Saturday, November 1, 2008

Good Stuff Eatery

Today, I went with two friends to Good Stuff Eatery, the burger place opened by Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef fame. We've heard rave reviews about it (and word that it could take nearly 30-45 minutes to get your burger of choice)... we decided to brave the crowds today since it was a gorgeous fall day to be out.

We got a little bit nervous when we asked this one woman who was standing outside if she was waiting to get in ... we found out quickly that we were unnecessarily nervous (we think she was just waiting for an outdoor table). We entered the line to place our orders... the line was about 20 people deep, but we were happy to have the time to take it all in. The menu looked delicious - different types of burgers for all tastebuds, not to mention salads and desserts. I nearly drooled on myself looking at people's "hand spun shakes" -- in particular, the seasonal "pumpkin spice" shake caught my eye. But first things first.

We made a game plan - we would each order different burgers and different sides so we could try as much as possible. As we were making our plans, I looked over across the counter, and THERE WAS SPIKE. I admit, I get fairly starstruck. The girl in front of us "secretly" took a picture of him with her camera phone. The guy behind us struck up a conversation with Spike mentioning how he has been wanting to come by for months but it was always packed. I mainly thought it was so great to see Spike behind the counter, cooking up the burgers, overseeing everything. This is clearly his baby and I hope that they will expand to have more locations around DC (as I read that they were thinking about doing...).

In the end, we decided to get:
  • Coletti's Smokehouse Burger -- applewood bacon, sharp vermont cheddar, fried vidalia onion rings with chipotle bbq sauce (that's the giant onion ring on the burger)

  • Blazin' Barn Burger -- (kind of a Thai burger!) pickled daikon & carrots, mint, cilantro, thai basil, lettuce, mint

  • Uncle D's Chili in Cheddar: spicy chili, cheddar, green onions, and sour cream (with the "Spike's Village Fries" below)

And sides of course... "Sunny's handcut fries," "Spike's Village Fries" (thyme, rosemary, cracked pepper!), and "Cliff's Homegrown Vidalia Onion Rings."

The verdict: Delicious. My favorite was probably Coletti's Smokehouse Burger - I am a sucker for a bacon cheeseburger and the bacon on this was particularly sweet which was a nice compliment to the richness of the burger. I did enjoy the Blazin' Barn Burger quite a bit because the vegetables and herbs made it really refreshing.

My co-eaters? They thought that the beef tasted really fresh and that the burgers in general were better than Five Guys (DC's ubiquitous burger chain... that I crave after a long day at work... or for lunch after a long night), but that the fries were about the same.

I have to say that one of the things I was surprised about but was quite excited about was the array of dipping sauces. We tried them all. Your usual ketchup and mustard... and then a series of mayonnaises... old bay mayo (I can't resist Old Bay... but this was on the salty side), Sriracha mayo (thai hot sauce), chipotle mayo (my favorite), and mango mayo (not very "mango-y" but quite sweet).

Good Stuff Eatery is a great neighborhood spot to just drop by and enjoy some good, soul-comforting food. The staff was very friendly and happy to help. The scene is a little bit chaotic, but that goes along with the popularity of Good Stuff Eatery. There are some tables outside on the sidewalk and tables on the second floor. We were able to find a table easily despite the volume of customers and they move quickly to get the food out.

(A combination of our three burgers!)

To be honest, I'm already trying to find a time to go back... and I've already started planning out my menu. Or attempting to. This time around, I was tempted by the Good Stuff Melt (melted cheddar & muenster, caramelized onions & mushrooms with good stuff sauce) ... but I read about Spike's "favorite" burger, the Spike's 5 Napkin burger... dairy fresh cheese, applewood bacon, farm fresh fried egg, brioche bun, good stuff sauce. And then there's the turkey burger with "chunky avocado and sprouts" and muenster chees and "ruby tomato" and.... AHHHH. Apparently I'll just have to go back again and again... and maybe one of these times I'll actually engage Spike in a real conversation...

Regardless, definitely on the list is one of the hand spun shakes... If I make it back during the fall, I MUST have the pumpkin spice shake. But otherwise, I think I will fall for the "D-lechable Leche."

Ok, must go find something to eat now... maybe next time I should just buy two burgers and save one for later. This was a much longer post than expected!

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