Friday, July 19, 2013

Little Goat (Diner)

Location: 820 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607
Little Goat Diner on Urbanspoon
A Quick Word:
After visiting Little Goat (Bakery) several times, I finally made it out to the Little Goat (Diner).  This restaurant is located just a few steps from the now famous Girl and the Goat.  Because they do not take reservations here, I have had several disappointing experiences... arriving when the wait is easily an hour or more.  Anyway, one late Monday night, my friend and I were seated immediately.  The waiter was extremely nice and took the time to explain their beer and cocktail list to us.  After combing through all the dishes (yes, breakfast is always available), we finally choose a couple sandwiches.  The food was delicious.  Complex, yet simple in a strange way.  I liked to consider this place as diner food done right.  The atmosphere is very fun with a few huge communal tables and of course the coveted booths.  Because the wait time can be so ridiculous, I decided to give them a 4.5 mile rating... it was almost perfect, just a little inconvenient for people on a schedule.

(Little Goat Diner has a great selection of beers and very reasonable prices.)

What We Ate:

Sloppy Goat (Update)

The description of this sandwich is... "Sloppy Joe Gone Goat."  And, that is exactly what has happened.  Rather than traditional ground beef, ground goat meat is substituted and cooked in that iconic sloppy joe tomato sauce.  It is topped with a rosemary slaw and served in a squish squash roll.  The first thought that comes to mind is MEAT.  This sandwich is overloaded with ground goat and actually has a pretty strong meat flavor rather than that typical sloppy joe saucy flavor.  The slaw is vinegar based and helps cut back the overwhelming meatiness. The bread does a good job at first to support all the ingredients, but in the end, the sauce gets the better half and it becomes soggy.  I have had it twice now, and even though it is addicting, I think this time was my last time ordering it.

Patty Melt (Update)

One of my friends decided on the patty meal.  She chose the veggie patty rather than the typical beef or the not-so-typical goat patty.  This veggie patty was topped with caramelized onions, a couple slices of american cheese, pickles, and the "special sauce" before being stuffed between two slices of pretzel rye bread.  Like all other patty melts, it was then griddled until buttery and crisp on the outside.  Of course I was gonna have a bite or two of this sandwich.  The veggie patty itself was a little on the mushy side.  It didn't really hold up like a meat patty, so the sandwich lost some of its integrity.  The bread however, was FANTASTIC.  The pretzel rye reminds you of a huge pretzel bun without getting too full from being too dense.  The other ingredients were standard.  I am definitely going to give this a try with a goat patty next time!

The "Wing" Burger (Update)

This visit to Little Goat, I decided on the "Wing" burger.  The beef patty is cooked to preference and then topped with buffalo wing sauce, blue cheese, and a handful of fried onions.  All of this is stacked on a soft, in-house baked potato bun.  I absolutely loved this burger.  It reminded me exactly of a buffalo wing minus the chicken.  The sauce had a nice tanginess, but it wasn't as spicy as I wished.  The blue cheese was both creamy and sharp and those fried onions added the needed textural crisp to the sandwich.  Just make it spicier and it would be perfect.

Broccoli and Cheese Puff (Update)

Once again, I love how Little Goat meals do not come with fries.  Rather, they allow you to choose other sides that you actually want to eat.  This time, we decided on sharing the broccoli and cheese puff.  It was such a simple dish... steamed broccoli topped with white cheddar cheese and sandwiched between two thick slabs of puff pastry.  The dish is very fresh, yet rich from that sharp cheddar.  The puff pastry doesn't add much except for extra calories.  I prefer just the broccoli.

All-American Burger

After watching the hawks game, my friend craved a burger.  She wanted to keep it simple, so she went with the All-American option and added avocado.  This beef burger came with the typical ingredients... lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, american cheese, a special sauce, and my favorite part, the sesame seed bun.  The burger was huge.  It reminded me of when my mom used to make hockey puck sized burgers for my brothers and I.  I absolutely loved this burger which was cooked a little short of medium.  The burger flavor was able to shine with such simple ingredients and not many added toppings.  The sesame bun was soft, yet able to withstand all the juices and sauces.  This sucker was filling.  Their sandwiches do not come with fries (finally, my kind of restaurant!).  This allows you to choose whatever side you crave.

Fried Pickle Sandwich

So after deciding between a list of amazing appetizers, we find out that the fried pickle appetizer was not available for the night.  My friend really wanted fried pickles.  So we found out that the rest of the fried pickles were reserved for this vegetarian sandwich.  The fried pickle sandwich starts off with a piece of seasoned naan and is topped with hummus, roasted peppers, goat cheese, tzatziki, and of course about a dozen fried pickles.  The sandwich was extremely flavorful... the goat cheese was rich, there was plenty of tzatziki and the fried pickles were still crunchy and now crispy.  And, surprisingly, the sandwich wasn't that oily.  I would definitely recommend this sandwich to both meat and vegetarian eaters.

Mac N' Cheese

Rather than having french fries, we decided on the mac n' cheese as out side.  After a couple of bites, she asked if I could taste the goat cheese... and yes that is what was making this side incredible.  I have never had goat cheese mac n' cheese before and of course, I would have it the Little Goat Diner.  Our waiter said it was actually a four-cheese blend that makes the mac n' cheese so rich.  The only main complaint was the topping.  It lacked any sort of crust.  Instead, literally 12 bread crumbs dusted the top.  Pretty awful and poor attempt at a crust, but such a great side I will order it again and again.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- One of the best LATE NIGHT restaurants in the city!  Do come here after a night of drinking.
- Do check out the bakery next door.  They have a limited sandwich menu, but they have incredible desserts, breakfast items, and breads.

- I wouldn't come during peak hours.  This place doesn't take reservations so waiting can be in the upwards of 1.5 - 2 hours, especially on weekends.

How far would I walk for this food?

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