There are two restaurants in D.C. with “goat” in their name—Fainting Goat on U Street NW and Tail Up Goat in Adams Morgan. Only one currently lists goat on its menu. You can try a braised goat tostada at Fainting Goat with avocado, serrano peppers, and cotija cheese.
If you want a more reliable source for noshing on goat meat in D.C., you have to head to restaurants serving cuisines where the protein is frequently front and center such as Appioo African Bar & Grill, Pappe, Teddy’s Roti Shop, or Los Hermanos Dominican Restaurant.
While goat meat is more popular outside of the U.S., goat cheese is everywhere on American menus: crumbled in a salad, scooped onto a pizza, and stuffed inside a chicken. This presents a problem, according to James Whestlor. The chef-turned-meat-supplier has run “Goatober” in the United Kingdom, where he’s from, since 2015.
Goats that don’t produce milk are being cast off. “It’s just really stupid to euthanize these perfectly healthy animals, and on a fundamental level, it’s wrong that an animal’s life should have no value,” he says. “My goal is to put all of the dairy billy goats into the food system. With Goatober, we have a tremendous tool to help do so. We’re showing the consumers that goat meat is ethical, sustainable, and delicious.”
The goal of Goatober is to encourage more people to consume goat meat. It was started in New York by Heritage Radio Network Executive Director Erin Fairbanks and New York cheesemonger Anne Saxelby, according to Heritage Foods’s website.
For what may be the first time, a D.C. area restaurant is participating in Goatober. Republic in Takoma Park is partnering with Pipe Dreams Farm to bring in one whole goat a week for the duration of October. Chef Sammy Diaz heard about Goatober while working at a restaurant in New York City.
“We’ll get a whole goat and break it down and use it for different specials,” he says. “We’ll use the bones to make a stock; braise the meat; and create some smoked ribs.” Some specific dishes he mentions include goat ravioli and a goat grilled cheese.
“We’re bringing that awareness here and showing that goat meat can be tasty and also to basically help with the male population for the farmers,” Diaz says.
Find the special goat dishes on the menu starting Oct. 1.
Republic, 6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park; (301) 270-3000; republictakoma.com