Monday, July 28, 2008

I hear chef Spike's cooking down the street (Bah humbug)

Well, since we seem to enjoy the ground beef patties on a delicious bun so much here at the blog, I figured this needed a post. Spike from the latest season of Top Chef has opened his own burger joint in Washington, DC. Good Stuff Eatery, on Pennsylvania Avenue SE (take the Capitol South metro stop), is a wonderful experience that ought to be had by anyone looking for a good, quick dinner or lunch. After reading about the joint in a few different places, I went there last Friday and came away suitably impressed.

We were greeted by an older gentleman at the door (who we later learned was Spike's dad) who had a big smile and made us feel quite welcome (which is key in a new restaurant... it's hard to break out of habits, so it's easier when they make it so inviting). On walking in, I noticed a fedora-adorned head standing at the front of the line delivering milkshakes and orders. It was Spike! Our very own quasi-celebrity! We got in the long, but quick-moving line, and and went past the cooking line, where everything looked and smelled delicious. The staff was friendly, though the loud music made it hard to hear (though really, I can't complain since it was Jet Airliner by The Steve Miller Band). After placing our order, we were given those little buzzer thingies to let us know when it was ready. We went to the dipping bar to grab some sauces for our fries, and didn't get what we expected. Sure there was ketchup and mustard, but we also had 4 different types of mayos. I don't remember one of them, but the other three were mango mayo, chipotle mayo, and Old Bay mayo. The mango mayo was overpowered by the fries (more on that in a second) but the Old Bay and chipotle mayos made great compliments to our side dish.

While waiting for our number (V had gotten a table outside) Spike had a milkshake either accidentally made or done for this purpose as a marketing ploy, but held it up and said "Toasted Marshmallow milkshake, free." I was a ways back, so I decided to let others clambor for it, but when no one did, I thought "hell, why not?" and grabbed the shake. It was what I had planned on getting before I opted for the root beer float. It came garnished with two toasted marshmallows and was delicious. My float was alright, though nothing spectacular, and V got a Milky Way milkshake that she raved about.

The main delight, however, was the hamburger. I had the Colletti's Smokehouse which came with a patty of beef, bacon, bbq sauce, and onion rings. It was probably the best non-homemade burger I've had in ages, and handily beats Five Guys, my previous DC fave. The bacon was tasty and the BBQ sauce didn't overwhelm the other flavors. V had the Uncle D's Chili 'N Cheddar, which from my one bite was also delicious. As to our fries, we didn't opt for normal fries, instead going for the Village Fries which come seasoned with thyme, rosemary, and cracked pepper. They were amazing, though as mentioned earlier, overwhelmed some of the dipping sauces. That said, they were so good plain that no sauce was needed.

With a large order of fries split between us and a burger apiece, V and I were far more stuffed than I had anticipated. The prices are hardly cheap ($31 for two burgers, a large fry, and two ice cream drinks) but they aren't prohibitively expensive either. I can't forget to mention that the joint has beer on tap as well, Blue Moon and Sam Adams I believe. I may have found a new favorite quick eat spot in DC, and already have plans to go back next Friday when V has a friend in town.

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