Overhyped: Girl and the Goat, Chicago

14 Jan

Girl and the Goat is a much talked about, trendy West Loop spot. Walk in without a reservation on a Saturday evening and you could be faced with a 2 hour-long wait. So of course, I had to check it out.

Hubby and I got a 5:15 pm reservation on a Saturday – a little early for dinner, but the place was packed already. We were seated directly behind the hostess stand – not an ideal spot, as hungry diners hanging by the bar seemed to hover over our table. It was a little difficult at times to ignore their conversation – as it was pretty much right over our heads. A row of two-tops opposite the aisle beside us, with bench seating, didn’t appear to be significantly more comfortable given the scant 3 inches between each table. 

Hubby is much more of a food snob than I am – he found the meal to be just ok. He wouldn’t return for the price. He didn’t think the elements of each dish went together very well – the Brussels sprout leaves in the grilled octopus dish were too bitter for example. I didn’t mind the Brussel sprouts, though I didn’t feel like they added much to the dish either in terms of flavour. I guess they’re good for adding some colour. We both agreed that the octopus itself  was cooked excellently though.

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Perhaps because it’s winter, the dishes were quite heavy – everything we ordered was paired with cheese or a creamy sauce. A gigantic plate of wood grilled broccoli came atop a blue cheese dressing for example. The dressing brought a great sweetness to the crunchy broccoli, but I do think the dish could have come with less of it. The “spiced crispies” were basically Rice Krispies, an interesting twist but…c’mon, it’s Rice Krispies. If you’re charging $13 for broccoli, you could do a little better than pulling the garnish out of a cereal box. 

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Hubby really enjoyed the goat empanadas topped with feta. I found them alright – tasty but not outstanding or particularly memorable.

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The wood oven roasted pig face is the restaurant’s top seller, according to our server. It was definitely interesting. Pork jowl, cheek, and tongue formed into a sausage patty provided a texture reminiscent of pork belly. This is a stick-to-your ribs breakfasty dish.

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The dish is best enjoyed with the elements all mixed together into a mess:

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Service was spot-on that night and I was satisfied at the end of my meal. Hubby, because he’s a big, hungry guy with the appetite of two pregnant women, was still hungry after our dinner….but didn’t want to order any more food because most dishes were quite heavy and fatty. 

The best dish of the night was the perfectly pan roasted drum fish with thinly sliced autumn crisp apples (ok I’ll buy that idea), and a Szechuan vinaigrette (a questionable pairing).

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The Final Word: Glad I tried this place once, but it was overpriced for the experience. Service is great, but seating is crowded and the dishes try a little too hard to be unique.

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Info: Girl and the Goat, 809 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607 USA

Girl & the Goat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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