Each week, we’ll be highlighting take-out from restaurants across the city. Follow along for a new take-out adventure every Thursday. Click here for a delectable repast of all the take-out we’ve enjoyed!
2457 S. Wentworth Ave., (414) 763-4706
This week’s take-out comes from Goodkind, a Bay View restaurant that’s become a beloved staple as much for its friendly vibe and neighborhood tavern feel as its beautifully balanced cocktails and a menu of dishes that are as creative as they are tasty.
It’s also from a restaurant that we’ve chosen as the first among a cadre of spots we hope to boost in these trying times with a burst of “Cash Mob MKE” love on Friday, Jan. 15. So, if you’re reading this piece and feel inclined to participate, order up a dish or three and share photos of your Friday night meal on social media using #CashMobMKE.
When I order from restaurants I’ve visited before, I’m often drawn to excellent dishes I’ve enjoyed in the past. But I’m also pulled, by both a natural curiosity and the nature of my job, to venture out and try something new. So I was happy to find a bit of both old and new-to-me on Goodkind’s menu.
Among the dishes I love from Goodkind is the champagne battered oyster mushrooms, which never seem to disappoint ($13). Their ultra-crisp batter is light but sturdy and holds up well to the tang of the honey vinaigrette enriched with piquillo peppers and strands of crisp kohlrabi.
Even carried out, the mushrooms were crisp as ever, if slightly less warm (a quick zap in the air fryer or high temp oven would’ve solved that; but I didn’t take the time). And paired with the dressing, they presented as sweet and salty, tangy and earthy all at once.
We also indulged in the Caesar salad ($10), which stands out from the crowd thanks to its classic umami-rich dressing, a treasure Chef Paul Zerkel gleaned from his time working at Gino’s Restaurant and Bar in Portland, Oregon.
We normally order cocktails at Goodkind; but on this night we opted for a sparkling rose that we hoped would reach across the somewhat disparate flavor profiles of the dishes we ordered (it was well priced at $16). As it turns out, its slight fruitiness was perfect. The bubbles cut through the fat of the fried mushrooms and the wine’s profile played well with the salad and made a fairly good pairing for both entrees.
Among them was one of Goodkind’s must-try dishes: the spicy crab pasta ($20), a dish born of Chef Lisa Kirkpatrick’s memories of eating on the beach in Oregon. I was delighted to find that the dish held up admirably to transport across the city.
The bucatini pasta was pleasantly toothsome, tossed in its signature ragu of San Marzano tomatoes and enriched with the punch of spicy ghost pepper pepperoni. That in of itself would be enough; but when you add the slightly sweet, briny notes of flaky Dungeness crab, the slightly bitter notes of the rapini and the herbaceous richness of basil oil, it becomes all the more memorable.
I can only imagine that there’s a story to accompany the rotisserie chicken special as well, though it’s not one I’ve had the privilege to hear. But the tender chicken hind-quarter seasoned with bold Berbere spices and served over white grits with a confetti of boiled egg for garnish brought back glimpses of one of my own stories, a meal I ate while traveling in Tunisia, which was seasoned with the same warming spices and subtle heat.
It was served alongside tender collard greens, masterfully cooked with peanuts in a coconut broth that pulled out any remaining bitterness in the greens and lent a richness that proved a beautiful complement to the more assertive flavors in the dish.
The lemon sumac bar we ordered for dessert followed nicely on the North African flavors with the citrusy tang of the sumac, which seemed to act as a flavor enhancer for the floral notes of the lemon ($8). The vegan dessert was rich, with a consistency similar to cheesecake (thanks to cashew cream). It wasn’t overly sweet, nor sour; but captured the perfume of the lemon, bending it against the slightly salty pretzel crust. Pickled blueberries added a fruity tang to each bite.
Speaking of blueberries, we also ordered the lavender-blueberry hand pie, a decision I don’t regret in the least. The crust was thin and incomparably flakey, and there was just enough subtle lavender flavor to complement the fruit without making it taste like grandma ($6).
But, wait! Maybe best of all are the little surprises the Goodkind staff add to each curbside order. This week, it was a coloring page designed by local artist Birdie Watts of Split Fountain Press.
How to order
Ordering from Goodkind is simple. Just take a peek at their online offerings here and place your order. Indicate the time you’d like to pick up and then follow the signs at the restaurant to park your car, call the restaurant and have your feast delivered right to your car.
Currently, Goodkind is open for curbside pick-up on Tuesday and Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. But watch their Facebook and Instagram feeds for updates. They love to roll out extra hours and surprise brunch engagements as they feel inspired.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.