Do you ever want to keep a spot to yourself because it’s so darn delicious and only a few insiders now about it? That’s how I feel about Surf & Soul Spot.
It’s been a few months since Holly of FMITK told me about this spot and I’ve been girding myself for when people find out creating even longer lines. Currently, it’s popular among the local African-American community and on my first visit in June, they ran out of most of their food.
I initially came for the dirty smothered fries. Covered in smoked turkey gravy, melted white cheddar, red pepper ranch dressing, sour cream and spicy tomato relish, it’s meal that’s more than enough for one. If you ask nice, they might even add sliced avocado on top. There’s an option to top it with blackened or fried shrimp on top but since they were out, they added fried catfish instead. It’s coated in corn flour adding an addicting crunch and flavor. Eating this on the back home to Clairemont, I recall wishing we had gotten a second piece instead of sharing. Hindsight, people.
Learning from my first visit, I came a bit earlier in the day beating the crowds for my follow up. I went all out ordering the blackened shrimp and crab roll and crispy shrimp and grits plus their daily lemonade special (cucumber mint).
Topping out at more than $30 for both, the portion sizes are well worth the cost and it’s made to order so expect to wait a bit. Looking around the venue housed in a gospel center off Imperial Avenue, I’m glad to see most of goes to the eatery not faux wood laminate to set the mood. You’re here for the food, right?!
The shrimp and crab come slathered in a paprika-spiked mayo are jumping out of the French roll. It’s a two-handed endeavor that will hardly leave no room for the side of fries or salad.
And the crispy shrimp with grits are the best I’ve had since my visit to Texas many years ago at the Junction House, the house where the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed. Garlic bread comes on a side for even more carb-liciousness but don’t pass up on it! The bread acts as a sponge soaking up all the melted cheese and butter.
There’s also a selection of desserts like sweet potato pie, Capt. Crunch cookies and banana pudding, not made in-house.
People on the weekends looking to check out the food will have to adjust their schedule. Surf and Soul’s hours of operation are Monday to Wednesday from 10 AM to 7 PM when they focus on the “surf” portion of the menu like shrimp, crab and catfish. It reopens again on Friday with the same hours focusing on the “soul” portion of them menu like fried chicken wings, candied yams, collard greens and catfish. Angela tells me that people start lining up at 10 AM on Fridays and sellout is usually a given so plan your visit accordingly.
In addition, I recommend visiting Surf & Soul’s Instagram page for specials or closures for vacation or training.
Surf & Soul
3570 Webster Avenue
San Diego, CA 92113