Little Goat Bread full of whimsy: creative breads, dynamic coffee bar, stellar sandwiches

February 1, 2013 10:06:30 AM PST
Following the success of Girl and the Goat, Chicago chef Stephanie Izard opened two new businesses, Little Goat Diner and Little Goat Bread, just across the street.

"When we first opened Girl and the Goat it was just a little bit too small baking our bread in-house. So we wanted to open a bread shop with a little teeny eatery inside of it, like a breakfast and lunch place," said Izard.

That led to Little Goat Bread, a bakery with a dynamic coffee bar, creative breads and pastries, and a stellar sandwich lineup.

So that might mean bagels or pastries in the morning along with Portland's Stumptown coffee. In the afternoon, it's sandwiches and cookies to snack on at the long bar. There's a lot more than just baguettes here, including flavors like bacon gouda, Bloody Mary and peanut butter raisin. A wall of Izard-approved sauces and syrups stands at the ready near the entrance, in case you want to take some of her secrets home with you, but the selection of a half-dozen sandwiches is tempting enough.

Her shrimp version starts with puffy potato rolls; one of which is topped with a shmear of onion cream cheese and a circular corn chip; the bottom half gets slathered with fresh avocado and topped with a mound of assertively seasoned shrimp.

"When you toss it with the spicy mayo, it's like a kimchi mayonnaise we make this sauce, you're actually able to get in bottles, it's called the Chi, it's just sort of our little kimchi marinade - we toss that with some mayonnaise on the shrimp, and because it's all curled up it gathers it in the sandwich," she said.

Pickled peppers and a mound of finely-shredded cabbage give the sandwich the perfect level of crunch. Those peppers also play a supporting role in the egg salad option, which is a far cry from your mom's luncheonette version.

"There's a whole lot of pickled things going on because I think that just straight egg salad can be a little bit on the flat side," she said.

Pickled red onions and pimento cheese are two standouts, plus the fact it's on a fresh sourdough, as opposed to white bread.

"You have to approach each layer of that sandwich as a layer of flavor, and make sure that they all have texture going on and different flavors and it's not just gonna be one note," said Izard.

Next door to the bakery is the diner where they serve three meals a day.

Little Goat Bread
820 W. Randolph St.