Barrio Bird is taking flight this weekend, bringing fried chicken meals and sandwiches to Barrio Logan as a new venture under the recently-passed ordinance that allows for microenterprise home kitchen operations (MEHKOS) to be operate in the County of San Diego.
Regulations stipulate that these temporary mini-restaurants can sell 30 in-person, takeout, or delivery meals a day, with a maximum of 60 meals per week. Barrio Bird is now taking pre-orders for pickup and delivery via its Instagram and website.
Barrio Bird is a family endeavor, co-founded by chef Ricardo Heredia, formerly of the ahead-of-its-time Alchemy restaurant in South Park as well as Border Grill in LA. He recently moved back to San Diego after spending the pandemic working in Arizona to help launch the highly anticipated Coco Maya in Little Italy.
While Heredia is providing guidance on the project, his daughters will be running the show; 20-year-old Ixchel is heading up its kitchen while 22-year-old Maya will be in charge of marketing and social media.
The chef says Barrio Bird’s “Chicano fried chicken” menu is influenced by flavors from his grandmother’s kitchen as well as tips and techniques learned over his decades of culinary experience. The chicken is fried in a Korean-style batter which has vodka added for extra crispness, with Mexican chilies providing the heat for its Nashville-inspired hot chicken sandwiches on homemade Japanese milk bread buns.
Whole and half-bird boxes of fried chicken include handmade flour tortillas, borracha beans, chicken cracklings, and taco shop pickles (aka pickled carrots and jalapenos), with other sides ranging from chicken fat-fried potatoes to chile con queso mac and cheese.
Though the MEHKOS authorization aided in jumpstarting the debut of Barrio Bird, the family tells Eater that they’re planning to expand into permanent locations and are already scouting spots both in Barrio Logan and beyond.