Luckily, The Salty Dog Bar and Grill fell on my head one Saturday, so I had no excuse not to get in there with my camera. I walked in one day before opening and met owner Kevin Klaess, standing in an empty restaurant, covered with dry wall dust. He invited me to their soft-opening a few weeks later, which was also being covered by a film crew from the TV show "The Opener" on The Food Network. The Salty Dog will be featured on an upcoming episode, and will chronicle their opening with guidance from Canadian celebrity chef David Adjey.
Part of Chef Adjey's input was to expand Kevin's original idea of offering a variety of chicken wings from eight to twenty flavors and it soon became "Wings of the World." I'm the first to admit that wings are not exactly ground-breaking, but they've come up with some really creative flavors. Really, how often have you found beets, Jamaican jerk, or wasabi in your wings?
|Irish wings: finished with a Guinness sauce and topped with pretzels.|
|Good old American Buffalo wings in mild, medium, hot and extra hot.|
|Canadian: tossed with maple syrup and sprinkled with bacon.|
|A great little mini sampler: fish taco, BBQ pulled pork, mini burger and a 4-inch Nathan's hot dog.|
|The Canadian connection comes up again with this famous dessert called a Nanaimo bar, a crumb crust layered with vanilla and chocolate, which, according to Kevin, is as beloved in Canada as chocolate chip cookies are here.|
One of my favorite things about the restaurant is it's focus on a charity called Orange Dog, that the restaurant's Canadian investor heads up. Orange Dog sponsors "Freedom Flights," in which dogs are flown on a private jet from shelters in California to no-kill shelters in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where small dogs are more likely to be adopted. Anytime I can eat, drink and support an animal charity I am totally on board.
Not withstanding the focus on quality food and charity, The Salty Dog is truly a sports bar, featuring 7 flat-screen TVs, Monday Night Football specials ($6 pitchers of beer and $6 buckets of wings). Live music is in the plan too. Get your toe-tapping shoes out and brush up on your air guitar skills!
The Salty Dog Bar and Grill
18552 Beach Blvd. (at Main/Ellis)
Huntington Beach, Ca. 92648