Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On The Road - Good Stuff Eatery, Washington, DC

Hey, all!

I was sitting writing a post, and then I thought to myself "Am I boring them with all of these Bali posts?" :) No seriously, I thought I would take a break from writing about Bali to let you all know about my trip to the Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, DC. Good Stuff is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood steps away from the Library of Congress and the House of Representatives office buildings. It's a burger joint emphasizing quality, local, mostly organic ingredients in an effort to produce the quick, tasty comfort food we all enjoy. Good Stuff was founded by Chef Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef's Season 4 in Chicago. He's also in the process of opening a pizza place that will be next door to Good Stuff called We, the Pizza. DC folks, I expect reports! ;)

Thanks to Ms. C of US Meets UK (or Mrs. D'Orsay for those of you who read for introducing me to Good Stuff as well as Husband J's friend (and my friend too!), Davey, for accompanying me on my second trip. By the way, I'm supposed to mention Davey's business, Blue Stone Logic. What you do for friends. :)

I lived in DC pretty briefly several years ago and didn't really make it over to Capitol Hill much, so I am now glad for an excuse to get over there. Yes, that's right. I love Good Stuff so much that I think I will probably have to find a way to go there each time I'm in DC.


1. Good Burgers

I am still not there yet on eating ground beef, but luckily Good Stuff will make turkey burger versions of all of its burgers. If you want simple and delicious go for the Farmhouse burgers like Ms. C and her dear husband did, which have the basic toppings of lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle served on a bun with "Good Stuff" sauce (not sure what that is, really). Bacon and cheese are optional.

Personally, I like my burgers with STUFF on it. The more the better. Pile it on. It was hard to choose though from amongst the Original burgers group, but I went with the President Obama burger (a turkey, not ground beef, version) both times I went. This burger's got Applewood bacon, onion marmelade, Roquefort cheese, and horseradish mayo sauce. I added some ketchup on there too. Not much is needed though because the toppings are more than enough.

Here it is in all its glory

So the first time I went to Good Stuff, when I quickly tore into the wrapping I thought: "This is it? It's so small." My friends, that's a good thing. As Davey and I discussed during our visit, we are tired of burgers that make you feel like you need a new jaw after you're done eating them. I call the Good Stuff burgers "pre-smashed" to perfection. All I can say is that all of the toppings on the Prez Obama worked into this mini-chorus of all of the things you'd want on a burger: a hint of smokiness from the bacon, sweetness from the onion marmalade, a little kick from the horseradish and lots of saltiness to highlight the meat.

Davey got the Spike's Sunnyside burger with Applewood bacon, a fried egg and Good Stuff sauce.

Davey's Spike's Sunnyside Burger from the inside out

Davey told me that his burger was "super good" and that the fried egg worked well on the burger. Sometimes fried egg just kinda slips and slides around, but Good Stuff's version seems to work. While I didn't taste Davey's version for myself, he says that it's up there with many of the better burgers he's had.

2. Good Sides

The first time I went to Good Stuff, I was hungry. I'd been on an overly long bus ride with no lunch. I didn't really care if my meal was going to be kinda large, since I pretty much had an empty stomach. Given the circumstances, I managed to have my own fries and not feel overly full. The fries come in a couple of varieties with just sea salt or some with additional thyme and rosemary.

My suggestion to you is to get a few of the bad ass aioli-like sauces that are right next to where you pick up the ketchup. I tried the Old Bay and the Sriracha, which made me fall in love with it, a nice combo of not too much hot spice and creaminess. If you are looking for crispy fries, I would move on, but these do the job well being not too greasy and small enough to pop in your mouth by the very large handful.

My fries with aioli

On my trip with Davey, we ended up getting the chili. I've already mentioned my occasional worries with ground beef, but I dug in anyway. There was definitely BEEF in there, hunks of it. I'm not a big chili person, and even I was won over. The chili also came up with warm, moist corn bread sweetened just a touch.

3. Good Shakes.

Okay. I've only had the toasted marshmallow shake the two times I went. I usually don't get into hyperbole here, but it's about to end right now. OMG! These shakes are the best shakes I have ever tasted in my entire life. It's like God sent down a perfect milkshake from heaven like manna. Okay. Hyperbolic moment over! Just imagine slurping the right amount of sweet cream, with a hint of butter and just enough sweetness to make you swoon and add in some smokiness from the real toasted marshmallow.

I thought about this shake for days afters. Okay fine...for a week after. I just want to say that if care anything about your caloric intake, then definitely get the child-size version of the shake because the regular size is its own meal. I'm not even kidding. My stomach hurt after eating a full meal and THEN having a super behemoth shake. My advice is to plan your meal with the shake in mind as they are not to be missed.

The child-size Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

A close up

Overall, I do loves me some Good Stuff! Ms. C did mention that as a frequent Good Stuff customer the quality can vary depending on the visit. Look, I'm just happy that this place is far away from me in DC even though I encouraged Chef Spike, who was there on my first visit, to open one in Brooklyn. Hold off, Chef Spike! I want to be able to fit into my clothes.


Maya said...

Oh my goodness, it all looks SO good, especially the marshmallow shake. Must visit next time I'm in DC. Also jealous that you got to see Chef Spike-- I always had a crush on him!

Cathleya said...

C also treated us to a visit to Good Stuff when we were in DC and we weren't disappointed! I always snicker when East Coasters say they miss In n Out. WTF do you miss??? You guys have the best burger joints!!! I feel like when you go to in n out now, you can't get anything less than a double double or you don't even taste the meat. In their quest to keep their prices low I feel like the meat has slowly disappeared over the years.

Chef Spike does a great job and I will say a big part of my happiness were the flavored mayos. I'm a sucker for mayo!

Katie said...

Ohhhh my goodness I'm drooling all over my keyboard now! That shake sounds so freakin amazing I can't stand it! I do love that they allow you to have turkey versions of their burgers; as a non-beef eater, I appreciate that option!

Christiana said...

I also highly recommend Collete's smokehouse - it has bbq sauce and it's so good!

Mrs. Hot Cocoa said...

I just posted on my trip to Good Stuff too! But I missed Spike, shakes, and the delicious condiments. Grr. Next time.

BigAppleNosh said...

Yum, I want to lick the screen!

Morgan said...

Looks SO good! Definitely a place to go if you need a grease fix!

Try Anything Once Terri said...

Thanks everyone!

@Cathleya - I think we East Coasters talk a lot about In 'N Out because they are so many of them, and it's a reliable chain you can find many places. Like I said, I'm so happy Good Stuff is in DC b/c I don't know what I'd do if this was in NYC. :)

@Mrs. Hot Cocoa - I'm heading over to read yours now!

@Christiana - I must get the Colletti's Smokehouse next time!


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