Dining at @TheJudasGoat Taberna in Gastown
For maybe-not-so-obvious reasons, I am a lover of all things Spanish cuisine (not to be confused with Latin American cuisine, which seems to be pretty much an overarching term for foods from the Spanish-speaking countries in the southern hemisphere, and a term that might be better suited). I love chorizo, olives, capers, ham and all those strong flavors typical of Madrid’s cuisine (I was raised to love them).
My good friend Jay Catalan (The Network Hub) had told me about Judas Goat Taberna but I had never been and after a long day of meetings, I was exhausted and the only people left at the office were Paul, Yi and Minna. So we decided to go for dinner to Judas Goat Taberna. It was a really, really good decision. I am often drained after too much work or socializing, but if I’m with energetic people, I get a second wind. I am not a fan of walking by Blood Alley, but being it the case that I’ve already visited Salt Tasting Room (and loved it) I decided it was ok to go back to this part of Gastown, one that is not precisely my absolute favorite.
The first thing I noticed about Judas Goat Taberna is that it is really, really tiny. Which led to me doing my usual hummingbird-y “turn around and chat with the folks to your right/left”. We met the owners of Hix Island House, an eco-hotel in Puerto Rico, and the sister of one of the owners (who is a realtor in Toronto). Lovely fellows. I ordered brisket meatballs with spiced tomato sauce (the order includes 4, $ 8.00) and a glass of Jerez Lustau ‘Los Arcos’ Amontillado ($ 5.00). That was more than enough food for me (but I had already eaten dinner around 4pm and we were at Judas Goat Taberna at 8pm). My friends had a couple of appetizers too.
I also had a chance to sample Minna’s salad (crisp prosciutto with squash, arugula & Manchego cheese, $8.00 – which as you can imagine, I didn’t have any of as I hate cheese). It was a good (and welcome) departure from the meatballs’ richness. From my impression of the restaurant, it’s a tapas bar. I would figure a few of appetizers to share and a couple of drinks would be a great way to spend an evening having dinner here with friends. My evening was stellar, not only because I got to hang out with Paul, Yi and Minna, but because of the delightful trio of folks we sat down with. The service is really good, and the food is excellent.