By ROBIN DOHRN-SIMPSON | La Mesa Courier
If you want to eat at Surf & Soul Spot, the first thing you have to decide is if you want surf or soul. Next, you have to pick the right day, because surf is on Monday and Tuesday and soul is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Owners Chef Sarajevo Petty and former Olympian Eagle High School and NFL football player Sergio Bailey joined the College Area/La Mesa neighborhood in December 2019. They liked both that it is central in San Diego and that they could cook everything in their on-site kitchen.
Chef Sarajevo has had a career in the culinary world working with Hyatt Hotel Corporation on both the east and west coasts of the United States. Sergio, is an extremely successful 20-something, who realizes that you can’t play football forever and you need other plans and goals in life.
“Write your goals down and check them off at the end of the day,” Sergio said.
The restaurant is currently a fast, casual takeout. You can order via phone or walk up and order. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m., noon or 1 p.m. depending on the day and closes when they have sold out. Don’t delay in ordering your food; closing can be as early as 4 p.m. on some days. Currently guests wait for their orders outside as they are taking extra precautions during COVID. Sarajevo recommends that the food is eaten directly after pick up so it is hot and fresh. Fans hope that the restaurant will return to a sit-down eatery once the pandemic is over.
If you visit on a surf day you can expect to see golden fried catfish, crispy fried shrimp and cheese grits, popcorn shrimp, a blackened shrimp and crab roll and crispy fries smothered in smoked turkey gravy and topped with white cheddar cheese, red pepper ranch, scallions and spicy tomato relish. Prices are moderate ranging between $8 and $15.
Soul food days feature southern cooking at its finest. Meats include fried catfish sandwiches, whole chicken wings and fried pork chops. Side dishes include rice with smoked turkey gravy, mac ‘n cheese, sweet candied yams, collard greens or traditional red beans and rice. Pricing is moderate with one meat and two side dishes priced at $16. For those who want the combo plate of two meats and two side dishes you can expect to pay $20.
“We wanted to do our rendition of both types of food. Being that our kitchen is so small it makes sense to have two separate menus that work well together with our brand and name,” Chef Sarajevo said.
Save room for dessert. There is nothing like a sweet potato cupcake, cookie crunch banana pudding or butter pound cake.
With the amount of attention they are getting from residents it will be fun to watch them grow.
Their philosophy: Treat everyone like gold, including our employees and serve great food.
Surf & Soul Seafood Soul Spot is located at 7229 El Cajon Blvd. in Rolando. For more information, visit www.surfandsoulspot.com. Call in your order at 619-439-8801.
— Robin Dohrn-Simpson is a local freelance food and travel writer.