When it comes to the offerings at one of the Gaslamp’s newest restaurant/bars, those at Crazy Goose like to explain that the menu is Midwest meets West Coast.
The chef, who hails from Chicago, is not shy about serving healthy portions - brunch patrons have been wowed by the size of omelets and pancakes - but the eatery also has healthy options.
“It’s kind of all over the place,” explained Operations Manager Hallie Leitter. “A lot of things are delicious, but awful for you, but we also have quinoa burger, which is very healthy for you.”
Located at 789 Sixth Ave. in San Diego, Crazy Goose has 15 taps offering local beer and a wine list that Leitter hand-picked. The food is organic, and all meat that comes from within 20 miles.
As a result, the new venue aims to offer something for everyone.
Crazy Goose opened in September and will celebrate with an official grand opening Saturday, Oct. 24, with happy hour drink specials from 3-7 p.m., giveaways and food specials.
In addition, similar treats will be in store for those who visit during the venue’s upcoming Halloween party, where everyone will be in costume.
While there’s no shortage of places to eat or drink in the Gaslamp District, Leitter said the venue’s Midwest values, attitude and roots make Crazy Goose stand out. The establishment is family-owned - the owner’s daughter even created the logo - and Leitter said those who work at the eatery are like family. Employees are even given a discount so they can grab a beer at the bar after work.
She said the focus is also on offering quality.
“We are downtown, but we don’t have downtown prices,” she said “It’s not $14 cocktails, $40 steaks. Cut that in half. And we don’t skim on the quality, either.”
In addition to offering local meats and produce, Leitter said the only items in the kitchen that are frozen are French fries and bread, (“Our freezer is as big as my closet - it’s so small,” she said,) a fact that’s seen in the food.
Head Chef Jacob Greene, she said, is adventurous with the menu - which changes constantly -- often incorporating wild game such as elk into burgers, or coating French toast with Cap’n Crunch cereal.
“He’s the one who believes in large portions,” she said. “He really caters to the guests - it’s whatever they want.”
The quality also extends to the drinks. At the bar, Leitter said the showcase is beer - all local except for Coors Light. She also aims for Crazy Goose to be a “hidden wine bar” of sorts that appeals to those with good palates.
“I put a lot of effort into our wine list,” she said. "(The venue ...) looks nothing like wine bar... but winos just love it.”
Since opening, there have been a mix of patrons at Crazy Goose, from young professionals who come to enjoy the patio to younger crowds who come for the nightlight.
By day, the site is a sports bar, and it offers nightlife after dark with video DJs on TV. On weekends, the brunch crowd comes in for generous portions, and there’s also a 600-square foot room complete with TVs and a chandelier that can be used for private parties, meetings or events.
Even though the venue is new, Leitter said plans for expansion may be in the works. Already, the owner has been approached about franchising in the Southern California area - and maybe beyond.
“You might see us pop up more Crazy Gooses,” Leitter said.
For more information, visit crazygoosebar.com.