Judas Goat There Will Be Blood (Alley) and Tapas in Vancouver [CLOSED]

  • Home
  • Canada
  • Judas Goat There Will Be Blood (Alley) and Tapas in Vancouver [CLOSED]
Restaurant Logo Vancouver

Judas Goat is the latest Gastown hit from Sean Heather and Scott Hawthorn.

There will be blood. Well, not anymore, but Blood Alley in Vancouver’s trendy-to-the-max Gastown neighborhood once housed butchers in the ’60s, and oh yeah, there were also on-site executions in the 19th Century. Restaurateur Sean Heather and property owner/business partner Scott Hawthorn have played on that history with a pair of concepts with entrances on the alley. They started with Salt Tasting Room in 2006, and Judas Goat is their latest contribution to the long-shady neighborhood’s redevelopment, which seemed to be in high gear.

According to GM Nathan Doyle, a Judas Goat is the animal that leads fellow goats to their death in a slaughterhouse.

Restaurant Vancouver

Instead of blood splatter, the open-air hole-in-the-wall featured a mural starring a loquacious goat, 28 high-top seats, marble tables and a tiny open kitchen.

Restaurant Mural Vancouver

Black and white thought bubbles say things like “the food is good the company is excellent.”

Tintin Vancouver

A playful streak extends to shelves, where Anatomic Pig joins beheaded Tintin.

Dismembered animals and cartoon characters make sense given the alley’s butchery background.

One of the most impressive chefs from my Vancouver visit, Refuel and Campagnolo chef-owner Robert Belcham, consulted on the Spanish-inspired tapas checklist menu. Since Judas Goat was my second dinner of the night, my intake was limited, but most of the food deserved recommendation.

Spanish Food Vancouver

Tuna & Olive Pintxo ($3), a bite-sized spear, involved rosy albacore, salsa verde, lemon zest and a Castelveltrano olive stuffed with a briny Turkish black olive.

Spanish Food Vancouver

The meal’s only disappointment was their Pork & Chard Empanada (2 for $5) with cool fig and apricot relish that didn’t make sense with a flaky empanada that contained a crunchy piece of surprise cartilage.

Spanish Food Vancouver

Roasted Manila Clams ($3) provided some redemption, with tasty Romesco paste and breadcrumbs gracing plump clams that appeared on the half-shell, resting atop dill.

Spanish Food Vancouver

My second favorite bite of the night was the simplest: juicy Mussels ($3) with mint and saffron.

Spanish Food Vancouver

My stomach teetered on the edge of appetite oblivion, but I rallied for a Bacon & Egg Pintxo ($3) with seasoned quail egg, crispy smoked chicken speck, micro Dijon and tomato jam on crostini.

Sean Heather has one more concept in the works. Bitter, the beer equivalent to Salt, will be around the corner on Hastings Street. Given my positive initial experiences at Judas Goat and Salt, and my interest in beer, returning to his Gastown establishments is inevitable.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Leave a Comment