Horny Goat Hideaway - Left wanting more

Recently, I had the chance to go to the Horny Goat Hideaway for the Fox6 Days of Dining presented by Milwaukeefood.com. The week day lunch was good, and the best part was I was given a "buy one, get one" brunch coupon! I gathered up some friends a couple weeks later and we headed down to the Hideaway to check out their brunch.

Traveling south on First Street, the Hideaway really is just that—hidden away. Surrounded by light industrial plants, this old pump house sits on the Kinnickinnic River. Before open in the spring of 2010, the owners build a large outside bar house, seating area and volley ball courts. In the summer, this was a great hangout by many people. The main building has a small kitchen and first floor seating area, with a larger second floor that looks down to the first floor dining area.

Joining me on this brunch outing were Andrew, Tony and Chris. We met at the Hideaway and were quickly sat next to the window looking into the brewing area. Our server, Angel, came over to our table and explained the menu and took our drink order. He also told us that for $10, we could a get all-you-can-drink bloody mary or mimosa. Chris and Andrew ordered bloody marys and coffees, while Tony and I ordered mimosas and coffee. Angel did tell Chris and Andrew that the bloody marys would not come with the traditional add-ons, only a lemon and lime wedge. They said it was ok, and we waited for our drinks. Our coffees came very quickly, but were all served in paper cups, which we all found to be an interesting choice. Our other beverages took some more time to come to the table. We were unable to see what the hold up was—the bar or our server, but the wait was a little longer than normal. Then again, when we finally did get our drinks, the refills took less time. Andrew and Chris said their bloodys were just ok. There was no real spice, heat or texture to them. The lemon and lime wedges didn't add anything more to the drink, and Andrew even commented that they weren't necessary. Tony and my mimosa couldn't have been more different. Served in traditional champagne flutes, these mimosa were amazing—sweet and a little tart with no pulp.

We ordered our food and waited for it to arrive, we looked around the space some more and ordered a second round of drinks. Angel did talk to us about the space and what it offered in the summer. He even said that the volleyball courts might be flooded in the winter, so that the brew house could offer ice skating as well. "Hey, if you have the space back there, you may as well use it, right?"

Once our food came out, we all dove in. Chris and Andrew both ordered the eggs benedict ($9). Quickly glancing at the plate, it seemed like the dish would be very good. However, they both agreed, the plate was missing some important items. The poached eggs were overdone and not runny. Also, the key to the dish, the Hollandaise sauce, was missing the acidity. It was more of a creamy butter sauce and left the rest of the plate rather dull. The one redeeming item on the plate was the shaved ham and prosciutto. But, in order to offer a better entree, I would suggest skipping the prosciutto and working on the Hollandaise sauce. Chris and Andrew agreed that although the plate looked good at first, it left them wanting more flavor in the end.

Tony ordered the biscuits and gravy ($8). When the plate hit the table, all of us were in shock. It looked like the cooks completely forgot his order until right at the end, and threw some food on a plate before the server left the kitchen. Getting over the lack of plating, the food had much more flavor than the benedict. The gravy was thick and rich with chunks of sausage spread throughout. The scalloped potatoes were very good as well. Rich and creamy, the small portion worked well for Tony, but anyone else would have been left hungry want wanting more.

Since the rest of the table ordered what I had wanted originally, I scanned the menu in hopes of finding something different. I chose the huevos rancheros ($9). As the plate was being set down on the table, I was pleasantly surprised with my choice. The three eggs done over easy looked as if they were in the center of a sun with the wedges of tortilla fanning out as the rays. With my first bite, the mixture of black beans and chorizo was accented by cinnamon! It was something quite unexpected. I asked around the table to see if anyone would like to try my dish, and they all said, no. Secretly smiling on the inside, I enjoyed this dish right to the end.

Overall the experience left my table wanting something more. The drink specials was great and if you want to sit back and enjoy the game on several big screens, then the Horny Goat Hideaway has to be on your list to check out. For around $20 per person (with the drink special), this brew house had some inconsistencies in food and service. With a large parking lot and boat slips for the nautical reader, this place would be great in the summer for their patio. However, for a brunch spot, this hideaway needs to iron out a few wrinkles in food and service.

Until next weekend, have a great week and happy brunching!

What have been your experiences at the Horny Goat Hideaway? What are some other good entrees? Respond below in the comments!

All the details you want to know: (on a five star rating)

Horny Goat Hideaway (**½)
2011 South First Street
Milwaukee, WI 53207
(414) 482-GOAT
Horny Goat Hideaway on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Atmosphere: *** (pretty good)
Mixing the old pump house with the new construction outside gives the Hideaway a modern outdoor dining or social setting

Food: ** (ok)
Some items were better than others. Needs to work on consistency between items.

Service: ** (ok)
Friendly, but had not tried anything on the menu. Drinks and food took some time to come to the table.

Drinks: ***
Mimosa - ***** (awesome)
Bloody Mary - ** (ok) Missing flavor, spice or heat, plus no mix-ins

Price: *** (pretty good)
With the drink special and brunch coupon, this spot is best fit for those that want to get away and watch the game.


JenInTosa said...

My boyfriend and I went to HG one afternoon to watch the game and we were craving the Tater Tot appetizer they have... but brunch goes until 3 and they put out a limited brunch menu... so even after noon you can not order lunch items (there is only one burger on the menu). We left... we didn't want brunch. Their excuse is that the kitchen is very small and since it's a historical building they cannot expand it, hence the limited menu. But this small kitchen seems to cause a lot of problems (skip $3 pizza/burger night unless you want to wait 1-2 hours on a busy night). I think they should have added a 2nd kitchen when they put the other building up! I am not surprised that your experience was just OK.

The Exiled said...

I have been to the Horny Goat for dinner once. Just once.

The food was slightly above average.

While looking exciting on the menu and full of promise on the plate, half of the food that was ordered tasted like it was out of the Sysco catalog. Bland and not very exciting. (I had that thought confirmed when I used the restroom and the local Sysco rep had several of his business cards pinned on a bulletin board inside there.) It was so frustrating. The food could have been excellent if as much thought that was put into the beer, and the menu, was put into the ingredients.

It wasn't the best in the world, it wasn't the worst. In the world of bar food, it was pretty good. As a restaurant, as a dining destination, I wouldn't recommend it.

Lo said...

If I were to offer my completely candid opinion, I think HG functions far better as a bar than a restaurant. Ingredient quality seems lacking, and the service is average at best.

Paul S said...

Things must have improved then because we had great food and excellent service.
Weeknight around 5pm.

Stefanie said...

We went for brunch today at about 11am and both the brunch and lunch menus were available. Brunch is only served until 1pm now. The mimosas were fabulous, but the fully dressed bloody mary's were, too. Served with andouille sausage, a mozzarella ball, tomato, pickle, pepperoncini....it looked so good to my 16 year old that she got a virgin mary just to get the garnishes. It was flavorful and had a bit of a bite. Sounds like management may have listened to feedback. The biscuits and gravy did leave a lot to be desired, but more so for the odd smokey taste. The monte cristo was phenomenal. I only ate half and was full most of the day. My picky 4-year old had the chicken strips and sweet potato fries and actually ATE it. She couldn't cram the fries in fast enough. All in all, it was a very good experience and we will be going back. I have to try that huevos rancheros!

Milwaukee Mom said...

Went on a Wednesday night- 6:30p, and sat outside. Nice atmosphere. Had pesto chicken wrap with tots. My friend had the pulled pork and fries. We shared! Really liked BOTH! Better than standard bar food. Live music, lots of people, all seemed to be having a great time. Waited quite a while for the check, but service was better than average. Going again, and bringing friends and/or the kids!

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