddamn wings with you, Grubby Bitch!