Monday, November 21, 2011

Good Stuff Eatery

As we have already established Washington DC is a burger town and in my opinion the burger capital of the USA. The influx of burger establishments over the past few years has turned the nation’s capital into a glutton’s fantasy. The bevy of options have at times caused me to curse the food gods. At this point in time I have sampled a majority of burger shops and have slowly but surely refined my palate. With each new place I try I get a clearer understanding of what my favorite burger shop is and for over a year that answer has stayed the same.

Good Stuff Eatery located on Capitol Hill has been serving residents of the District some of the best burgers in the entire city. Owned and operated by Chef Spike Mendelsohn Good Stuff Eatery has quickly become a go to destination for burgers and shakes. Chef Spike whose success on the popular show Top Chef has risen to fame in the DC area and prompted him to open up We, The, Pizza next door and branch out another Good Stuff in Virginia.

Chef Spike who works with his parents dole out hundreds of hand crafted burgers, fries, and shakes to hungry patrons on a daily basis. Whether its summer interns on the hill, local residents, or even the President of the United States Chef Spike crafts the same simple burgers that produce and immeasurable amount of flavor.

My first visit came over a year ago per the request of one of my closest friends. She had nothing but rave reviews about her experience there. Even though the experience is so far back it is still scolded in my mind. During that visit I decided to order the Spike’s Sunnyside, an order of Spike’s village fries, and a toasted marshmallow shake. The burger consists of a juicy patty served with fresh cheese, applewood bacong and a sunny side up egg all topped with Good Stuff sauce. The fries were seasoned with thyme, rosemary and sea salt which can be dipped in an assortment of flavored mayonnaises. Flavors include regular, Old Bay, Sriracha, Chipotle, and Mango

Once I placed my order I waited in anticipation for what sounded like an outstanding burger. I received my buzzer and took my seat upstairs waiting for my order to be ready for pick up. Those 5 minutes or so seemed like an eternity; a combination of the continuous hype as well as the lack of food in my system made the wait unbearable at times. Suddenly I felt the vibrations and saw the flickering red lights which signaled the arrival of my meal. Once I had my order in hand I took a second to gather my thoughts and relax my senses.

(Spike's Sunnyside, Village Fries, and Toasted Marshmallow Shake)

My first bite was met with culinary bliss; I immediately scanned my memory to find a specific instance when I experienced culinary nirvana to that degree. My initial thoughts were with my experiences with In-N-Out Burger as well as Le Burger Brasserie in Las Vegas. I conversed with my friend who placed the same exact order and see what he had to think about it. His response was “This is so fucking delicious” which was exactly what I was thinking as was I devouring my burger with reckless abandonment.

The flavor that is extracted from the meat is fantastic and the combination of runny egg yolk, bacon, and their special sauce was to die for. The fries, while a bit soggy for my liking were wonderfully seasoned. The assortment of flavored mayonnaises was an added bonus. The Sriracha and Old Bay are my favorites but you can’t go wrong with any of the flavors. The toasted marshmallow shake was out of this world but I could not find the extra space in my already bloated abdomen to finish it.

What followed was one of the most grueling 3 block walks to the metro. But all was worthwhile because I found a new burger place which I can call my favorite. Ever since then I have been introducing friends in the hope that they will agree with my assessment. Since my initial visit I have branched out and tried some of their other specialty burgers including the Colletti’s Smokehouse, Good Stuff Melt and the Prez Obama Burger.

(Prez Obama Burger and Vidalia Onion Petals)

The Obama Burger was my favorite of the bunch and is second only to Spike’s Sunnyside. It consists of their fresh patty with applewood bacon, onion marmalade, and Roquefort cheese which is all topped with horseradish mayonnaise. I ordered this burger with a side of Vidalia onion petals to change things up. While the picture doesn’t look appetizing (most of the burgers don’t) there were some strong flavors that meshed well and gave the Sunnyside a run for its money. The onion petals were a bit of a letdown so I would recommend that you stick to with the fries.

All in all Good Stuff lives up to the hype and is currently my favorite destination for a burger. I continue to introduce friends mainly because it’s an excuse to go. The prices are a bit expensive but what isn’t in DC. The lines can get long because of its popularity; you will also get large crowds of tourists because of its proximity to the Capital so be prepared. Their one huge flaw is that they are closed on Sunday’s which really sucks but it is something I have gotten over. If you haven’t noticed I highly recommend the Spike’s Sunnyside and the marshmallow shake. Hopefully you are lucky enough to visit when he is behind the counter and thank him for what he has brought to DC.

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