Animalistic hunger rages in my underbelly. I feel fists clenched and taste buds curdling. The stiffness in my calves is no doubt from the disco ball dangling like a thousand man giants reminding me of brighter nights beneath a Taiwanese moon in the July of Gelderlands Revival. A quick sniff reveals that food is served here at Regal Beagle. This place is a dive. Billiards rage and musical classics beckon from the jukebox. A patron named Jeff is asking me about my intentions, and he is charming and delightful. The locals drinking at two in the afternoon are boisterous and nonetheless calming. Black walls, billiards, foosball, and the horseshoe bar all tickle my fancy bone, and I give my hand to the charming chefs who have recently taken over the kitchen.
Ben Johnson and Nick Vakidis left Terilli’s to start up the kitchen at the Regal Beagle. For three weeks now, they have cut their fingers and blistered their social lives to build a beautiful stuffed burger, or Stuft, which is the name of the kitchen itself. I delighted in their story and entrepreneurial magnetism. Two dudes and a hefty skillet have come to this dungeon with a bright and beautiful basket of food. The stuffed buffalo fried chicken sandwich surprised me with its smoothness, much like my uncle Ricky on an all-night roller through Chinatown on my 13th birthday after the Mariners lost the World Series…and he still managed to commandeer three honeysuckles from the VIP for his indulgence.
I digress, or do I?
Either way, the sandwich was subtle and inviting, not too intensely buffalo, yet full mouthed. The jalapeno poppers accompanied the sandwich well, stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon before being lightly fried and served with a delectable house-made mayo. I’ve never given a thought to onion rings being a light in my desires, but they were nice, too. Of the burgers, the Juicy Lucy was good but overshadowed by the Cowboy burger. Made with in house bacon jam, goat cheese, jalapenos, grilled red onions, spinach and almost a pound of ground beef, it was hard to keep it out of my mouth. And while that may not seem like much for a man of my endeavors, it was a brawling, full bodied burger experience. Don’t let the darkness scare you. This place has a purposeful patio, friendly people and some sensually charismatic chefs in the kitchen. They are still at their doorway but the party is soon underway. If you’re looking to get stuffed, venture into the Regal Beagle for a formidably juicy burger to put in your face.