Fountainhead And Little Goat | Chicago

Goat burgers are popping up on menus

Welcome to the goat burger brawl.

In one corner we've got reigning champion Stephanie Izard of Little Goat. Her challenger: Cleetus Friedman, whose new goat burger at Fountainhead is a real knockout.

Izard: The Goat Almighty ($19)

Izard is a tad obsessed with goat. (Duh). Her last name is the French name for a type of goat, and she likes to cook with it because it's naturally lean, but it doesn't dry out.

At 11 inches tall, her burger is–no joke–the largest one we've ever seen. In addition to a patty made with Kilgus Farm goat, it's topped with braised beef, BBQ pork, salsa verde, masa chips and pickled jalapeños.

The whole mess is crowned with onion rings and cheddar. Though the servers have strategy sessions about how to eat it, the consensus is that one should take off the onion rings and squeeze. Hard.

The Cleetus burger at Fountainhead

Friedman: The Cleetus Burger ($16)

The Cleetus Burger is a rotating special. "It's the burger that I can have fun with," Friedman says.

This month, the patty is made from a blend of goat and pork from Slagel Farm, topped with a thick slice of homemade smoked ham and a dollop of apple brandy-and-caramelized onion jam..

"I like goat; it's an underused protein," Friedman explains. Even if some chefs are scared to use it, the Cleetus Burger is selling like crazy.

Judges' Decision

We're gonna to have to call it a tie: Izard's is a burger for the adventurous (perhaps insane) while Friedman's is a burger for the everyday diner. But they're both maaaaa-d good.