The Solana Beach Hotspot Gets Saucy
Written By: Jessica Young Pillbox Tavern Solana Beach
Brush the sand from your feet and shake the salt water out of your hair. A perfect day in the waves can be finished off at Pillbox Tavern in Solana Beach. Pillbox Break, the tavern’s namesake surf spot, is just steps away from the restaurant in the Solana Beach neighborhood of Fletcher Cove. The coastal-inspired menu branches out and draws from a variety of influences, promising diners a little bit of everything.
Part of the “everything” that everyone loves are the wings and their the variety of sauce options. Pillbox serves up the iconic bar treat in sets of five or 10, offering 13 different sauces to explore. Ranging from sweet to spicy and to downright fiery, the variety of options leaves no wing unturned. There are mild, dry offerings, like the jerk rub and lemon pepper. Or, adventurous eaters can explore the maple bourbon bacon or Sriracha ranch flavors. For those wanting to really ignite their taste buds, there are habanero inspired flavors, as well as Asian and Thai-style hot sauces.
Dining in isn’t the only way to experience Pillbox Tavern’s variety of sauce concoctions. Executive Chef, Shelly Velez, now has the flavors available for purchase. “We wanted everyone to be able to take sauce home and experiment with family and friends, the way I used to when I was making these sauces. My greatest challenges right now are ensuring that we’re able to make the sauces consistently, while also finding the best way to package them in jars that are representative of our brand and how we’d like to market the products,” Velez said.
Wings aren’t the only thing flying out the door, though. The menu, while offering guests fresh, California-style cuisine, has influences from anywhere the tides could take you. There is a bright, tropical mahi-mahi salad. Refreshing, acidic ceviche is also available. Pillbox regulars keep coming back for the BBQ chicken salad and the rotating burger and lunch specials. Diners rave about the flavors of the spicy chili and hot kick of the po’boy sandwich.
“The Seafood Po’boy stands out since there are not a lot of restaurants that have this unique mid-spicy fish sandwich on their menu. We prepare it on a warm amorosa roll and top it with a spicy Cajun aioli, that gives it the extra kick that makes it such a standout. It’s definitely one of our top-selling sandwiches. I do my best to keep the menu interesting so that when my guests return, they’ll have an opportunity to try more things,” Velez said.
Beyond serving up delicious food, Pillbox also delivers on a fantastic atmosphere. Just blocks from the beach, the sea breeze wafts through the open seating by the window. Diners can choose inside or outside tables, or saddle up to the big open window atop barstools. Large TV screens streaming the sporting events of the moment add to the casual, laid back vibe.
“Pillbox has filled a void in Solana Beach, for excellent quality and fresh food, with affordable pricing, in this quaint beach community. This is why we stand out. Also, our staff is like family; we welcome everyone who walks through those doors. We have a very strong and supportive staff that goes the extra mile to ensure that our guests receive a wonderful experience every time,” Velez said.
117 Plaza St
Solana Beach, CA 92075
The Best Wings in Solana Beach at Pillbox Tavern