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Photograph: Stephanie BreijoBridgetown Roti

One of L.A.’s best new pop-ups wants to get your goat

Bridgetown Roti’s Goatober menu is serving meals with a sustainable purpose.

Written by
Stephanie Breijo

Truly the GOAT of goat-based events, the world’s monthlong Goatober initiative is back.

Every October thousands of dishes from around the world pop up on menus to spread the gospel of the ethically sourced and carbon-footprint–friendly meat, and here in L.A., Bridgetown Roti’s run of Goatober—also known as No Goat Left Behind—serves a serious purpose: To feed Angelenos with incredible Caribbean food, and to encourage a more sustainable food system. 

Each week out of a communal kitchen in the Arts District, chef Rashida Holmes makes phenomenal patties and roti inspired by the bold, fresh ingredients of Barbados and Trinidad, riffing on classic flavor profiles and building on family recipes. She regularly features proteins such as crab, oxtails and salt cod at her Bridgetown Roti pop-up, but she also wishes Americans would eat more goat—not only is it delicious, but it also helps curb food waste. 

“It’s trying to raise awareness for goat in America because it’s not widely eaten here, and yet it’s the most widely consumed animal protein outside of the United States,” says Holmes. “Almost all cultures around the world eat and cultivate a lot of goat because they’re easy to raise, they’re easy to pasture, they eat mostly grass, and they have like one-third of the amount of methane and waste production.”

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As Huffington Post notes, there isn’t data-driven proof that goat is the most popular or highest-consumed protein around the world, but it’s hard to argue its ubiquitousness beyond our own country; from soups to curries to roasts to bone marrow to tartare, the versatile red meat’s been more or less maligned in American cuisine despite the fact that it’s been a centuries-long staple for countless cultures. Here in L.A., at least, our taco scene keeps goat flowing with succulent birria (“shout out to them because they know what’s up with the goat,” Holmes says), but it’s rare to reliably find it elsewhere.

Not only is it embraced the world over for its taste, but partnerships between goat’s dairy and meat industries eliminate food waste. Male (or billy) goats are in high demand when it comes to producing kids and keeping milk flowing for goat cheese and other products, but once their purpose is served they’re often euthanized. By teaming up with Santa Ynez Valley’s Jimenez Family Farm for goat sourcing and whipping up an enticing new dish each week, the former Botanica chef hopes that a month of goat-centric items can help enlighten Angelenos to the ethical and sustainable alternative to beef, pork and chicken.

“In the Caribbean, goat is widely eaten,” Holmes says. “Goat curry is very popular, people spit-roast goat for big family events, so I thought, ‘What a great way to raise awareness about the cuisine and also about the animal.’”

This month, Bridgetown Roti is offering one new goat dish for pickup every Friday to Sunday out of the shared Crafted Kitchen space in the Arts District. Over the weekend it kicked off with a red pepper goat roti featuring peanut sauce and potato; this week, available starting October 11, Holmes is seasoning goat ribs ribs and the saddle with house-made curry powder and salt, then confiting them in goat butter and duck fat, then picking the meat from the bone and crisping it up, then serving it atop pigeon peas and rice alongside fried okra.

Bridgetown just booked a pop-up at West Hollywood’s Employees Only, where you’ll be able to find Holmes’s Goatober dishes, too, and starting October 18 you’ll be able to order curried goat with spiced channa doubles—a sort of flatbread you can use to scoop your curry—from the Arts District location. Finally, on October 31, you can catch Bridgetown Roti doing a goat-forward Halloween pop-up at Bar Bandini in Echo Park with all the month’s Goatober dishes on offer in one place.

One weekend in and it’s been so successful, Holmes says, that she’s already used more goat than planned and is extending her Friday and Saturday hours—previously ending at 3pm, now running all the way to 9pm—and after the warm welcome it’s received, Holmes’s goat roti is most likely here to stay. Hopefully, Holmes says, so is the general interest.

“Goat’s as good as lamb, it’s more ethical than lamb, it’s more sustainable than lamb,” says Holmes. “I think Americans should embrace it. Embrace the goat! The rest of the world is way ahead of us on the goat game. We’ve gotta catch up.”

Bridgetown Roti’s Goatober menu runs now through October 31 and can be ordered online here.

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