Austin’s Screaming Goat Silenced

This post started out as a celebration of a rocking taco joint near downtown Austin, Texas.

I fell for the buttercup-cute bungalow house with creaky wooden floors, and after chowing down on a couple of above-average breakfast tacos, I made a mental note to return for the “drowning” flautas — corn tortillas stuffed with meat, rolled tight and deep-fried, and then smothered in chile broth.

As far as I can tell, flautas are the same thing as taquitos, dorados (see Austin’s El Naranjo dorados mentioned here) and also referred to as “El Paso-style” tacos. I’ve also seen them called “rolled tacos” in Phoenix.

But between writing words and posting pictures, I saw a tweet from Kay Marley-Dilworth (@ATXFoodnews on Twitter). She said The Screaming Goat and another independent Austin eatery, Lift Cafe, had closed.

So now this post is a eulogy.

I don’t know why The Goat closed but it wasn’t busy when we visited. I chalked it up to timing — a mid-week, mid-morning breakfast taco run.

Crazy, really, because the breakfast tacos were just as munch-worthy as those from other Austin bellwether establishments like Torchy’s Tacos and Taco Deli. The salsas were even better.

Two layers of moist corn tortillas, generously piled with a choice of two fillings (eggs, potatoes, cheese, beans, bacon or spicy chorizo) for only a buck seventy?

Hard to beat — or so I thought.

So what happened?

Was it the location? Was the food inconsistent? Later I saw comments on Twitter and Facebook that said “Austin is a tough restaurant town.”

Isn’t every town?

It reminded me of a cool little Mexican spot near downtown Phoenix I reviewed for PHOENIX Magazine called Verde.

Verde seemed to have lots going for it. Two talented, dedicated owners, some tasty Mexican food, and a urban-esque hip setting.

Like The Screaming Goat, the only thing that seemed to be missing was a steady stream of customers.

4 replies
  1. Kirstin Sahagun
    Kirstin Sahagun says:

    Hey PenandFork, i know it’s a sad sad day that the screaming goat is no more BUT the founder, David Sahagun has opened a new place in North Austin off 183/lakecreek called In The Buns Burger Joint! they still have the goat’s QUESO recipe and chips on the menu along with stuffed burgers, bacon wrapped hot dogs, veggie option, and gluten free choices! Another awesome fact, they support local businesses like Holy Cacao cake balls and Maine Root organic sodas which are also on their menu! be sure to check them out on fb and twitter!

  2. Bret Adams
    Bret Adams says:

    What a shame. So many of the “taco joints” in town are either cookie cutter chains or over-priced phonies striving to find a niche by using somewhat unusual names and/or ingredients. Maybe I have yet to find more of them, but where are the places with ambiance, good food, and sincere customer-oriented service? Maybe that’s just a thing of the sweet past.

    • Gwen Ashley Walters
      Gwen Ashley Walters says:

      Bret… it does seem the chains are taking over sometimes. We can only “vote” on that with our dollars…seek out the local, independent shops and support them. Thanks for commenting!


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