The DC version of the Battle of the Burgers has recently started and after reviewing the best burger brackets, I felt incomplete (actually more like robbed) that I haven’t had the burgers at a few of the spots being considered. To remedy the situation, it’s burgers for me for the next few weeks and I decided to start with Good Stuff Eatery in Capitol Hill. With the fanfare that comes with an appearance on Top Chef, Spike Mendelsohn’s joint was opened with high expectations and at first impression I am a fan. Maybe not something I would make part of my weekly diet at this point, but definitely a place I would frequent especially if I was in the neighborhood. I especially dig the surprising Vietnamese influence and am looking forward to trying the Spike’s 5 Napkin Burger – dairy fresh cheese, applewood bacon, fried egg on a brioche bun with good stuff sauce. Might not be for everyone, but it sure sounds awesome to me.
Cost – $
Service – B-
The service seemed a bit on the slow side and a little disjointed. There was a little lag time between taking orders and the shakes were set out without saying what they were and to whom they belonged to. I felt like this was not the usual and the friendly attitude of the those behind the counter made it easy to shrug off.
Food – B+
The burgers were tasty, the rosemary fries were good, the dipping sauces were excellent and the shake was, well, the shake could have been better but it was good enough. I really like the variety of choices and everything on the menu sounds delicious – to the point I will not repeat an order until I have tried everything. I take that back, the 5 Napkin Burger may be an exception if it lives up to what I have heard and imagine it to taste like.
Decor – B
The abundance of white and aluminum gives Good Stuff Eatery a fresh edge which I really like. The loft design gives the place a spacious feel and I also enjoyed the posters (although somewhat cliche) that give some history and philosophy about the restaurant, Spike’s family and the food.
Feel – B
Spike’s really works and I think it accomplishes it’s goal – good simple food in a communal type setting. Its a universal kind of place where customers can have a quick casual meal or where groups can grab a beer and lunch after the weekend softball game – all while catching parts of favorite sporting events or news on the TVs! Sorry, I had to throw that in. There is almost always some sporting event or news event I want to catch so places that have good TVs are a big plus in my book!
Good Stuff Eatery is located at 303 Pennsylvania Ave SE. They can be reached at (202) 543-8222.
What’s the Buzz:
July 21, 2008 – Good Stuff Eatery (The Humble Gourmand) – After years of being an avid Top Chef viewer, it was finally time for me to put my catty judgments where my mouth was. Walking into Good Stuff Eatery, you’ll be greeted by two things: a very welcoming general manager (or a man I had assumed was the general manager) and a glimpse of Spike’s signature hat. Oftentimes I would be annoyed by someone capitalizing on his reality TV “popularity” in order to make a buck, but in this instance, I really could not fault the man. The place smelled too good. Full Article…