Whatever Flips Your Goat in Logan Square
I had a Bourdainian moment at Birria Estilo Jalisco in Logan Square (2230 N. Western). The spare decoration (read: drop ceilings and faux-wood boothes) to the non-English menu all spelled delicious. I read about the place in this week's Reader and my main eating partner immediately started salivating when he heard that the place only served goat. I got the consomme which tasted like it had wings and flew directly from Mexico City and a simple big plate of goat. The portions aren't ridiculously huge but come with plenty of tortillas. Goat meat is served as a hunk, steaming in its own juice and the broth surrounding the meat pile is both fragrant and tasty. Granted, meat pile doesn't sound very tasty until you start putting it into your mouth, at which point you will start to wonder why goat isn't the new beef. It's simple, peasant-y and delicious. And, so cheap.
Enough with the Bourdain references on the Chicago board- really great ethnic food doesn't need the sardonic attitude.
The new Reader has a rave about it this week. The first section has a big roundup of Logan Square dining, with a breakout for hole-in-the-wall Latin. They had good things to say about the goateria. I really recommend this article, if you all haven't read it yet. I saw four or five places, including this, that I had never heard of and want to try out.
Oh, the problem with goat, which probably know, is that it is hell to butcher. All bone.
If you are a fan of goat, you should try the Barbacoa de Chivo from Supermercado Morelia (cicero and diversey) along with their freshly made tortillas. There are many other Mexican markets that sell decent cooked goat also. I like to keep some in the fridge for making quick tacos. I heat a bit up in a frying pan with a shake of La Criolla "fajita" seasoning for about 45 seconds with a tortilla warming on top. Add a few cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime, and you have a very quick and relatively healthy lunch.
I first visited B.E.J. with the Chowhound, Thomas D., in 2005, when it was a bit further south on Western (2035 N. Western Ave). At any rate, I agree with you, the place is quite good, but if you really enjoy birria I would also encourage you to try a few others--if you haven't already:
Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlán
1322 W. 18th
Here is a New City article about Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlán:
8726 S. Commercial Ave.
4019 W. North Ave.
Maxwell Street Market
Here is a photo of the El Guero stand taken by Portland Chowhound, extramsg: