3386 30th St.
The Linkery is an exciting addition to North Park's burgeoning collection of restaurants. Billed as a fresh sausage kitchen and grill, The Linkery offers an excellent menu of unusual fare served in one of the coolest-looking dining rooms in San Diego.
"I've lived in the area long enough to know that people here are dying for more places to go," explained Jay Porter, owner and first-time restaurateur. Porter's love of sausage making was the impetus for The Linkery, and he created the sausage and appetizer menu while leaving the rest to more experienced hands.
Roughly a month before the place opened, Porter brought in a couple of assistant managers who generated the ideas for entrées and salads, "and then Marlis, our chef, she came in about a week before we opened and tied it all together."
Sausage varieties include Polish, chicken Cordon Bleu, Kaesekrainer (beef, pork and Gouda cheese) and Minnesota bratwurst, with three available on any given night. The sausages are available as sandwiches; as an appetizer served with mustard, tomatillo salsa and grilled artisan bread; or as part of the Picnic Plate, consisting of any two sausages, any two cheese selections and artisan bread.
Mildly seasoned, yet flavorful, the bratwurst appetizer was excellent, with bread and Dijon mustard. It had a rich and sweet flavor that complemented the grilled bread and sharp mustard beautifully.
The Linkery also serves several charbroiled vegetable appetizers, including green beans in ginger-soy sauce, and asparagus spears with rosemary chili oil. The green beans are very good, with a light coating of the sweet ginger-soy sauce accenting the charred beans. The asparagus is also good-crisp, spicy and smoky.
The list of entrées is short but has some interesting choices. One standout is the Australian-style House Burger. Made from house-ground chuck, the burger is topped with Gouda, arugula, tomatoes, bacon, grilled onions, grilled pineapple and a fried egg-with grilled yams on the side. This is easily one of the best burgers I've ever had, though it may send purists into a tizzy.
Another excellent entrée is the Steak Nopal. A small cut of flatiron steak, charbroiled and topped with blue cheese, the steak is presented atop two charbroiled leaves of cactus, with jicama slaw and a stuffed tomato. The steak was amazingly tender, and the charbroiled cactus was reminiscent of a slightly sweet grilled eggplant. Highly recommended.
Quality doesn't always come cheap, but two people can dine well at The Linkery for about $40, excluding drinks. The Linkery opens at 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, and closes "late," whenever that may be.