The Old Goat Tavern
I thought I was going to beat the Kalamazoo Gazette to this one….but nope. They’re faster than I am. Last Saturday, I drove by the new 2700 West development near WMU and noticed a new pub opened up on the corner of Michigan and Euclid. We already had plans that day, but I thought I’d get there within the next week before the Gazette even knew it was open…but nope. Beat again.
Anyway, enough whining. That new restaurant is The Old Goat Tavern. It’s a burger focused pub owned by Main Street Properties which also own the likes of Main Street Pub, Fletcher’s Pub, Bold, and one of my favorites, University Roadhouse. The expectations were high before we ever left home just based on our past experiences with the restaurant group.
The Old Goat Tavern is the first business open in the new mixed use building that took out the building that used to house campus staple Maggie’s Campus Café (later Breakfast at Tiffiny’s) as well as a few other small businesses. The tavern takes up a big corner space right at the corner of West Michigan and Euclid.
The design of the building is much more urban than a lot of the area. The front façade is pretty close to the road leaving the parking lot behind the building off Euclid. There is short term (or “No Overnight Parking” right as you pull in the lot and while there is access to the businesses from the street side, there are also back doors that will get you in from the parking lot.
J was a little wary when we pulled in because it didn’t look like the tavern was open. The windows are pretty tinted and there was only a small “open” sign in one of the many windows. I told her I double checked before we left and assured her it was.
Once inside, there was no doubt they were open. It was actually quite surprising just how many people were there for lunch on a Friday afternoon. The Old Goat has only been open a week and other than the mlive article, you really have to search to find anything about it online.
The crowd was pretty mixed between college students and older people on their lunch break. We were the only family, but I did notice a number of high chairs, so they do expect this to be more than a college hangout (although we didn’t see nor were we offered any kind of kids menu, so be aware of that).
We started to head towards a pub table out of the way so we wouldn’t bother anyone else when J noticed some regular four tops on the other side of the bar. We headed over to one near the windows because L still likes to watch the traffic zip by while she’s eating her lunch. A waitress soon followed us with a couple of menus and took drink orders. The beer menu was already yon the table and included a number of Michigan craft beers in addition to the typical macros.
I chose one of my Founders favorites…Dirty Bastard. J ordered a Diet Coke and a glass of water. L wanted to bring one of her cups from home, so she already had water and we didn’t need to order her one.
For me, the hardest part was which burger. They have a number of specialty burgers, but the create your own option is tempting too. I am all about breakfast themed burgers and they have one on the menu. I ordered the Breakfast Goat. All of the burgers off the OGT Classic part of the menu come with three patties, but they are patties that are similar to something like Five Guys. Small, thin 2 oz. patties consisting of a mix of ground sirloin and ground chuck that flattened out on the grill. My burger came topped with a fried egg, bacon, and cheddar cheese. It also comes with mayo, but why would you run this pile of deliciousness with something as disgusting as mayo?
The burger was pretty damn amazing. It was a little bit of a sloppy mess which I love in a good burger. The sandwich is served on a fresh bakery roll with the fried egg doing it’s best to keep all of crumbled bacon on top of the meat. I was super excited about The Old Goat Tavern when I first saw the menu and I was just as excited about it when I left. The burger was fantastic.
J was sort of looking over the menu wishing that the burger could come as a veggie burger. She thought some of the combos looked really good, but she doesn’t typically like restaurant burgers. She does, however, like things like Five Guys, Wendy’s and Culver’s burgers. The thinner the burger the better for her and once I pointed out that these were thin patties, she decided to go for a burger.
Her selection was The Goat. This burger started out like mine with three 2 oz burger patties on a bakery roll but it also includes goat cheese, bacon jam, and a roasted garlic aioli. She loved the burger. She has never said that about a tavern burger before and it shocked me just how much she raved about this burger. The burger patties were done exactly the way she likes them and adding goat cheese only makes things better with her.
The burgers come a la carte, so fries are ordered as an extra. (Update: 1/18/16 – this seems to have changed from our first visit. The last couple times we have ordered carry-out, fries were included with the meal.) Any good burger place knows you gotta have good fries and The Old Goat delivers on this end too.
You get the choice of one potato or two and there are a number of options to add on gourmet sauce for a little extra (from $.29 to $.49). I stuck with the one potato which is more than enough for one person. I was even able to share some with J and didn’t feel like I didn’t have enough. The fries were nice and crispy and delicious on their own. J had to restrain herself a little bit…I mean, they were my fries… 🙂 The fries come dusted with a spicy mix that is sort of like BBQ chips. The order I got I had them leave that off. I didn’t realize I was doing that when the waitress asked me if I wanted it. I thought she was asking me about the extra sauces. Doesn’t matter though….they were still delicious.
Like I mentioned earlier, there wasn’t a kid’s menu option presented to us, so we just ordered L the chicken tender basket. She got three large chicken tenders and a large order of fries that did come with the “bangin’ spices. They came fresh out of the fryer and L’s a little impatient, so once she bit in to a hot tender, she was pretty much done with them. I really don’t know why though because they were really good. The chicken was super juicy and tender and it was more of a batter than a breading…not a total beer batter type of thing, but much better than the typical breading style restaurant chicken strips.
L did like the fries, but didn’t like them with the spices. I swapped out hers with some of mine and I ended up eating most of hers while J and L ate most of mine. The fries with the spices were delicious but had just a little bit of a kick to them which is why my 3 year old wasn’t a fan.
Our bill before tip was just a little over $30. The Old Goat Tavern is another great offering from the Main Street Properties people. The fact that J loved…not just liked…the burger is a pretty amazing compliment. I love most burgers, but this one definitely stands out. We live fairly close to WMU and this place will factor in to our lunch plans on a regular basis.