The Stokin’ Goat
15805 W Maple Rd
Fare: Casual American
Cost: $105 for three drinks, one app, two meals and shared dessert
Reservations: Recommended for weekend/nights.
Greetings, eaters and readers!
This month’s pick was motivated by little more than culinary curiosity. A frequent visitor to West Omaha, I noticed a regularly full parking lot by the chain of stores in front of the Hy-Vee at 156th and Maple. The Stokin’ Goat, opened in early 2018 and helmed by Chef Andrew Loughrey, seemed to be drawing a crowd and Jaclyn and I got sucked in on a recent Friday evening.
Self-identifying as “a playful and spirited spot with a modern rustic décor and a comfortable and casual vibe,” our first steps in the door proved just that. The bright interior was buzzing with a diverse Friday crowd: families, couples and friends both young and old enjoying the creative menu.
With our reservation at 6 p.m., Jaclyn and I got right in and started pouring over the drink menu. We quickly noticed our server seemed to be stretched thin over a large area and although we didn’t seem him as quick or as frequently as we would have hoped, he was friendly and humorous when we did get some face time.
I started the evening with a Pinot Noir called Cherry Pie and Jaclyn started with a Lazy Horse Blood Orange Ale. Jaclyn’s ale didn’t taste like what she expected it to. She thought it tasted more like an IPA, but she did enjoy the citrus flavor.
Slowly sipping my Cherry Pie, we shared an order of their Honey-Dipped Goat Balls which were really just a delicious adult cheese balls. Filled with herbed goat cheese, then fried and drizzled with honey, our only regret is that we didn’t order more or eat them slower as the wait for our main courses was quite lengthy.
While we waited for our dinner to hit the table, I ordered another drink. Something about the Berry White: crisp strawberry vodka with pomegranate and vanilla, sounded light, crisp and refreshing. And it was. Still waiting for our main course, I was glad I ordered another drink to last the rest of my evening.
Not served until around 7 p.m., we both commented that while the wait was low-key annoying, the evening could definitely still be salvaged with deliciously executed, and hot entrees. We were relieved to discover just that.
I ordered the Hanger Steak, topped with port wine demi-glace and accompanied by scalloped potatoes and split asparagus. My entire plate – first bite to last – was warm, delicious and well executed. In particular, I fell in love with the scalloped potatoes that were at-once flaky, buttery and slightly crispy.
Jaclyn went out of her norm with an option she’s not usually drawn towards: the French Dip Sandwich. But it was the caramelized onions and baguette that got her attention. She liked their version of the popular handheld. And while I liked the few dips in au jus, she decided it was better without.
Jaclyn swapped her side of fries for a bowl of Smoked Gouda Mac ‘n Cheese. It was rich, velvety and totally worth the up-charge.
Not going to lie, seeing bread pudding on the menu was a definite selling point when choosing this month’s research. Their rendition – with caramelized apples – was every bit as satisfying as we’d hoped.
The apples were thinly sliced with a soft texture and sweet flavor. They were a pleasant blend with the warm, cinnamon-y bread pudding. And as with all good bread puddings, it came with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Delightful!
If you take away the exceedingly long waits between receiving each menu item (which we attributed to short staffing on a busy Friday night), we felt our entire meal was outstanding from top to bottom. Our server worked hard to make each (albeit hastened) visit at our table helpful and enjoyable. And we implore you to not be alarmed at the amount of money we spent. My dinner was about the same price as my two drinks. Take away my libations and I’m out of there for less than $40 with a shared app and dessert. Regardless – the Stokin’ Goat is worth every penny.
To be honest, we wrestled with the idea of bestowing the Stokin’ Goat with a Certified Good Bite only because we don’t want it to be lost just how protective of such a distinction it is to us. We held on to the award for months before finally finding a worthy recipient in last month’s The Speakeasy. And surely foody lightning can’t strike again so soon?
But the facts are undeniable: the food at Stokin’ Goat was phenomenal, unique and worth the wait. And we’d definitely recommend that a passer-by strongly consider spending their time and money checking out what they have to offer.
For that reason, we’re surprised but convinced the Stokin’ Goat deserves two forks up and the crowning honor of being the first Certified Good Bite we’ve discovered here in Omaha. We’ll be back!
Martha and Jaclyn
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