Little Goat Diner, Chicago – all day delights
Getting out of the main tourist precinct in any city is a priority for Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband and thanks to Chicago local ‘Food Travelist’ on Twitter, we were given a number of great options to get out and hang with the natives.
Having tried unsuccessfully to get into one of the recommendations – Girl and the Goat, Greedy Girl settled for a Saturday night booking at Little Goat Diner and it was an excellent experience.
Chef Stephanie Izard is a Chicago native who spent her formative years in Connecticut. A contestant on the American TV show Top Chef, Stephanie has been back in Chicago since 2001, according to her website bio.
Little Goat Diner is in a foodie enclave on West Randolph Street. Girl and the Goat is across the road and there’s an assortment of little bars and restaurants in the strip leading from downtown Chicago. The diner itself is quite glam (as diners go) and early on a Saturday night it’s already packed. Settling in with a Cosmopolitan (for Greedy Girl) and a Solemn Oath ‘Wreckagemaster’ IPA for gluttonous husband, we tried to work out how to limit the damage to our waistlines in a restaurant where we wanted to try everything.
We eventually settled on dishes that represented both ends of the spectrum – fish tostadas for gluttonous husband and one Greedy Girl couldn’t resist, purely because of the name, Fat Elvis waffles (pictured above). This was seriously scary.
Two gigantic waffles were topped with banana slices, bacon, maple syrup and peanut butter butter. That’s not a typo; it’s a disc of butter, coated in peanut butter. Greedy Girl should have put the fork down much earlier but it was oddly seductive.
Gluttonous husband had a markedly lighter dish. These were whitefish tostadas, topped with avocado, red onion, chickpeas, shallot aioli and a harissa vinaigrette. They were light, tasty and had a great range of flavours. Delish.
It was looking like being a very short evening (and a very brief blog). Gluttonous husband pronounced himself still hungry and ordered one of the evening’s specials, as well as a dish whose description intrigued him. The special was lamb ribs served on a bed of potatoes, spinach, asparagus and snow peas, with a harissa sauce and pickled red onions.
This was an enormous serving. The meat was very tender and the accompaniments were all delightful. Greedy Girl weakly managed a couple of ribs, leaving gluttonous husband to mop up the rest. By this stage, he’d moved to a different IPA, a Revolution/Firestone Walker (all the beers sampled were from Illinois) while Greedy Girl had a Metropolitan ‘Kolsch’ a light beer brewed in the German style. This was after trying a ‘chocolate milk stout’ from St Louis, Missouri – it was light for a stout with a definite chocolate finish and overtones of espresso. An amazing flavour but Greedy Girl couldn’t have got through a full glass.
The side dish for the ribs was ‘tempura mashed potatoes’. This was served with two sauces – an Asian barbecue and a ranch dressing – and topped with a little coleslaw. Essentially it was patties of mashed potato coated with tempura batter and deep fried. It was amazingly good.
Full to bursting, we paid the check and headed for the 30 minute walk back downtown. It was an enormous amount of fun and a great spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chicagoans are a lucky people.
Little Goat Diner
820 W Randolph Street, Chicago