Being a big fan of sausage, especially the varieties made by T&H Prime Meats stuffed between a Sadie Rose buttermilk roll, I was thrilled when the Regal Seagull opened in Leucadia recently. The Seagull is brought to us by the same folks who gave us the Regal Beagle in Mission Hills and it does not stray far from that concept that has proven very successful.They made the right call sourcing T&H Prime Meats and Sausage, the old-fashioned, full-service butcher shop located in San Marcos. They have more than 70 varieties of fresh and smoked sausage, created by Jacob Kappeler the Sausage Meister. Same thing with the Sadie Rose rolls, I’ve devoted an entire column to them and their rolls play a key part in the sausage experience at the Seagull.
They offer six pork-based sausages that include a world class bratwurst, German garlic and jalapeno cheddar, all of which are very nice. Non-pork sausages include a veal bratwurst that I keep going back to. It’s a lighter sausage full of flavor. So much flavor that there is really no need for any condiments, just some grilled onions and I’m in sausage heaven.
Speaking of toppings, they offer your choice of any two that include sauerkraut, grilled onions, grilled peppers or shredded cheddar cheese. All are served with house fried potato chips that provide that critical crunch accompaniment. A sausage sampler plate is also available where they give you a choice of any two or three sausage and they are cut up into nibble size portions. Other things on a roll include the beagle burger or veggie burger, both formed into shapes that fit on the long sausage roll. A quarter pound hot dog is also offered.
A nice mix of appetizers is available that range from hummus dip to mini corn dogs to fried green beans to mac and cheese bites and a cheese board. Sides include tater tots, sweet potato and French fries and yes, they do have a salad in this land of sausage … but of course you can add sausage to the salad as well. Dessert is limited to the cinnamon sugar donut holes they call Beagle Bites. That’s fine with me; this place is not really about dessert.
Besides the food, this place caters to the craft beer crowd with a huge selection of beers on tap. That almost seems to be a requirement of new restaurants in Encinitas these days but hey; at least the Seagull was smart enough to specialize in sausage, quite possibly the best food ever to eat with beer. I let my bartender pair the beer with the sausage and they have always done a nice job at that.
My first few trips to the Regal Seagull were during prime time later in the week and the bar was full. Since there are no servers, and all food ordering is done at the bar, this proved to be a bit of a hassle having to squeeze in between people on bar stools to order, come back for more and close out. This seems like a simple fix with the addition of a server during busy times. I’ve made it a point when going to the Seagull for food to go early, or during the late afternoon on weekends.
If you do secure a spot at the bar, the service is prompt and life is good. They give you a stub with an ironically kitschy name on it from old TV shows and such as Greg Brady, that the kitchen calls out over a loudspeaker when your food is ready. Whatever, it’s always good news to know my food is ready, however they want to convey that.
A full row of condiments is located by the kitchen but my advice is to try the sausage first without anything on it other than the toppings you select. Most are so full of flavor they do fine without mustard or ketchup.
I like this place a lot and my craft beer enthusiast friends seem to be very happy with it. It’s part of the new restaurant row in Leucadia and it’s definitely an original. The Regal Seagull is located at 996 N Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas. Bar hours are Friday to Sunday noon to midnight, Monday through Thursday 3 p.m. to midnight. Kitchen hours are Friday and Saturday open to 11 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday open to 10 p.m. Visit regulseagull.com for more information.