Rodeo Goat is now open in the Design District, and it has goats. There is a goat, saddled like a horse and grinning in a mid-kick, above the bar. Some of the goats look like mountain goats, and some of them, like the one glaring at me from above the bathroom, looks like one you'd find at (for example) a True Detective crime scene. The goats are there to watch you eat things with goat in them. Goat cheese, for example. I guess goats just call it cheese, though.
I sat at the front of the open-concept, cafeteria-style restaurant around sundown. Huge sacks of potatoes are stacked at the entrance, seemingly to instill confidence: "These stacks of potatoes are real potatoes, and we use them." The pagan-esque goat above the bathroom glared back at me. A couple of bar games are situated near the entrance--including one called "Goat Ring." The kitchen is huge and open, facing the brightly-lit restaurant.
Picking a burger was tough. The menu is dizzying ride through herby goaty cheese spreads, tapenades, sauces, infused mayos and compotes. One burger, named after Mayor Mike Rawlings, had blackberry compote and whole-grain mustard. Another had brisket chili and garlic mayo, which I'm still having trouble imagining. Another was made of Chilean salmon.
I went for the "Brad Sham." It comes with applewood smoked bacon, tomato, fried onions, pickle chutney, house BBQ sauce and jalapenos. It's 10 bucks. I assumed the name meant Brad Sham comes to the table, and provides a play-by-play of me eating the burger. I had some thoughts while I waited for the order:
- What species of goat am I looking at?
- Why does the goat over the bar have a saddle? Did someone actually ride it?
- One of the burgers has grilled peaches on it.
- What is the dessert "Goat Balls"?
- It's hard not to think of the first episode of Planet Earth, with the goats locking horns on the side of a snowy mountain
- Why is my burger called The Brad Sham?
- Is Brad Sham here, now? Brad! BRAD!
- The turkey burger comes with "hyrdoponic sprouts," which I imagine taste the same as all other sprouts ever
Brad Sham came on one of those thin-pressed, wooden cafeteria trays, and a paper sack bursting with French fries. The "hand punched" fries were hot, salty and crispy, almost nearing dry, and good. The burger was juicy and big-flavored, cooked a bit beyond medium (they didn't ask how I wanted it cooked). The toppings on the burger were rough: The tomato was mushy, and the onion rings didn't have that crispness I was hoping for. I tossed two pickles on top, which helped cut the BBQ sauce and cheese. It was all just adjacent to good.
That said, there are a wild array of burgers to try at Rodeo Goat. They have big salads, too. I'm game to come back, and try more things that come from goats.