Rodeo Goat features 59 beers in bottles or on tap. So Rodeo Goat’s a bar, right? Well, the new West 7th Street venture also specializes in burgers — the menu lists 14 — and a handful of appetizers and desserts. And three salads. What kind of bar has salads?!
Rodeo Goat is typically atypical. Even the décor is hard to pin down. With its indoor/outdoor seating, the Goat is sort of like a Texas Hill Country general store, plus a healthy serving of kitsch — the Christmas tree is trimmed with empty beer cans. Seating is mostly cocktail tables with barstools, though there is a little private area with real tables and chairs. The back patio, partly covered and festooned with little twinkly lights, includes a small wood-burning stove and a bunch of upscale picnic tables amid a sea of pea gravel. What? No dance floor?!
The Goat touts its burger meat as ground fresh daily. Does that make a difference? Yes. Your burger is likely going to be falling-apart juicy. The Goat’s beef is definitely richer (read: fattier, read: tastier) than that 85-percent lean stuff at the supermarket.
The names of the burgers are appropriately cutesy. The veggie burger is called the Neil Young. Har har. And in homage to one of Fort Worth’s favorite characters, there’s the Cowboy Murrin. At the time of this writing, Steve Murrin reports that he hasn’t traveled from his faraway land of the Stockyards to West 7th to sample his namesake sandwich.
“I’ve been told about it,” Murrin said. “I’m honored they’d name a burger after me, and I’m gonna be on my way to try it.”
Murrin’s trademark feature — his cartoonish white handlebar mustache — might not do well with the Cowboy Murrin, a monster loaded with barbecue sauce, bacon, jalapeño-and-pickle chutney, cheddar cheese, and fried onions.
In fact, his face would be reduced to a sloppy mess by any of Rodeo Goat’s burgers, all served on homemade buns. Sorry to be genteel, but the tidiest way to eat the Goat’s gargantuan, tasty 7-ounce patties is with a knife and fork. The Sugar Burger featured maple syrup-flavored bacon, grilled peaches, arugula, sweet grilled onions, and a mildly spicy jalapeño jam. The riot of odd, cross-connecting flavors actually worked well, although the bitter arugula was totally trampled by the peaches and bacon.
The Blue Goat came out topped with coleslaw, a really scrumptious blue cheese dressing, more caramelized onions, and a garlic-mayo shmeer. The tangy bite of blue cheese perfectly tempered the richness of the beef.
The brisket chili was extremely flavorful –– no semi-homemade stuff here. But the word brisket conjures up an image of the way the meat’s supposed to look, and brisket isn’t supposed to be ground. On the upside, the bowl arrived with a healthy sprinkle of cheddar cheese and jalapeños, plus some corn chips for dipping.
For dessert, there are three fried pie offerings. Of course, you’ll also want to order a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, if for no other reason than to cool down the hotter-than-lava innards. The crust on the chocolate pie was not pastry but a savory-style dough that was flawlessly flaky and made an interesting contrast to the dense filling.
Although the back of the menu contains a folksy story about how Rodeo Goat got its name, the restaurant is owned by Sam Wynne, whose family owns The Flying Saucer and Dallas’ Meddlesome Moth. We could argue about the quality of food at those two establishments, but there’s no doubt that among those three places this earthbound Goat’s fare soars the highest.
2836 Bledsoe St, FW. 817-877-4628.
11am-12am Sun-Wed, 11am-2am Thu-Sat.
All major credit cards accepted.
Brisket chili bowl …. $6.50
Sugar Burger ……… $9.00
Blue Goat …………… $9.00
Fried pie …………….. $4.00