The Little Goat

The weekend before my birthday we were looking for a place to go out to eat. We don’t go out often, so when we do we usually try to make sure it’s somewhere we’ve been wanting to get to (in other words, we want to make sure it’s worth it and not waste our chance). We have other concerns as well; with two small kids we want something that’s casual and kid friendly, and probably not too expensive.

In this case, we settled on The Little Goat.

For those who are not local to Chicago, The Little Goat is sort of the little sister of chef Stephanie Izard‘s extremely popular Girl & the Goat (Stephanie Izard, you may know, was the winner of the 4th season of Top Chef). In Chicago, both restaurants are very well known.

I’ve never been to Girl & the Goat (and probably never will be), but I have to say that The Little Goat absolutely lived up to its reputation. Most likely because of the weather, but we were able to sit immediately, with no wait. It was exactly what we were looking for: absolutely casual, the kids were not out of place at all, and the food was amazing.

When you look at the menu, it doesn’t seem like anything special. Breakfast food, sandwiches, burgers. However, there really is something about a good chef, who can take something you’ve had a million times before and just make one little difference, like kimchi on a reuben, or just using really, really good bread, and suddenly it’s the best reuben you’ve ever had.

I tried the sloppy goat, the pork belly pancake, and (my favorite) the “Los Drowned” (a braised beef sandwich with au jus, but so much more than that). Even the smoked fries were amazing. One of the best parts of the meal was the “Little Goat” coffee, which is espresso with spices and steamed goat’s milk. I’ve seen it described as a “coffee/chai mashup” which was pretty accurate I think.

In other words, highly recommended, and I will definitely go back.