On a beautiful, summer Sunday morning, the type of morning that is the reason for living in Chicago, I ate outside with friends at Little Goat. For those unaware (do you still exist?), Little Goat is the diner-style sister restaurant to Chef Stephanie Izard’s more refined Girl and the Goat, just across the street on Randolph. We went at 9 am, early by brunch-going standards, and had the pleasure of a leisurely meal made possible by our waitress who was thankfully more concerned with refilling our coffees than flipping our table.
Ms. Izard’s food is many things – creative, delicious, unique. Healthy, however, it is not. Those in search of a wholesome, lean morning brunch should look elsewhere. This is a splurge.
I ordered the blueberry pancakes, a transcendent balance of savory, spongy batter with bursts of generously distributed fresh blueberries topped with satisfying oatmeal crumble. I do confess to ordering the pancakes without the cream cheese butter, my attempt to make at least one healthy choice that morning. I didn’t miss it, but I’m sure that’s only naiveté.
The thick slabs of salty, fatty bacon made up for the lack of butter. I could not believe a side of bacon cost $6, and while I am still speculating on the profit margins of the dish, I’d do it again. Especially when splitting, as we did, the order with friends (both my cardiologist and wallet thank me).
My friend shared some of her Fat Elvis Waffles, which were indeed fit for a king. The sweet, toasty waffles sat majestically on a large plate, topped with an ice cream scoop size of peanut butter flavored butter, diagonally sliced bananas, and, what else, pieces of bacon. Oh, and the maple syrup for the waffles was maple bacon syrup, which also happens to be delicious on the blueberry pancakes.
Prepare for a significant wait if you go anytime after 10 am for brunch; Little Goat is a no reservations kind of place. It’s worth it. And it will give you longer to read over the extensive menu. But you also may just want to consider getting up a bit earlier.
Try Little Goat at 820 W. Randolph Street. Little Goat is also open for breakfast throughout the week, and for lunch, dinner, and late night.