You can't utter the word "crazy" enough at the new bar/eatery that recently replaced downtown's Quality Social. The new Crazy Goose Bar & Lounge (789 Sixth Ave.) makes sure the crazy label is imprinted on your mind. The signs out front promise CRAZY GOOD FOOD and CRAZY GOOD DRINKS. This is not, however, a place you'd come to hear the famous ballad penned by Willie Nelson and notably recorded by Patsy Cline. Rather, DJs start spinning around 10 p.m.
But crazy is as crazy does. The new owners didn't change the dark décor much from the Quality Social days (booths, long community tables and a well-lighted square bar in the middle of the space), but wisely opened up all the street-side windows.
The menu contains both a Crazy Goose salad of baby greens and a Crazy Caesar of lightly charred romaine. There's a starter of Crazy Goose Wings served with house-made sauces, and you can drink a Crazy Rita (but avoid the Grape Goose, made with Grey Goose vodka and seedless grapes, and tastes like an unflavored Jolly Rancher candy).
The Crazy Goose burger is Angus beef and comes with a choice of cheese. However, the Goosy Lucy burger specifically takes that Angus beef and stuffs it with Velveeta. That's crazy taken to the "dare-me-to-do-it" level.
Choosing to get into the Crazy frame of mind, I ordered a burger with the out-there title of Davie Crockett's Demise. It is wild elk coated in house rub and topped with roasted garlic, provolone cheese, field greens and citrus aioli.
I had to ask about the inspiration behind the name. Davy Crockett, indeed, America's "King of the Wild Frontier" in the early 1800s, met his controversial demise at The Alamo in 1836. Some tales have Crockett battling until his death against Mexican forces inside The Alamo. Others say he surrendered during the fight but was later killed by Santa Anna henchmen.
The burger came steeped with lettuce, and the provolone was melted around the elk, which masked any meaty taste. The server said the name was simply a connection to Davy Crockett, who did a lot of hunting. (It appears the cold case of Mr. Crockett's death is still open.)
On the topic of burgers and total craziness, the menu offers a timed "burger challenge" that a person would have to be clinically insane to accept. To get your name on the Crazy Goose Wall of Fame, you eat a two-pound burger covered with 10 strips of wood-smoked bacon, a pound of onion rings and a pound of seasoned fries, all covered with Meet Your Maker hot sauce...in eight minutes. If you fail to get all this into your esophagus in time, the attempt will set you back $45. At this writing, nary an individual had been crazy enough to try.
My girlfriend, a beautiful and wise woman who usually gravitates toward the best—if not craziest—salad on a menu, chose the Roasted Beet and Monte Chev offering. It comes with a crusted goat cheese croquette, gold and red beets and shaved apple. "Good, but not enough treasures for each bite," she reported.
My gal got her citrus vinaigrette dressing on the side. It's a practice she's trying to teach me; it's healthier than having, say, Ranch, gobbed on the greens. Yes, I got Ranch, on the side, for the salad that came with the Crockett. It seemed crazy to me, but that's the overall intended dining experience at Crazy Goose.