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Restaurant Review: Short North Goody Boy

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Short North Goody BoyPhotos by Lauren Sega.
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The Short North’s upward spiral has reached the iconic Michael’s Goody Boy. The establishment has long hosted a landmark-quality sign, replete with a giant, luminous, yellow arrow. If not visible from miles away, it’s certainly visible from a decent-sized block. The signage has long held promise of some sort of adventure. In recent years, however, the whole operation looked worn, as though the eatery’s adventure days have since passed.

Corso Ventures has entered as an ownership partner and orchestrated a revitalization of the scene, ditching Michael from the official Short North Goody Boy name. Corso isn’t as big as Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, but it’s certainly not a tiny organization; it runs hip establishments that include Forno, Food Hall, Standard Hall and Short North Pint House. Ultimately, the outcome of the revamping is good for Goody Boy’s bottom line. Plus, they kept the gigundo sign, even with Michael’s name in the mix.

At first glance, the new circus-colored patio furniture inside its gates makes for great see-and-be-seen outdoor eating. There’s a modern indoor seating section too, along with the bar. All these spiffy updates come with an equally spiffy new menu. The good news is this: the price point of a spiffed up menu is still pretty reasonable.

A burger seems like the right starting point here. The Goody Boy Burger ($9) is built on two slim patties, a house aioli, barbecue, cheese, and whatever sort of condiments you like on top. The fine-textured, puffy brioche bun has toasty edges, which is an appreciated touch. Waffle fries as a side work nicely, with an optimized crunch-to-squish ratio. It’s a sturdy start to launch a little more exploration.

Adventuring a little further in, there is a house-made Meatloaf Melt ($9), built on toasted sourdough with cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles. The slice of meatloaf itself is tasty. That said, it’s more “loaf” than meat. It’s pale (almost the same color as the toasted sourdough), which suggests something reminiscent of a breading-based burger. Everyone has their own comfort zone on meatloaf, for those who seek meaty items, move along.

Some sort of tacos are likely a requirement on local dining menus. Baja Fish Tacos ($10) deliver sizable fingers of battered-cod, along with crunchy red cabbage and an avocado-based sauce that adds depth to the combo. The cod forms the foundation, and it’s nicely executed with a crisp shell and tender, flaky fish flesh beneath.

There’s a breakfast option that you can score a breakfast any time at Goody Boy. The Classic All Day Breakfast ($10) is a straight-shooter that covers the bases with eggs (cooked how you like), crunchy strips of bacon, decent fried potatoes and toast.

As mentioned, the prices are on the reasonable end. The bar menu ranges from domestic and craft beers to house cocktails and jello shots classed-up with lemon wedges. During happy hour on weekdays, the business approaches something that can probably be termed “unreasonable” in a good way: the kitchen cuts most of the prices in half on its menu of edibles. That means all those burgers and tacos sit around the Abraham Lincoln price point. You’ll find it next to the big sign, at 1144 N. High St.

For more information, visit shortnorthgoodyboy.com.

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