The Smoking Goat - North Park
A friend's girlfriend had planned a surprise birthday party at The Smoking Goat in the North Park area of town. We had blogged about it at Taste of North Park 2011, attended one of the following years (where we petted a super cute baby GOAT), but now... just FINALLY making it inside? It's about time!
After walking in, the first thing I noticed was the artwork on the wall. Check out the goat with a pipe in its mouth.
There's also a goat (stuffed?) on the upper left that watches over the bar area.
I like the cage lighting decorations that were above our table. We were in the passageway, err, mini dining area between the bar area and the other side of the restaurant.
Dennis and I had arrived a little late and had missed a round of appetizer Duckfat Truffle Fries ($8). Luckily another friend came late also and ordered them so we were able to sneak a taste and dip into the mustard aioli! That duck fat really gives these fries a tasty kick and I'd definitely recommend ordering them.
Since we had left the Latin Food Festival only 2.5 hours prior, we were still a bit full so I ordered the Organic Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad ($12). Underneath was goat cheese on toasted crostini and there were yummy yellow and red diced tomatoes. Salad was on the smaller side and tasted alright overall, but what else can I say after comparing it to what Dennis ordered...
Here's the Slow Cooked Pork Belly ($23). Bye greens, hello meat! The entree was on the meatier side yet still succulently tender and finger-licking good. There were some pieces of fat obviously but in good portion. The meat was on a mound of smoked gouda polenta which was also delish. I have yet to make polenta at home but each time I eat out, I get so tempted!
Our friend had the Pork Chop ($24) which he said was average. It sure did look amazing on the plate though!
Our other friend had the Half Pound Burger ($16). This was cooked medium well but flavorwise was nothing spectacular. At least you got duckfat truffle fries with it!
The atmosphere is very relaxed and there's lots of good food choices. The prices are a little higher though and apparently they charge a cake cutting fee of $2.50 per person! And no you can't just cut your own cake (yes we asked about this). This actually happened to us about two years ago at Mosaic Wine Bar & Pizza next door, so maybe it's a common thing for the restaurants around here?
The Smoking Goat
3408 30th St
San Diego CA 92102