The restaurant business is a funny thing, sometimes the clientele is not influenced as much by great food and service but goofy things like how you can actually drive into the lot. I have an old friend who was taught long ago by someone from the Mossman family that it’s important to have a parking lot entrance not too far after you’ve seen the building or people will just drive right past.
Which brings us to the second Goose Loonies that has opened in a location that for decades was The Garden Spot but it has been affected by all the construction going on if you’re coming from the southwest. Used to be you could turn left into the building’s lot from Truxtun. Not anymore. You have to drive north on Oak Street, then enter the lot north of the building. Coming from the northwest or downtown on the Crosstown freeway, it’s an easy in. Will such a goofy glitch affect business? People are pretty fickle.
The second Goose is a slightly different operation at this point. The menu when we visited was on paper, far more limited than the original and our waitress suggested it’s a work in progress. It seems stripped down compared to the Eastchester location we’ve visited often, with salads, sandwiches, gyros and a long list of specialty drinks. To be specific, four burgers, two sandwiches, a steak dinner, five salads, appetizers and five different gyros. I counted 21 beers and four wines. There are TVs everywhere tuned to sports, dozens of beers available on tap and a fair amount of patience required if you’re really hungry. Our pleasant waitress took our order, my companion ordering the lamb and beef gyro ($10) with a small Greek salad on the side ($6) while I chose the Goose club sandwich ($11).
I like the format of how you order on this menu. I wasn’t in the mood for fries that night, but if they came with my sandwich I would’ve eaten them. Instead they were $4 extra, so I skipped it. The quality of both selections was almost identical to what we’ve sampled in the past from the original Goose. The lamb and beef is rich with the house made tzatziki, tomato chunks and diced onions, the meat juicy and flavorful. It’s hard to get my companion to order anything else. I don’t believe I had the club sandwich before but it was made with a thick, grilled chicken breast, bacon, ham, cheddar cheese, tomato slices and a thick layer of finely shredded iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters and held together with toothpicks in each segment.
The biggest issue was the 40 minute wait for the food. The place was moderately busy on the weekday night we visited, but at some point we looked around and we noticed no one actually had food. Maybe they’re just here to drink, we thought, and noticed a table of eight nearby of mixed ages that looked like co-workers socializing after a day in the office. Not sure when they ordered their food, but they were there before us and their food arrived after ours.
How is this Goose different? One key difference is it’s open seven days a week, unlike the other Goose which is closed two days. The walls have wood shiplap, a large American flag, exposed ventilation tubes, lots of TVs spread around, there are large wine barrels around the room if you want to stand while eating or drinking, and there is a barber chair near the bar for shots and other shenanigans. My companion noted that Goose Loonies always has the best old rock music, from ZZ Top and Billy Joel to Van Halen’s “Jump” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.” The best part is it’s not too loud so you can’t have a conversation. There is also a patio, though this is the time of year when it will be mighty hot and lonely out there. I love the restaurant’s slogan on the shirts and the sign outside: Eat. Drink. Local.