Learning to eat without waste can be tasty

by Staff

The Linkery doesn’t just offer food and recommend the beverages it serves – it gets to know the people who grow and make it.

From its farm-specific, all-natural meats, fresh and often organic produce to its crafted beers and fine wines, this contemporary-designed, sustainable eatery is unique to its San Diego restaurant counterparts.

“Really what we are doing here is using the animals in historical ways,” Jay Porter, The Linkery proprietor said. “The animal as a whole has value with all parts of it being worthwhile and delicious.”

With the unique portion of its menu, appropriately referred to as THE PRECIOUS BITS, The Linkery is making an effort to utilize as many portions of the animals it purchases from farmers as possible.

But dishes such as Grilled tongue ‘n’ cheek terrine made from a California Tallgrass pastured calf’s tongue and a beef cheek and the Tripe with faro piccolo & chorizo, both for $11.50, shouldn’t scare vegetarian and vegan diners away. The Linkery offers vegetarian and vegan meals, with many of its plates available for substitutions.

The restaurant’s starters average around $10 and feature dishes such as the vegan Grilled green beans in ginger soy sauce that have a crunchy bite, sweet soy glaze and tasty grilled flavor.

Most VEGETARIAN FULL PLATES can be easily veganized, a term the restaurant has made its customers very familiar with, and are served as dishes such as the Portobello tacos that start at $11.50, while the MEATY MAINS that include both sausage sandwiches and grass-fed beef burgers average around $15.

LINK PLATES such as the Sausage tacos for $11.50 are made with the customer’s choice of housemade links; with a unique variety of options that include Asian pork made with chocolate, soy sauce and dry white wine to the Hot Italian that is comprised of pork, fennel, garlic and red pepper.

“Our top part of the menu we refer to as the MARKET SELECTIONS changes daily,” Porter said. “This is because this really depends on what the farmer provides.”

And although one won’t find a typical menu at this neighborhood favorite in North Park, from its starters to its house- made link plates, customers can gain a true appreciation for where the food came from.

Every menu item calls attention to the farmers and artisans who have either grown the food on the plate or shaped the beverage for the customers to drink.

The world-class wine list has glasses starting at $6.50 and bottles available for upward of $25. Bottled beer starts at $5 and draft and cask beer, offered in 5, 10 and 15 ounces begins with prices as low as $2.75 a glass. Unique sodas such as the Mexican Coca-Cola, made with real cane sugar – instead of the market brand’s high fructose corn syrup sweetener which Porter refuses to serve – and Cricket Diet Cola that includes ingredients such as green tea also start at $2.75. Coffee and tea fans can get coffee ground to order or a 17 ounce press pot for prices that start, on average, around $4.

The Linkery, open from 5 p.m. to at least 11 p.m. every day, recognizes the importance of its hours of availability, value of its food and selection on its menu.

With a no-tip policy, The Linkery instead charges an 18 percent fee for dining-in table service. Porter said the restaurant finds this to be appropriate for professionals in any industry, such as hospitality.

Appropriately nestled alongside other neighborhood restaurants, The Linkery is located at 3794 30th St.

Porter, along with the restaurant’s house full of regulars, encourages you to come try this farm fresh eatery. “It’s a place where you can get some handmade food from conscious farmers, great chefs and wonderful wine and beer,” Porter said.

But get there early because the restaurant doesn’t take reservations and fills up quickly. “We (the restaurant staff) eat here a lot!” Porter said with great enthusiasm.

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