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Good Stuff Eatery, Burgers, Fries, and Shakes in Capitol Hill and Crystal City

Local Chain Hamburgers Quick Serve

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#201 KMango

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 08:44 PM

Well, maybe you can find out in their upcoming cookbook.

"There's a sucker born every minute."
P. T. Barnum, circa 1898

"I'm gonna git you, succor."
Spike Mendelsohn, circa 2018, flying to his private beach home on Cayo Espanto

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Rocks

Or right now on the interwebz.

But don't believe everything that's digitized...
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#202 Pat

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 07:05 AM

Or right now on the interwebz.

But don't believe everything that's digitized...

That recipe originated on Rachael Ray's website, which makes me think it actually does have some connection to Spike. The sour cream is an unexpected ingredient. I wouldn't think of putting sour cream in a milkshake.

#203 fuzzy510

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:56 AM

I remember reading before he opened that it was Greek yogurt he added to the toasted marshmallow shake to cut the sweetness and keep it from being cloying (which makes sense, since otherwise it's like you're slurping down liquid marshmallow fluff).

#204 tfbrennan

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 11:29 PM

I remember reading before he opened that it was Greek yogurt he added to the toasted marshmallow shake to cut the sweetness and keep it from being cloying (which makes sense, since otherwise it's like you're slurping down liquid marshmallow fluff).

perhaps he was "inspired" by NYC's burger joint Stand's toasted marshmallow shakes recipe in Gourmet ('07).

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#205 fuzzy510

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 02:20 AM

For all the crap I give this place both here and in talking with friends, I should probably mention that the Vidalia onion petals ($3.49), while somewhat salty, were pretty enjoyable today, and the toasted marshmallow milkshake ($5.25) is still one of my favorite things ever. However, my Colletti's Smokehouse burger ($6.69) was unmemorable and was overshadowed by everything that wasn't beef. I'm really not sure that I want to order another burger from here.

Oh, and the fries still suck. Hard. Each time I've been here, they've been limp and lifeless, and this is the point in the proceedings where we give up on them. I'm 100% convinced that the people who've gotten enjoyable fries from here either have caught them on a rare day when they're on, or (much less likely in the case of people here) don't know what a good french fry is supposed to taste and look like.

#206 durwoodx

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 04:41 AM

Oh, and the fries still suck. Hard. Each time I've been here, they've been limp and lifeless, and this is the point in the proceedings where we give up on them.

Agreed. For a place that supposedly is all about burgers and fries - seriously? This is the best you got? The shakes are pretty damned good but I am done with that place. DONE.

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#207 mdt

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 05:47 AM

Agreed. For a place that supposedly is all about burgers and fries - seriously? This is the best you got? The shakes are pretty damned good but I am done with that place. DONE.

Yeah, but just think of the excellent pizza that he is working on bringing to the area. :lol:

#208 Tweaked

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 02:22 PM

perhaps he was "inspired" by NYC's burger joint Stand's toasted marshmallow shakes recipe in Gourmet ('07).

His recipe published in the Wash Post Express calls for sour cream (and is the same as the recipe posted on Rachel Ray's website)
http://www.expressni...-mendelsohn.php
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#209 tfbrennan

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 11:29 PM

In '08 reviews of GSE, Ann Limpert and Tim Carman, as well as one other reviewer, wrote that he added yogurt to his shakes. Whether he now uses sour cream as per his cookbook, Rachael, Oprah, CBS Morning Show, etc. etc., I don't care. Just commenting on the stupid boast that he invented the toasted marshmallow shake, particularly when his early version was just like the Stand's and likely others before either.

She came down the stairs in a cocktail dress; she fell on her food like a lioness... -- Richard Thompson


#210 fuzzy510

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 12:54 AM

In '08 reviews of GSE, Ann Limpert and Tim Carman, as well as one other reviewer, wrote that he added yogurt to his shakes. Whether he now uses sour cream as per his cookbook, Rachael, Oprah, CBS Morning Show, etc. etc., I don't care. Just commenting on the stupid boast that he invented the toasted marshmallow shake, particularly when his early version was just like the Stand's and likely others before either.

To be fair, I don't think I've seen anywhere that he claimed that he DID invent such a shake.

#211 tfbrennan

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 09:58 AM

To be fair, I don't think I've seen anywhere that he claimed that he DID invent such a shake.

Pretty close.... from the Express interview: "This shake is undeniably delicious, but I had no idea it would become, in fact, legendary. We thought of the idea because we're huge marshmallow freaks in my family..."

She came down the stairs in a cocktail dress; she fell on her food like a lioness... -- Richard Thompson


#212 fuzzy510

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 10:12 AM

Pretty close.... from the Express interview: "This shake is undeniably delicious, but I had no idea it would become, in fact, legendary. We thought of the idea because we're huge marshmallow freaks in my family..."

I'm willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt and say that he's referring to the idea of putting it on the menu, but even if he's not, who cares? It doesn't change the fact that it's a damn fine milkshake, and it's not as if he's promoting it on his menu as "The Original Spike Mendelsohn Toasted Marshmallow Shake Created By Spike Mendelsohn and Not Influenced By Any Other Restaurant Ever."

#213 mdt

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 08:22 AM

He appears to be doing some good.

But for the past eight months, he's been working on healthy-eating programs with the DC branch of KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program), a national network of public charter schools in underserved communities.

Article here.

#214 legant

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 08:58 AM

Any word on when and where for the Dupont Circle and Union Station locations?

#215 Pat

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:35 PM

Oh, and the fries still suck. Hard. Each time I've been here, they've been limp and lifeless, and this is the point in the proceedings where we give up on them. I'm 100% convinced that the people who've gotten enjoyable fries from here either have caught them on a rare day when they're on, or (much less likely in the case of people here) don't know what a good french fry is supposed to taste and look like.

He talks here about their fries.

We use waxy potatoes, Red Bliss. The advantage is they're sweeter and the ones that we get in the restaurant are aged so they have a little less water content which means that they absorb a little less oil when you cook them. I leave the peel on which gives them a nutty flavor. They aren't quite as crispy as Idaho potatoes but the finished fries are crisp on the outside and the inside is almost like mashed potatoes, and that's what I love about them.

I thought Russet potatoes were supposed to be the best for fries :).

#216 fuzzy510

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:04 PM

but the finished fries are crisp on the outside

Lies!

#217 Pool Boy

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 09:43 AM

Went here for the first time last night. Burger was the one with the egg and bacon on it, and those flavors dominated. Disappointed I could not order the burger to order, but it was quite busy. All in all I enjoyed the burger, did not love the bun since it is in the same camp as the Ray's Hell Burger kind (the kind that fall apart and disintegrate while eating). I actually enjoyed the not-crisp-lifeless fries as they had good potatoiness to the. The thyme and salt combo was at first good, but by the end of the (shared) fries, that was what dominated the palate. They did give you a nice herbal buzz, but it was a bit overkill. Had a few sips of a chocolate milkshake variation and enjoyed that quite a bit.

This was a stop on the way home after spending the earlier parts of the evening at the Sculpture Garden free friday night concert series and it totally fit the bill for a later night nosh. I would go again under similar circumstances.

It also looks like they will be opening a pizza by the slice place right next door.

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#218 Al the Pal

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 11:22 AM

Stopped by last week. I must be the only person in the world who does not love the Toasted Marshmallow shake. I thought it tasted like what I image Play-doh tastes like!!! However, I was happy with my cheeseburger and loved the Village fries (although as other posters noted, these fries aren't super crispy.) Also loved the Old Bay mayo.

#219 thetrain

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 08:54 AM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the mushroom burger. Its by no means a healthy option - two portobello caps deep fried together with a molten core of cheese - but after my first one, I stopped ordering a hamburger when I'm here.

#220 weinoo

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:56 PM

I had the unfortunate "pleasure" of eating here for lunch today only because the other Spike joint I wanted to try was not yet open. To say that the burger and fries are an abomination would only do them justice. I haven't read through this whole thread, only glanced, but I guess I'm not alone in feeling that the fries are awful. I even ordered them without salt, so that they'd come out fresh from the fryer - but to no avail...these were the soggiest, least tasty fries I've had in a long time. If you think that red bliss works best Spike, that's the least of your problems. Teach proper frying technique first - and then use russets.

The burger was indeed overshadowed by it's mitt-sized bun, but no matter, as it barely had any flavor of its own. Maybe it shouldn't come as much of a surprise as I saw the griddle man loading the flat top with parcooked burgers by the dozen. Place was packed, of course, because, you know, he's a celebrity chef. Of course he's nothing like a celebrity chef of Batali or Flay's level. At least the food is good in their restaurants; sometimes even great. This was a cluster fuck.

#221 goodeats

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 02:25 AM

Oh $hi@ (Arlnow reports coming soon to Crystal City)
Taste. Feel. Be comforted.

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#222 Pat

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 07:47 PM

The verdict from from Serious Eats/A Hamburger Today: The burger "was at once quite tasty, and soul-crushingly, maddeningly, frustratingly terrible. Like a child star who ends up doing second-rate sitcoms his whole life, Good Stuff's offense is its failure to fulfill its potential."

#223 JuneBacon

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 08:06 AM

Sounds about right.

#224 goodeats

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:42 AM

ARLNow.com reports its CC location opens Wednesday.
Taste. Feel. Be comforted.

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#225 ad.mich

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:27 PM

ARLNow.com reports its CC location opens Wednesday.


Seems fitting

My kingdom(e) for a Seattle hot dog in the district


#226 DonRocks

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:58 PM

You know, I really wish Spike Mendelsohn and Mike Isabella happiness and prosperity.

I have very little respect for the media (groping bloggers, so-called journalists, or whomever they may be) who have made them out to be something they're not; in fact, I hold these media in disdain and contempt because they have betrayed the sanctity of their profession for the sole purpose of clinging on to celebrity in some vague hope of achieving celebrity themselves, but that doesn't mean I have anything at all against these two gentlemen personally. It's the same with José Andrés. How can you possibly blame someone for doing what any of the rest of us would do, given the chance? You can't, and it's wrong to do so. Blame the media, not these men for having wisely utilized the vultures to their best advantage.

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#227 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 06:39 AM

Then you should blame the people that patronize Andres, Spike and Isabellas' restaurants. After all, the media is simply exploiting these people just like the gentlemen themselves.

#228 DonRocks

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:18 AM

Then you should blame the people that patronize Andres, Spike and Isabellas' restaurants. After all, the media is simply exploiting these people just like the gentlemen themselves.


I would argue that if it weren't for the media, then people wouldn't be patronizing the restaurants. Come on - Good Stuff Eatery would be no more popular than Z Burger.

My opinion of the masses is so low that I no more "blame" them than a bunch of rats being led off the cliff by the Pied Piper.

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#229 Pat

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:40 AM

I would argue that if it weren't for the media, then people wouldn't be patronizing the restaurants. Come on - Good Stuff Eatery would be no more popular than Z Burger.

My opinion of the masses is so low that I no more "blame" them than a bunch of rats being led off the cliff by the Pied Piper.


Maybe the media get people through the door, but not all of Good Stuff's patrons are first timers. People go back again and again. That's not because of the media. They obviously like something about the place and the food and choose to patronize the establishment (though some of it could be that they like patronizing a store owned by a celebrity chef).

I know someone (probably more than one but have only had the conversation with one person) who thinks the burgers there are great. I don't, but I also don't tend to like fast food-type burgers. (The greater crime to me is that the fries are squishy and bad...or at least they were. I'm not trying them again.)

#230 JuneBacon

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:45 AM

Delicious pre-seared burgers !

(Don, have I gone over my pre-determined amount of personal "diggings into" this week yet?)

#231 DonRocks

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:12 PM

Delicious pre-seared burgers !

(Don, have I gone over my pre-determined amount of personal "diggings into" this week yet?)


You're over quota for 1-2 sentence posts without a lot of creativity! :)

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#232 mdt

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:22 PM

Delicious pre-seared burgers !

(Don, have I gone over my pre-determined amount of personal "diggings into" this week yet?)


Pre-seared? They don't cook to order?

#233 JuneBacon

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:53 PM

Pre-seared? They don't cook to order?


There was an article. It was written a while back. At least I believe it was. Let me see if I can find it.

Oh here it is:

http://aht.seriousea...hington-dc.html

;-)

(Not that long ago, as it appears)

#234 mdt

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:56 PM

There was an article. It was written a while back. At least I believe it was. Let me see if I can find it.

Oh here it is:

http://aht.seriousea...hington-dc.html

;-)

(Not that long ago, as it appears)


Thanks, the comments are a pretty good read too.

#235 JuneBacon

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:39 PM

Thanks, the comments are a pretty good read too.


I enjoyed Kenji's post here: http://aht.seriousea...-dc.html#772856

A far reaching blogger gave you praise as well as pointed out what he had hoped was an untimely experience and you scoff at it and make an unrelated comment? Character says a lot.

#236 DonRocks

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 02:38 PM

http://burgerdays.co.../britburger.jpg

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#237 Anna Blume

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:40 PM

In Crystal City around dinnertime this past Tuesday, as someone who rarely goes to Virginia, I ended up spending more time on Metro than anticipated to go to Ray's Hell Burger for dinner despite recommendations that I try Good Eats. Glad of the decision. A little Big Poppa was the best hamburger I've had in a very long time.

#238 KMango

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:41 PM

Taking one for the Team (office lunch), trekked into the Crystal City location today...

A Blazin' Barn burger, with lettuce instead of a bun, appeared medium rare with nice char. Looks were deceiving; the beef had little interest or noteworthy seasoning. I enjoyed the novelty of pickled daikon and cilantro, and wound up rolling the lettuce and vegetables together for a mini-summer roll effect. I make better sriracha mayo at home, but can see why Good Stuff's is a hit for sweet/spicy/salty fans.

I winced, and apologized to our future, as I placed an aluminum bag, clear clamshell, plastic fork and knife, drink cup, lid, straw, and non-recyclable basket liner into the trash can. The website says the cup was bio-degradable, I can only hope. The 1% environmental fee is a good thing, as are the paper-towel free restrooms with a smart door design to keep you from touching the handle. Another good thing was the quickly-moving queue, surprising efficiency for such a packed venue.

Colleagues downed burgers and milkshakes, including a relatively new "Sticky Toffee". Normally fans of All Things Good Stuff, their advice was to forgo this overly sweet concoction and instead aim for the vanilla or toasted marshmallow. They also advised getting the thyme/rosemary seasoned fries, not just the plain ones.

I advise going somewhere else :)
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#239 Cooter

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:35 PM

On the other hand, Mr. Mendelsohn is known for a small chain of quick-serve hamburger restaurants that serve food which is simply awful. There is not one good thing that I can say about Good Stuff Eatery, yet, he's opened three locations, has a "Good Stuff Cookbook," and is opening an online store selling T-shirts and other sundries. None of this matters, however; what matters is that his food, if I may borrow a line from a review I wrote about Rosa Mexicano years ago, is Martian Pig Slop From Hell. There is no redeeming culinary value in any of his restaurants. None. This does not mean he can't cook, this does not mean he isn't a wonderful human being, and this does not mean "I have it in for him." It means his restaurants suck, period.


Can you explain this? Good Stuff is a burgers and fries joint; what, exactly, does it need to do to offer "redeeming culinary value?" IMHO, the milkshakes are great and the Blazin' Barn Burger, which has bahn mi influenced toppings, is pretty tasty and something that's culinarily creative even if you don't find it succesful.

Honestly, I can't reconcile the hate for Good Stuff and Mendohlson's other places when Roberto Donna gets second, third, and fourth chances after literally stealing money from the pockets of the posters on this board.

#240 DonRocks

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:47 PM

Can you explain this? Good Stuff is a burgers and fries joint; what, exactly, does it need to do to offer "redeeming culinary value?"


You've just explained it, right?

There should be no mention of Good Stuff Eatery on this website, and Pete Wells shouldn't have mentioned Guy's American Kitchen and Bar. These establishments should fly under the radar of any scrutiny, and their public relations campaigns should be allowed to run unchecked.

I should also go ahead and disallow all negative mentions of Five Guys which, up until now, has been okay for people (including me) to criticize - maybe because it's grown beyond a certain point. Thanks, and I'll be sure to try that Blazin' Barn Burger.

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#241 ladi kai lemoni

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:05 PM

Thanks, and I'll be sure to try that Blazin' Barn Burger.


Don't. I liked the idea when I ordered it at the Crystal Shitty location, but the execution was non-existent. I received a burger patty devoid of flavor (none that I can recall, in any case), a mush of vegetables that vaguely tasted like pickles, and some mysterious sauce that is akin to the special sauce from Krusty Burger (a.k.a. sun-baked mayonnaise). The end result was caloric satisfaction, but spiritual and gustatorial famine. And this does not take into account the most atrocious side of french fries I have ever had. Blackened, little bits of potato cooked beyond recognition and dripping with grease. That was a cardinal sin for a burger joint and I've since vowed to never again give any money to the GSE.

Redeeming culinary value for a burger joint, in my mind, is to do something that the 800 other burger joints in this town don't do. Given that you have an endless choice of burgers in this area—from Ray's to Palena Cafe to Shake Shack—why should we pay for celebrity (c-list at best) and nothing else?

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#242 Cooter

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

You've just explained it, right?

There should be no mention of Good Stuff Eatery on this website, and Pete Wells shouldn't have mentioned Guy's American Kitchen and Bar. These establishments should fly under the radar of any scrutiny, and their public relations campaigns should be allowed to run unchecked.

I should also go ahead and disallow all negative mentions of Five Guys which, up until now, has been okay for people (including me) to criticize - maybe because it's grown beyond a certain point. Thanks, and I'll be sure to try that Blazin' Barn Burger.


With all due respect, I think that you are being disingeniuos. I'm not sure how my post gets interpreted as suggesting that negative mentions be disallowed. It just seems that "no redeeming culinary value" is a pretty high (low?) bar to reach and I'm not clear on how Good Stuff gets there when it's milkshakes, at least, are pretty awesome and it's at least trying to do something different. I get what you're saying about the pr campaigns, in this post and elsewhere, even if I disagree, but this seems to be a separate question. It's really not clear to me if you mean that burger and fries joints generally should not be discussed on this site (with the exception of hell burger or something) or if there is something special about Good Stuff and the food it turns out.

For what it's worth, I've eaten at Good Stuff exactly two times, so I have no dog in this fight. The rist was after it opened on the hill and the Blazin' Barn burger was awesome, the milkshake was awesome, and the fries were not good. The second was a few months ago when I was stuck in Crystal City. While not as bad as Ladi described, the toppings were far from fresh and flavorful on the Blazin' Barn, but the shake was still awesome and the fries were better.

#243 DonRocks

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:55 PM

With all due respect, I think that you are being disingeniuos.


Disingenuous (i.e., "Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does") is exactly the correct word for what I was being.

I'm not ducking your question, Cooter, but [these recent posts have nothing to do with Pete Wells' review about Guy Fieri, and are purely about Good Stuff Eatery, so I'm moving them here - not to bury them, but to categorize them.] I guess I'll respond, although I'm not quite sure what else I have to add - I have Good Stuff Eatery ranked #6 out of 12 in the category of Hamburgers (Multiple Locations) in the Dining Guide, just ahead of Five Guys where I'm not so sure it belongs, and that pretty much sums up what I think of it - I'd probably rather eat here than at Z-Burger.

Regarding your comment about me saying it has "no redeeming culinary value" - would you mind me asking you: If this does, what doesn't? McDonald's has tasty french fries. So what? The milkshakes at Good Stuff Eatery taste no better than a Snickers bar, and you can get that in the checkout line at any 7-11 in the United States (along with your taquito).

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#244 Cooter

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:46 PM

Regarding your comment about me saying it has "no redeeming culinary value" - would you mind me asking you: If this does, what doesn't? McDonald's has tasty french fries. So what? The milkshakes at Good Stuff Eatery taste no better than a Snickers bar, and you can get that in the checkout line at any 7-11 in the United States (along with your taquito).


I guess that's I just have a fundamental disagreement as to what it means to have "no redeeming culinary value." Looking at your examples, both McDonald's french fries and snickers bars have significant culinary value both because they are awesome, ubiquitous (some would argue this is bad; I disagree), and the gold standard for what they are. I think that when you call something "martian pig slop from hell," it should be something especially terrible, like a 7-11 tauito, but that's just my opinion.

#245 mdt

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:59 AM

I guess that's I just have a fundamental disagreement as to what it means to have "no redeeming culinary value." Looking at your examples, both McDonald's french fries and snickers bars have significant culinary value both because they are awesome, ubiquitous (some would argue this is bad; I disagree), and the gold standard for what they are.


Gold standard of mass produced highly processed food stuffs?

And I love snickers. :P





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