After years of dreaming and months of planning and preparation, chef Malin Parker opened his new Latin American street food restaurant Screaming Goat Taqueria last Tuesday.
Located in a small 920-square-foot strip space in Gulf Gate, the counter-service restaurant is simple and refined, with a menu that consists of tacos, arepas, burritos and bowls and a pick of proteins like cochinita pibil (marinated pork wrapped in banana leaves before being cooked), beef barbacoa, house-made chorizo, mesquite chicken and even goat cooked barbacoa-style. (There's also a vegetarian option with sweet potato, quinoa and lentils.) Parker, formerly the executive catering chef at Morton's Gourmet Market, has worked in the food business since he was 15. The taqueria concept has been simmering for decades. "It's been a dream of mine to do it for a long time," he says. "I finally just got the courage to do it."
What elevates a meal at Screaming Goat is the outstanding pick of condiments. Ranging from the basic (radishes, lime wedges, cilantro, queso fresco) to the inventive (onions roasted with cactus, kimchi, a scotch bonnet and roasted pineapple sauce), the selection of toppings and sauces allows you to customize to your heart's content. On Saturday evening, when my wife and sons and I visited, the goat barbacoa had been scratched from the menu, but cochinita and beef tacos were excellent, and the mix-and-match play of the add-ons led to whimsical surprises. The restaurant is new, so service was a bit discombobulated, but the food more than made up for it. "I just want to have fun," says Parker. "I want to be a place where everyone can go."
Screaming Goat Taqueria is located at 6606 Superior Ave., Sarasota. While the restaurant will eventually be open for lunch and dinner, it's currently only open in the evenings, from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. For more info, call (941) 210-3992 or visit the website.