Top Chef 4's resident asshat Spike Mendelsohn opened his burger joint in Washington DC this past Monday. Here's Washington Post blogger Jacqueline Dupree's take on the place, as related to The Stew.
"Spike picked an interesting spot for his burger joint, on a two-block stretch of small local restaurants just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, where, no doubt, House and Senate workers will be thrilled to have easy access to burgers and fries that are above and beyond typical fast-food fare, especially the $10 'Lunch Bag' of a burger, fries and soda that will be available daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
"It's not a large space, so the counter and grill are on the main floor and the seating is upstairs in a loft space, along with some sidewalk tables out front. A huge 'Good Stuff' cowbell hangs just inside the entry. (Paging Christopher Walken.)
"Since this was a 'preview' night, they were still working out a few kinks, according to Spike's sister Mich. (Signs in the window even said 'Staff in Training, Be Gentle.') There was a big crush of invited guests right at the beginning, waiting to get to the front of the line. Even so, I didn't have to wait more than five minutes once I ordered. Spike was up front handing out the food, but was doing a lot of good-natured ribbing of the cooks to keep the orders flowing.
"The fresh ingredients - down to the definitely-not-Heinz ketchup - are a big part of Good Stuff's profile, and the thin, loosely packed burgers do have the backyard/homemade feel that Spike mentions on the large welcome sign at the entrance. The buttery buns are soft but hold up well to the pile of ingredients, including the chipotle mayo. He was serving his Village Fries, a variation on what's known in these parts as 'boardwalk fries,' served in a cup and seasoned with rosemary, thyme and pepper.
"They weren't serving the entire menu, so I'm still looking forward to trying the Vidalia onion rings, Uncle D's chili and, of course, the shakes, cones, floats and sundaes from the ice cream menu.
"The response to the preview was so big that they ran it over two nights, and I imagine Spike will be seeing good-sized crowds when the eatery opens for real next week."
Anyone want to go check it out?