A block off the intersection of 14th and U Street sits The Fainting Goat: Middle ground between the cheaper but more blasé food of U Street and the more inventive, but sometimes overpriced, food of 14th Street. Read: Food that doesn’t know how great it is yet!
The menu categories at TFG – nibble, graze, chomp and feed – hold no more than four selections each, making the menu easy to conquer for four diners willing to share. Start with The Best Thing on the Menu: Porchetta sandwich with fennel, dill and parsley on cibatta. It blew our hoofs off.
So what the pork is porchetta? It’s been popping up on a lot of menus lately, and for good reason. Typically a whole pig is prepped (we’ll spare you the gory stuff) then lovingly layered with stuffing, meat, fat and skin. Next, it’s rolled, spitted, and roasted with a heavy hand of salt and sometimes garlic, rosemary, fennel or other herbs. Thank you Italy, we were grateful for Barolo, but this is better. At TFG, the chef spreads cibatta with a miracle paste made of fresh dill and fennel before generously applying the porchetta.
Is it criminal that we didn’t go with goat for the BTM? Perhaps, but we gave it a good hard try – two different ways in fact. The Fainting Goat offers their namesake meat as an appetizer tartare and a juicy seared entree. Our BTM pick doesn’t so much shun the goat, as it does celebrate the best damn sandwich we’ve had in months.
Other top picks? Seared scallops that taste of vanilla, and a bowl of warm winter vegetables called “The Garden,” that’s topped with caper-sized mustard seeds. Click here for more photos of the meal.
Porchetta not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.