The Arlington Sports Bar That Wants To Be The Greatest Of All Time

If you don’t know Mike Cordero, you certainly know his work.

Bronx-native Cordero is the chef/owner of seven Northern Virginia restaurants, including some places of which you may have heard: A-Town, Don Tito’s, and Barley Mac. Now, his empire expands. November 8 marks the Grand Opening of The G.O.A.T., an 8,800 sq. ft. sports bar and eatery steps from the Clarendon Metro stop.

The interior, designed by specialist Yvette Irene, incorporates a chic, contemporary vibe across the two floors.

For those familiar with the space’s previous tenant, Hard Times Café, this space is a league apart. Cordero moved the kitchen to the basement, freeing up space on the first floor for an expanded bar. In addition, he made the bathrooms on both floors larger, added arcade games, and made the space more inviting for those of us who would spend hours watching our perennially-cursed DC sports teams – meaning comfy seats and credit card-thin 4K televisions everywhere.

But if you’re going to run a sports bar, and you want to keep customers in their seats for hours, you need to bring the food and drink. And The G.O.A.T. does.

Cordero says he wanted to bring bar food to another level. We got to try a number of bar bites: filet mignon and shrimp skewers, a gorgeous tuna tartare, and bulgogi wonton tacos.

Tuna on a loving bed of mango and avocado.
Critically, the wonton shell did not disintegrate under the pressures of sauce and grilled meat.

Our favorite were the tartare and the tacos, but the filet mignon skewers were deliciously savory and tender and worth your time.

On the sandwich side, we were gifted a Louisiana-style brisket sandwich that was phenomenal. Louisiana-style in that it included smoked andouille sausage and fried jalapeño, plus some truly addictive sidewinder fries.

Meat and cheese and fried potatoes. That’s the definition of happiness.

Lastly, because this is a sport bar, we had to try some wings. I’m not a huge spice guy, yet I went a few rounds with the smoked apple habanero flavor which was right about at the top end of my tolerance. I’m here to tell the tale, though, so no bloggers were harmed in the writing of this article.

Sports bar = wings on wings.

Overall, The G.O.A.T. is a promising addition to the Cordero suite. It’s a sport bar for the over-30s, which is good because the Wizards season is just starting.

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