Judas Goat Taberna has a very cool vibe. Not only is it located in Blood Alley (and a bit hard to find) it only seats 28 people, it is always energetic and loud and has a menu of small plates and smaller plates that changes with the seasons. The first time we went (in 2010) only Salt Tasting Room was next door but now Boneta has also moved into the alley. On a warm day Judas Goat has a sliding garage door/window that allows extra seats right on the alley. The website tells their story. “We take it slow here. It’s peaceful. The food is good. The company is excellent.”
We have now been to Judas Goat 7 or 8 times and every time we try at least one or two dishes that we really love. The bad news is that the next time we go these dishes might not be on the menu any longer. So really it is a new adventure every time. We have taken different visitors and family members to Judas Goat and no one has been disappointed.
Judas Goat is about food, not beverages. There are a few wine selections by the glass or bottle mostly from Spain, one draught and four bottled beer selections (BC, Spain and Portugal), quite a few Sherrys and a ‘kick-ass’ Sangria which is not too sweet. The menu changes regularly. This time we started with Toasted Hazelnuts in Sea Salt, Cornichons and 5 orders of Bacon & Egg (there were 5 of us). All of these items we have had and enjoyed before. The Bacon & Egg is one of our favourites – crostini with sweet marmalade topped with a sunny-side-up quails egg and a piece of crispy bacon; bite size.
Next we ordered the 24 month Parma Ham from Italy and both of the daily Empanadas – Pork and Apple and Vegetarian. All three items were a hit with our table. The pastry of the Empanadas was perfectly light and fluffy and both fillings very flavourful. For our final course we chose Marinated Beets, Roasted Polenta and Lingcod. The fish was flaky and well cooked and served in a garlic/shallot dressing that was a bit bland. The beets were tossed in a rosemary/honey dressing and topped with ricotta. I love beets so these were great for me but not everyone else liked them. The polenta was crispy on the outside almost like hashbrowns and quite good but the olive dressing was more like just chopped olives and scallions than a dressing and would have been better if it was more of a sauce. We loved some dishes and thought that others were just OK. But the best part is sharing this type of tapas style meal with great company.
Judas Goat does take a few reservations each night so if you are planning to go with more than 2 people it is best to try to reserve. On a warm summer night it is a nice walk through the alley and the rest of Gastown after dinner.