When I first got my job in the D.C. area in December my initial thought was “Oh, good, I get to go to Good Stuff.” I should probably be concerned that this was my first thought upon receiving a job.
It wasn’t until last week that I finally got to try Spike Mendelsohn’s burger joint. If that name sounds familiar, Mendelson was on a season of Top Chef and Top Chef All Stars. Think fedora.
Mendelsohn opened Good Stuff in July of 2008 followed by We, the Pizza last year.
Recently, he gained a few enemies when he called D.C. a “second-tier city.” I must say, compared to NYC, D.C. does not compete from a culinary standpoint. The District definitely is expanding its culinary scene, but do I think it’s at the level of New York? No, no I don’t. Would a make a comment like that if I owned a restaurant in D.C.? No, no I would not.
Despite what he said, I still wanted a burger.
Good Stuff Eatery is located in the Capitol Hill area. There is outdoor seating as well as seating inside the casual two-floor restaurant. Simply go up to the counter and order from the basic All-American menu: burgers, fries, onion petals, chili, shakes, floats etc.
I went with the Good Stuff Melt: Cheddar and Muenster cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms and the Good Stuff Sauce. The sauce is basically a miz of molasses, mayo and ketchup.
Look at the sloppy mess! Beautiful! While the toppings were all delicious and my meat was cooked medium (they don’t ask you, but I would prefer medium rare– just sayin’), the burger itself was not very juicy nor did it have much flavor. I became aware of this after my mom kept saying “I don’t taste burger. Ya know? Burger, I just don’t taste it. That burger flavor.” Go eat one from Good Stuff, and it will all make sense.
My dad ordered Coletti’s Smokehouse. Bacon, cheddar, onion petals, with a chipotle BBQ sauce. He said while it tasted good, it was the toppings that were bringing all the flavor. I did however like that they put their burger buns on the grill to give it a slight crisp.
For sides, we split the handcut fries and the onion petals. The petals had a little bit of a kick to them and the fries were good, but not a standout.
So, what was the standout? The toasted marshmallow milkshake. I had a toasted marshmallow milkshake a couple years ago in NYC and I have been craving one since. Who would have thought I could get one in a second-tier city?! Too soon?
Bring on the brain freeze is right, Spike! I have an incredible sweet tooth (I don’t like to brag though) so I found this shake to be delicious. If you’re not into getting diabetes you may want to pass this one up. Or, if you want to try another flavor the black & white shake seemed to be a popular choice when looking around.
Would I tell people this is the best burger joint in the area? No. Am I happy I went? Yeah, I am! After six months of waiting, I was happy to finally try it and give it my own review. I’d be happy to go back for a shake.