It is good stuff

Mar 16, 2009

What does an xpat family do on a Saturday night? Grab a burger whilst on the way to Roller Derby of course.

This past Saturday, we walked into Good Stuff Eatery (a burger joint on Capitol Hill, Washington DC) on a wet Saturday afternoon, looking for a quick and satisfying early dinner before heading out to the Roller Derby. Who do we see as we walk in the door…. owner Chef Spike - the hat-wearing contestant of Top Chef Season 4. He wasn't working the line or barking out orders to staff but rather emptying the trash, checking the napkins stocks, he was surprisingly all very low key.

The atmosphere was noisy not so much from the chatter of the patrons but the loud music blaring. It was a sound track to my University (translation: College) days. LIVE the band and Brit Pop band Pulp singing "Common People". The loud music was not the only form of entertainment. There were several large flat screen TVs on both levels of the restaurant on mute showing local sports teams…GO TERPS (translation: my adopted college sports team). I was too busy singing along to Pulp and stuffing my face with burger goodness to keep track of the sports score. In fact I am listening to Pulp as I write.

Obviously not local to the joint, my party of three did not realize we were in the line whilst gazing up at the menu deciding what to eat and caused a major delay. We eventually ordered after letting more organized and decisive people go first and we were given a pager. I guess I was expecting it to be more of a fast food joint (the sort where once you order they stack up your tray with food and off you go) but I was pleasantly surprised that it is all made to order and made right in front of you, for those who enjoy watching their food being made, all the cooking action is front and center.

We sat upstairs, which carried through the theme of flat screen TV's and loud music and simple yet modern furniture. Red seems to be the color du jour and they put the little cow (part of the visual brand) where possible including on the front of the loos (translation: toilets).

Our pager paged and Big Roo dutifully went downstairs to retrieve the food. I had ordered the Free Range Turkey Burger which has such goodies as avo, sprouts, cheese (not the fluorescent American kind) and tomato on a whole wheat bun, it almost sounds healthy. Big Roo had the Colletti's Smokehouse with supersized filling of Applewood Bacon, Cheddar, Onion Rings and Chipotle BBQ Sauce. Little Roo was not terribly hungry (too many home made quesadillas for lunch) and munched Sunny's Handcut Fries the we decided to share and slurped on a vanilla mini moo - the kids size hand spun shake.

Big Roo and I shared a Toasted Marshmallow Hand spun shake. Legend has it the Good Stuff crew put custard (which they make fresh everyday) into the shake, along with milk, ice and gelato.

My burger was very good, the turkey was nicely cooked, it was not dry which turkey can get and had great juicy flavors. Big Roo's burger, had a definite personality and the BBQ Chipotle sauce added a nice heat and the bacon and onion ring combination was genius. Again the meat was cooked nicely and you could taste the "real" ingredients that they pride themselves in. The marshmallow shake was sweet without being sickly and the consistency was just all gooey gooey thick goodness. If I ordered it again I would ask for no whip (it is fine as it is).

The rock stars of the meal were the Colletti's Smokehouse Burger and the Toasted Marshmallow shake. There was nothing of note about the fries, they were just so so. Next time I go (because given the location right near the Capitol I am sure I will be back) I might try Spike's Village Fries with Rosemary, Thyme and Pepper.