For many many years, Seagull Street was just about the best of the all-around seafood joints in Albuquerque. They closed in early 2003, more's the pity. The owner was trying to borrow money to remodel, but all the finance types started waving big wads of cash at him for the prime location. So all that beautiful shiplap wooden planking in the dining room will be demolished. Heaven knows what's going in there now---a Wendy's? See my remaining Albuquerque seafood alternatives.
I started out with the chowder, and my friend Jeff Goldin is right---this is a cut above most everyone else's around these parts. Although I found it just a trace too salty for my taste, my salt preference is well below most folks'. But what a marvelous stock! A thick milk chowder, well spiced, with lots of big chunks of clam. I've had tenderer clams, but not by much. A few small, well-cooked pieces of potato, distinguishing this chowder from the common ``potato soup with clam molecules'' syndrome.
For the entree, I had the Salmon Rellenos. This is a huge chunk of Sterling salmon---must have been six or eight ounces---stuffed with cheese and chopped green chile, dredged in flour, fried just enough to put a very light crust on the fish, and then finished with a cream sauce and pine nuts.
Apparently the chinook salmon fishery off Washington is in deep trouble from overfishing and habitat loss, and that is sad news indeed for salmon lovers. I hear that the Canadians have started to aquaculture decent salmon, and this filet may have been an example. This was damn near as good a piece of salmon as I've had just about anywhere, and this includes the famous Lion and Compass back in the Bay Area where I got to watch Sean Kelly making animal noises of pleasure over their ivory salmon with the horseradish crust.
The sides were pretty good, too. I chose the romano potatoes, which arrived as a little potato pancake with toasted romano outside and in. Tasty. The vegetable was baby carrots in a butter sauce, and they were nothing special but satisfactory.
The chunk of sourdough bread I got was really on the crusty side. Either it was a day-old piece, or this restaurant's taste in sourdough agrees closely with mine. Substantial, almost tough bread, none of this wimpy stuff, and a great sourdough flavor. Almost as wonderful as the great sourdough French from Fred's Bagel Bakery on Central.
For dessert I picked the chocolate souffl\'e. Not quite Death by Chocolate, but plenty rich and dark, with a heavy sweet whipped cream topping. If the Chocolate French Silk at Denny's is a venial sin, this is surely at least a smallish mortal sin. Tab was $19.79 before the tip.
Service was pretty decent. Next time I wanna go back and try the freshly smoked salmon with fettucine. Or maybe the giant scallops wrapped in bacon and mesquite-grilled.
Location: take I-25 well north of the Big I interchange and exit south on the San Mateo exit. Move to the left lane and turn left at Academy. You will see Seagull Street on the right after a couple of blocks. Turn right on Seagull Lane and then right into their parking lot.