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  • Chef Spike Mendelsohn works his magic on burgers in Bethlehem

    Chef Spike Mendelsohn has cooked on the set of Bravo's "Top Chef."

    He's cooked behind the scenes in the kitchens of his Good Stuff Eatery burger, fries and shakes chain (which just debuted its Philly location Tuesday.)

    But today, he brought his burger magic to SteelStacks in Bethlehem for a taping of"The Chef's Kitchen." Click through behind-the-scenes photos at the top of this post.

    The show is filmed at the PBS-39WLVT studios in front of a live audience. Today's shoot also featured Bolete's chef Lee Chizmar and The Hotel Bethlehem's chef Michael Adams.

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  • Good Stuff Eatery Philadelphia Grand Opening

    The pilot store of Good Stuff Eatery opened on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in July, 2008 but the grand opening event of the new Philadelphia based Good Stuff Eatery (108 S 18th St) was Tuesday, June 24 2014. The event started with a warm welcome from Chef Spike Mendelsohn and owners George Chin and Elaine Massock. For George and Elaine, it has taken four long years to open this restaurant. The two Illinois natives, who were retired restaurateurs, came out of retirement after they fell in love with Philadelphia and the Good Stuff Eatery concept. Chef Mendelsohn’s focus on family and quality food felt like the right fit for them, and so they decided to move forward with their own store. Chef Spike emphasized that what differentiates the Good Stuff Eatery from its competitors is that it is family and food driven. The family presence at this grand opening event was quite evident. His sister, Micheline, took the orders, his mom and dad (also long time restaurateurs) buzzed around the downstairs finishing the last touches for the opening. All stood arm in arm as the speeches were made and the red ribbon cut.

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  • Good Stuff Eatery Brings More Great Burgers and a Celebrity Chef to Philly


    Good Stuff Eatery opened yesterday on 18th St. between Chestnut & Sansom. It's the latest in a fast casual burger craze that has swept the U.S. over the past few years. Good Stuff comes to Philly with pretty big street cred - celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn(Top Chef, Iron Chef, etc.) is behind it and has already captured the D.C. market. We had Good Stuff burgers a few years ago in D.C. and loved them so this Philly opening came with much anticipation.
    Details on the burgers below, and for lots more photos of opening day, check out our Facebook album.
    The place was packed right away but seemed to keep people moving quickly. I was fortunate enough to enter an hour early and chat with Chef Spike. The most interesting part was actually witnessing the scene one hour before a grand opening - contractors screwing in last minute fixtures, gigantic crates of potato rolls being carted around, rugs still being rolled out, stuff literally everywhere. But it all came together in time for a nice ribbon cutting and celebration with the Mendelsohn family and Philly owners, George & Elaine.

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  • Good Stuff Eatery Hits Philly: Are the Burgers Worth the Hype?


    By Danya Henninger

    Good Stuff Eatery is now open on 18th Street just south of Chestnut. It’s the fourth outpost for former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn’s burger and shake joint, and the first outside the DC area.

    Though Spike is the most well-known name in the company, and the culinary brains behind it, Good Stuff Eatery is a family operation. Mendelsohn’s mother Cathy originally had the vision for it and owns it with Spike’s father, Harvey, while sister Micheline is director of marketing.

    Along with other partners, the family is planning expansions to other cities, first up being Chicago. Mendelsohn says the first Chicagoland branch will open by the end of 2014, though the exact location has not yet been chosen. Potential spots in the Gold Coast, Lincoln Park and off Michigan Avenue near the Loop are all being considered.

    The Mendelsohns' other quick-service concept We, The Pizza is also due to branch out to other cities, including Philadelphia and Chicago, although no timeline has been set.

    It’s all great news, as far as we’re concerned, because the product, experience and management at Good Stuff all exceeded our initial expectations. Read on for some details and then flip through the slide show to see exactly what you’ll get when you visit.

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  • Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery Opens Today

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014, by Carly Szkaradnik

    Good Stuff Eatery
    108 S. 18th Street
    Phone: 267-928-2848; website
    Status: Open at 11 a.m. today

    It's officially day one at Top Chefalum Spike Mendelsohn's burger and shake shop, Good Stuff Eatery. There is, of course, a pretty strong media blitz going on at the shop: Chef Spike is in attendance and there are prizes being given away, so let your feelings on lining up guide your decision on whether or not to check it out ASAP. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Menu is here.

    This is the first Philly restaurant for Mendelsohn, and his fourth Good Stuff Eatery overall. In his home base of D.C., he's also got Béarnaise(a French bistro known for its steak-frites) and a pizza place with four locations called We, The Pizza. Mendelsohn will join Philly.com's Michael Klein today at 2 p.m. for a special live chat, should you have any burning questions.


  • Good Stuff Eatery Opens in Rittenhouse Square Read more at http://phillystylemag.com/the-l

    Philadelphia Style

    Scheduled to open in Rittenhouse Square this upcoming Tuesday, burger-and-fry joint Good Stuff Eatery is the product of Top Chef season four runner-up Spike Mendelsohn.

    "Philadelphia is such a great food city,” says chef Mendelsohn. “We're excited to [provide] juicy burgers and handspun shakes to the people, and be a part of such a vibrant community."

    Patrons can indulge in American classics, including burgers, fries, shakes, and salads. Try the Big Stuff Bacon Meltdown, a double patty topped with bacon, double cheese, tomato, onions, lettuce, and the eatery’s own sauce, served on a freshly baked Pennsylvania Dutch bun. Pair the signature dish with hand-cut fries and wash it all down with a hand-spun shake. 108 S. 18th St., 267-928-2848

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  • Good Stuff Eatery Opens in Rittenhouse Square


    Scheduled to open in Rittenhouse Square this upcoming Tuesday, burger-and-fry joint Good Stuff Eatery is the product of Top Chef season four runner-up Spike Mendelsohn. 

    "Philadelphia is such a great food city,” says chef Mendelsohn. “We're excited to [provide] juicy burgers and handspun shakes to the people, and be a part of such a vibrant community."

    Patrons can indulge in American classics, including burgers, fries, shakes, and salads. Try the Big Stuff Bacon Meltdown, a double patty topped with bacon, double cheese, tomato, onions, lettuce, and the eatery’s own sauce, served on a freshly baked Pennsylvania Dutch bun. Pair the signature dish with hand-cut fries and wash it all down with a hand-spun shake. 108 S. 18th St., 267-928-2848

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  • DCist: The 13 Best Burgers In The D.C. Area

    It may be peak grill season, but with this week's oppressive heat, do you really want to stand in front of a hot grill just to get your burger fix on? Didn't think so. When it comes to finding good burgers, there's no shortage in D.C., but there's only a handful that are truly, remarkably great. As such, DCist writers highlight their favorite burgers in the city. Read this, eat them, and then go to the gym, because these burgers aren't exactly light on calories.


    MICHELLE MELT AT GOOD STUFF EATERY: One could make the argument that any one of Good Stuff Eatery's devilishly designed mega-burgers should deserve their own spot on this list, but as someone that favors turkey burgers over beef ones (sorry/not sorry), I've got to single out the Michelle Melt. A free-range turkey patty is topped with caramelized onions, swiss cheese, ruby tomatoes, lettuce, and tangy southlawn herb garden mayo on a wheat bun. Look, this may be more of a "healthy" option or whatever, but it's still damn delicious, OK? — Matt Cohen

    SPIKE'S SUNNYSIDE AT GOOD STUFF EATERY: My all-time favorite Washington-area burger was the huge, juicy slab from the The Quarry House, Tavern before the Silver Spring institution changed management in the mid-aughts and when they were still a real dive bar. It was a burger I used to look forward to with drooling anticipation. In the absence of a present-day equivalent, I sort of look forward to this artery-clogging sandwich, with an egg fried sunnyside-up plopped on top of an applewood bacon cheeseburger. The yolk may burst in the burger's paper wrapper before you get a chance to eat it, but you can always mop up the cholesterol with your fries. — Pat Padua

    Good Stuff Eatery has locations in Capitol Hill (303 Pennsylvania Avenue), Georgetown (3291 M Street NW), and Crystal City (2110 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Va.)

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  • Spike Mendelsohn Brings Good Stuff Eatery to Philly, Opening June 24


    Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef fame is ready to introduce Good Stuff Eatery to the Philly burger-loving crowd. D.C. already loves Good Stuff. Now it’s Philly’s turn to see what the Good Stuff buzz is all about.

    Opening on June 24, the reputable name will intrigue diners, but the Farmhouse burgers, perfectly seasoned hand-cut fries and “forget that diet” shakes and floats will be the real draw of Good Stuff Eatery.

    Make sure you get in line early, as Spike plans to be there himself with a host of prizes. Starting at 11 a.m., the burger-loving masses will be able to order their faves from the menu and have the opportunity to win some Good Stuff goodies. The first 100 in line will be entered to win a Celebrity Cruises trip where Spike will be joining in on the fun. And, if you are in the group of the first 1,000 customers, you will be able to dig in to the Good Stuff Eatery prize bowl. Possible prizes include Good Stuff swag and tickets to sporting events.

    Learn more about what’s in store when Good Stuff Eatery throws open its doors at 108 South 18th Street, and see what all the talk is about on June 24.

    Find Good Stuff Eatery at 108 South 18th Street in Philadelphia; phone: (267) 928-2848.

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  • Eater Philly: Good Stuff Eatery Gets an Opening Date

    by Carly Szkaradnik


    Good Stuff Eatery, the D.C.-based burger import from Top Chefalum Spike Mendelsohn, will finally open its doors in Rittenhouse at 11 a.m on Tuesday, June 24. And because why not: the first hundred people in line will be entered to win a cruise with Mendelsohn himself. (The first thousand people through the door will get to pick a shot at other prizes, the best of which is a card that will entitle you to free shakes for a year. Or tickets to sporting events, if you're into that kind of thing more than milkshakes, somehow.)

    Once the doors open, the shop's hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

  • Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery Has A Date

    BY JASON SHEEHAN  |  JUNE 17, 2014 AT 5:16 PM

    It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery is finally getting ready to open the doors. The big day? Tuesday, June 24. There’ll be a bunch of press stuff (with his Spike-ness in attendance) starting at 10am, and then the doors officially open to the public at 11am for burgers, hand-cut fries and milkshakes.

    There’ll be prizes, of course. The first 100 customers in line get a chance to win a pair of tickets for a Celebrity Cruises trip this summer (on which they’ll be joined by Spike, so…awesome?). And the first 1,000 customers will get to grab prizes out of a “Bowl Of Good Stuff.” You know, kind of like when you go to the dentist. Said Good Stuff includes tee shirts, signed copies of the Good Stuff cookbook, VIP cards, tickets to various sporting events and things like that.

    But seriously, 1,000 customers? That's gonna be one helluva line.

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  • Zagat: Coming Soon


    As we mentioned yesterday, Tuesday, June 24, is the opening date for the Rittenhouse outpost of Spike Mendelsohn's DC-based burger joint. What we didn’t know yesterday was that the first 100 people to walk through the doors after the 11 AM launch will have a chance to win a Celebrity Cruise trip for two with Spike himself. The first 1,000 guests to place an order joint will win freebies like t-shirts, sports tickets and signed cookbooks. Prizes, burgers and toasted marshmallow milkshakes? Be prepared for a long line (108 S. 18th St.).

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  • New Rev Event Beefs Up with Preview


    Organizers, sponsors, and celebrity guests for tonight’s inaugural Rev event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway sat down Thursday evening for a four-course dinner at St. Elmo Steak House that spotlighted a stunning dry-aged New York strip and (of course) that famous shrimp cocktail. Guests included two toques of TV fame—chef Vic Vegas, who appeared on Food Network’s Next Food Network Star, Chopped All-Stars, and Food Truck Face Off; and Spike Mendelsohn of Bravo’s Top Chef Chicago—both in town to participate in the sprawling food-and-entertainment event. Indy’s own celebrity chef, Dave Foegley of St. Elmo, prepared fresh Alaskan halibut in a morel-and-tomato ragout, huge steaks dry-aged for 30 days, and chocolate-chunk bread pudding drizzled with bourbon—served in the historic steakhouse’s below-level private room, The Wine Cellar, which was Peyton Manning’s post-game hangout of choice.

    Tonight’s “chic outdoor experience” features headliner Jon McLaughlin as well as several other acts and dozens of local chefs paired with drivers, dishing up everything from squid ink–white truffle ravioli (Peterson’s) to mini cupcakes from Vanilla Bean Bakery.

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  • Top 10 Burger Joints in the US


    Do you like your burgers made by a celebrity chef? Served with fancy toppings like foie gras or truffles? Or, do you enjoy the classic version with ketchup and a side of fries? Whether you like your patty beef or turkey, well-dressed or naked, you are sure to find something to your liking on Gayot.com’s list of the Top 10 Burger Restaurants in the United States.

    #5  Good Stuff Eatery -Washington, DC

    "Top Chef" alum Spike Mendelsohn is behind DC's Good Stuff Eatery, where hungry Hill staffers and locals crowd in for the overstuffed burgers and hand-cut fries.

    More here


  • The Ten: Marvelous Milkshakes


    So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.

    We’re finally getting into the swing of spring. To celebrate, we’re throwing calorie counting to the warm breeze and binging on milkshakes. Here are ten sippable stars – some kid friendly, others for the 21+ crowd only.

    Toasted Marshmallow
    Sour cream, vanilla ice cream, milk and charred mallows are spun together to create this stellar shake at Good Stuff Eatery. To further sweeten the deal, it’s capped off with two more flame kissed marshmallows.

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  • Digesting News a la Spike Mendelsohn

    By Warren Rojas

    Roll Call

    Restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn doesn’t just make headlines in this town, he now also serves them up to those plugged into the gastro-themed feeds he’s created for news-sharing upstart Trove.

    The media aggregating service tapped the reality-TV-star-turned-culinary-empire-builder — Good Stuff Eatery, We, The Pizza and Béarnaise have all taken root on Capitol Hill — to serve as one of its featured curators. Mendelsohn has, so far, carved out three dedicated channels:

    • Hidden Food Destinations: lots of updates on fellow “Top Chef” alumni, as well as tips about noteworthy eats from north of the border (he was born in Canada, after all)
    • Farm to Table: observations about how we treat food, and vice versa
    • Food Regulations: reports from food policy watchdogs

    According to a Mendelsohn aide, the globe-trotting toque learned about the fledgling project from consulting pro Marc Adelman. Once on board, Team Trove showed Mendelsohn how to flag his preferred content — “Those troves were all topics that Spike was interested in and wanted to follow,” Team Mendelsohn asserted — and then let him do his thing.

    “With Spike’s busy schedule, there is a huge value in being able to source his favorite news sources and the topics that he personally cares about from his cellphone or iPad,”  a spokeswoman said of the mobile-friendly application.

    Meanwhile, the budding new guru maintains that he still has much to learn.

    “I think that [award-winning restaurateur and Union Square Hospitality Group CEO] Danny Meyer does a great job of keeping up with what is going on in the industry. He has built a successful restaurant group based on listening — to his customers, to trends and to other entrepreneurs,” Mendelsohn said.

    He also greatly admires experimental-chefs-turned-award-winning authors Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot. “Those two just are full of ideas and know how to push boundaries,” Mendelsohn said.

    Craving more?

    Mendelsohn urged voracious readers to devour everything they can about local sourcing, environmental sustainability, children’s dietary health and food security issues. “We all need to pay attention to food on a global scale,” he counseled.

  • Spend or Save?

    Spend or Save? Pricey Burgers, Affordable Steaks

    By Rina Rapuano

    This town is full of excellent go-to spots where you can eat very well at middle-of-the-road prices. But for those days when you're feeling either slightly broke or extra flush, we've rounded up some high-dollar and low-cost ways to eat and drink deliciously. Because of course you need to know where you can spend $1,776 on a tasting menu - and the ultra-cheap places where you may be forced to dine after spending that amount of money on one dinner.

    Burgers

    Spendy: Sure, 2941 scaled back to a bistro a while back - but chef Bertrand Chemel has fine dining in the blood, and we're more than okay with that. His decadent Daffy burger is legendary, a patty of freshly ground duck topped with seared foie gras and served with frites and housemade onion agrodolce ($19). 

    Budget: With so many amazing choices, it's like picking a favorite child. Five Guys, Shake Shack, BGR - we love 'em all. But as we consider all of the outstanding burgers on the DC landscape, we suddenly find ourselves craving a $7 sloppy Spike's Sunnyside topped with cheese, bacon and egg from Good Stuff Eatery. The only downsides here can be the waits on weekends and the inconsistent fries. 

    More Here



  • Meet D.C. chef Spike Mendelsohn


    Meet D.C. Chef Spike Mendelsohn


    Spike Mendelsohn is the chef and owner of Good Stuff Eatery, Béarnaise and We, The Pizza in Washington D.C. Mendelsohn's newest restaurant, Béarnaise, opened in Washington's Capitol Hill neighborhood in the summer of 2013. Chef Spike, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, trained under icons such as Gerard Boyer in Reims, France; Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Bouchon in Napa Valley, California; and Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque and Drew Neiporent's Mai House in New York City. At Béarnaise, Mendelsohn returns to his roots of classical French cuisine with a nod to the quintessentially French steak frites. Chef Spike debuted on television as a contestant of Bravo's hit series Top Chef Chicago. He's also appeared on numerous other shows, including Bravo's Life After Top Chef and Top Chef All Stars, Food Network's Iron Chef America and Spike TV's Bar Rescue.

    We ask Chef Spike about his work and travels.

    What's your favorite food destination?

    Vietnam. I've spent a lot of my time traveling and cooking in Vietnam. The food is always French, vibrant and delicious. The street food is among the best in the world.

    Where and what was the best meal you've ever eaten?

    La Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon. Everything on the menu at the Sugar Shack is epic and playful.

    Where is one place that's specifically influenced your cooking and how?

    France. I spent a year cooking for Chef Gérard Boyer in Reims at Les Crayères. The classic training gave me structure and an appreciation for French cuisine. It heavily motivated me to open up my new French bistro Béarnaise in Washington, D.C.

    Do you have a favorite hotel?

    Hotel Le St-James, Montreal

    What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?

    I cooked, and reluctantly ate, a rice paddy rat in Vietnam. It is traditional, but not my kind of thing.

    What's the one thing people need to experience in your city?

    D.C. is full of amazing markets. Spending an afternoon strolling through Eastern Market is a must for anyone in D.C. It is full of great local finds.

    What do you never leave home without?

    I never leave home without my passport and green card. Unfortunately, I have forgotten those before and I have vowed to never experience that headache again.

    What's your go-to drink?

    Red Stripe beer.

    What's the most unexpected place you've traveled to and how did you wind up there?

    I spent some time in Hong Kong. It was due to an unexpected layover. Thirty-six hours there gave me a tiny taste of what Hong Kong has to offer. I am excited to return.

    Where's the coolest place you've served a meal?

    I had a shockingly delicious meal on a train in the Swiss Alps. You never know where you might find great food and service.

    What's your best "lost in translation" where things went horribly or comically awry?

    Every conversation with my father turns into a "lost in translation" scenario.

    What's the most indulgent thing you've ever treated yourself to while traveling?

    I am a spa junkie. I'm more than happy to find a spa, escape and indulge. Restaurants are stressful, so having time to unwind is a gift.

    What are you picky about when traveling?

    I'm picky about my hotels. I'll splurge on the right place to stay.

    What would we be surprised to find in your suitcase?

    A knife -- it is an occupational habit. Sometimes TSA is surprised, too.

    What's left on your travel bucket list?

    My big dream trip is the Galapagos. I'd love to go on the National Geographic expedition tour and see the natural wildlife and beauty.



  • Mark Turgeon created a milkshake that will now be sold for public consumption


    Mark Turgeon was 14 years old when he first started working at the Baskin-Robbins in Topeka, Kan. He remembers earning somewhere around $1.85 an hour and was so small that serving ice cream over the sneeze guard required standing on his tippy-toes. Obviously, Turgeon has since moved onto a more lucrative profession. But he retained the talents learned inside that particular parlor, which somewhat informs what transpired Friday afternoon along M Street in Georgetown.

    It took Turgeon an hour to drive from College Park to the Good Stuff Eatery, owned by former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, so by the time he ducked inside and walked upstairs, his two competitors had already advanced scouted the peppermint bark, multicolored sprinkles and marshmallows destined to be heated by blow torch.

    George Mason Coach Paul Hewitt, George Washington Coach Mike Lonergan and Turgeon all came to participate in the BB&T Classic milkshake contest against each other. The winner’s creation would be sold downstairs at the counter for the next month, with partial proceeds donated to children’s charities. The losers would presumably return to their regular lives, unable to — ahem — shake the immense disappointment.

    Turns out, Turgeon’s wife Ann offered up the idea for his creation, appropriately named the Turtle Shake*. It would have caramel, chocolate chips, cookies and red sprinkles, Maryland-themed, of course, and all that milkshake-making experience of his formative years probably gave him the mixology edge. Of course, having a stacked judges panel — among them former Washington Redskins player and Maryland graduate Stephon Heyer and BB&T Bank’s Brian Meenaghan, who chairs the alumni board at the Maryland business school — might have helped, too.

    Lonergan, whose 7-1 Colonials face Maryland on Sunday at Verizon Center, whipped up a strawberry, cookies and cream milkshake. Hewitt, who faces Oklahoma in the doubleheader’s early game, went with mint chocolate chip, malt, green good dye and tried to write “GMU” in butterscotch.

    “It looks like GW,” Lonergan said.

    Turgeon stood in the back while the four judges tasted each creations. He did the“Turge Surge” when former Redskin Derrick Dockery said he liked the cookies. Lonergan delivered the afternoon’s best one-liner — “I fear the turtle will mess up your taste buds” — but later lamented his obvious deficiencies in dessert chemistry. Turgeon, meanwhile, was confident and the judges’ decision was ultimately unanimous. A sample, obtained by the Washington Post via an open-beverage request, confirmed the ruling. It was good.

    *This name fit nicely, but Turgeon really missed several opportunities for Maryland-themed pun names. Among them:

    >>Peppermint Bark Turgeon
    >>Spencermint Barks
    >>Evan Smores-trycz
    >>Lefty Drizzle of Fudge
    >>Nik Candy Caner-Medley
    >>Varun Rum Raisin
    >>Shake-ille cleare
    >>Coffe’eShon Howard
    >>Roddy Rocky Road
    >>Cake (or Shake) Layman
    >>Jon Graham Cracker Hot Fudge Sundae
    >>D.J. Strawberry


  • Turgeon Wins BB&T Milkshake Creation Contest

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Maryland men’s basketball head coach Mark Turgeon, George Mason head coach Paul Hewitt and George Washington head coach Mike Lonergan faced off in a milkshake creation contest at Good Stuff Eatery in Georgetown Friday afternoon as a prelude to the upcoming BB&T Classic Sunday.

    Turgeon’s creation – the “Turtle Shake” – was unanimously selected by all four judges as the winning milkshake. The winning ingredients included turtle chocolate, caramel vanilla and frozen custard.

    Turgeon’s “Turtle Shake” will be on the Good Stuff Eatery menu for the entire month of December.

    The competition was hosted by owner and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn. The panel of judges included former Maryland Terrapin and Washington Redskin lineman Stephon Heyer, former Washington Redskin Derrick Dockery,  vice president of BB&T Bank Brian Meenaghan and Guy Lambert, radio personality on WPGC-FM.

    Turgeon credited his wife, Ann, for naming the shake. After receiving the news his shake won the competition, he jokingly asked the judges if they could referee the Terps’ game on Sunday.

    All proceeds from today’s competition as well as the BB&T Classic will benefit the Children’s Charities Foundation.

    Maryland will host George Washington in the BB&T Classic on Sunday at 3:30 at Verizon Center. Tickets are available on umterps.com or by calling 1-800-IM-A-TERP.




  • Hungry Hippo: A juicy, round burger fit for the Oval Office

    Hungry Hippo: A juicy, round burger fit for the Oval Office

    by The GW Hatchet

    This post was written by Hatchet reporter David Harvey.

    When you get sick of eating the Whole Foods hot bar, try one of these dishes you brushed past while you were dining out. The Hatchet sets out to find the dishes every GW student should try before they graduate.

    Dish #2: The Prez Obama Burger at Good Stuff Eatery

    While New Yorkers at GW might moan that D.C. lacks in quality pizza, they fail to realize that D.C. is not a pizza town: It is a burger town. Five Guys and BGR The Burger Joint got their start in here, and now Spike Mendelsohn’s D.C. burger project – Good Stuff Eatery – has turned into a District favorite.

    The best burgers are all about the quality of meat, and Good Stuff Eatery’s is grown locally and always fresh. Mendelsohn created the Prez Obama burger ($6.98) was created by Mendelsohn during the 2008 election to compete with the McCain Burger.

    The Prez Obama burger fashions smoked applewood bacon cut it up perfectly so it doesn’t poke out of the burger (unlike Bobby’s Burger Palace) or fall out (unlike Burger Tap and Shake), red onion marmalade, Roquefort Cheese, a kind of blue cheese made from sheep’s milk, and a house-made horseradish mayo.

    “We chose the toppings for the Prez Obama burger based on what we thought a Chicago guy might want,” Mendelsohn said, adding that his favorite topping is the red marmalade.“It gives the burger the sweetness and tanginess that takes it from ordinary to good stuff.”

    To make this an amazing burger experience, try the Spike’s Village Fries ($2.49) which are topped with thyme and rosemary. These fries are perfect for dipping in their many flavored mayonnaise, like my personal favorite, the chipotle pesto mayonnaise.

    Still hungry? The Milky Way Malt ($5.45) milkshake has a little chocolate nougat crunch inside, so every few sips you get a pleasant surprise.

    While you can’t beat the magic of their original Capitol Hill location, a new location opened in Georgetown – and as an added bonus, will soon start accepting GWorld.

  • The Casual Chef

    November 2013 Issue: The Casual Chef

    Cathy Mendelsohn, owner of Good Stuff Eatery, explains why she hires a culinary school graduate to work in every one of her restaurants. 

  • A Conversation with Chef Spike Mendelsohn


    Examiner.com is very proud to welcome Chef Spike Mendelsohn to the latest edition of “A Conversation.”

    This accomplished Washington, D.C.-based chef runs three popular eateries in our nation’s capital: Good Stuff Eatery, Béarnaise and We, The Pizza.

    His skills as a culinary master were put to the test as he squared off against several of his peers in two seasons of Top Chef and faced the tedious challenges of the Chairman in two seasons of The Next Iron Chef.

    Besides his television appearances and running his family’s restaurants, Chef Mendelsohn also co-wrote "The Good Stuff Cookbook" with his sister, Micheline, which showcased several of the restaurant’s signature dishes that ranged from burgers and fries to shakes and desserts.

    In this edition of A Conversation, Chef Mendelsohn talked about his experiences on both shows, the most important qualities that he looks for in employees and shared his creative process behind creating a dish.

    Jacob Elyachar: When did you get your first taste of the culinary world?
    Chef Spike Mendelsohn: The first time I got to experience the restaurant industry was when I was 12-years-old. I washed dishes for my parents’ restaurant. It was a handful too because all the servers dumped their dirty trays right on top of me pretty much. It was not necessarily the job I wanted, but it was the one I got.

    JE: What were some of the important lessons that you learned that helped you solidify your career?
    CSM: One lesson that I learned was that if you do not know how to do the job yourself, then how are you going to teach someone that job? For example, if I did not wash dishes or mop floors at some point in my career, then how was I going to expect my employees to do the same? It is very important to do everyone’s jobs both inside and outside of the kitchen.

    JE: How has your experiences on “Top Chef” and “The Next Iron Chef” helped you grow as a culinary master?
    CSM: It was an honor to compete amongst some of the chefs and to have the chance to learn from them. In this business, there is always something to learn. That is a very honorable thing that both of those shows bring to the table.

    JE: Did you have any favorite challenges?
    CSM: My favorite challenge has to be when I competed on the original Chicago season of Top Chef. I had to masticate these huge beef ribs into three small cups of meat and it was the most rewarding time being on the show. The challenge also reminded me where I came from because both of my grandfathers were butchers and I have always been around it.

    JE: When you are not on TV, you help your family with their three different restaurants: Good Stuff Eatery, Béarnaise and We, The Pizza. What are some of the similarities and differences between all three restaurants?
    CSM: I think that the similarity for all three restaurants is the philosophy of food: simple menus but done very differently and locally. We have fun with our concepts and we do not take ourselves too seriously. The major differences are the themes of each restaurant. We, the Pizza is a pizza joint, while Béarnaise focuses on classic French food and the Good Stuff Eatery focuses on the nostalgia of American favorites.

    JE: Some of my readers are aspiring chefs and are looking to go into the restaurant industry. What are some of the most important qualities that you look at when you hire employees?
    CSM: When I hire employees, I look to see if they have a great work ethic and look to see if they have a great attitude. I think anyone can step into a kitchen as long as they are willing to work very hard. They also need to be able to not take themselves so seriously and learn how to have fun.

    JE: Could you share how you create a dish from conception to table with my readers?
    CSM: I get inspired throughout the day. When I am not cooking, I am spending a good majority of my time coming up with new menu items. It is always a fun process. For instance, I just came up with a special involving pig’s feet. All three restaurants had a different dish highlighting pig’s feet. I thought about the texture of pig’s feet and thought that making it crispy would be a great idea.

    To the dish, I added sautéed leeks, more pork and bacon plus some mustard, which has some tanginess to cut down the fat of the crispy pig’s feet. Then, I wanted to play off of all of the richness in the dish, so I served it with pickled vegetables. I always try to use balance when coming up with a dish. If I had a dish that is fatty, it will always be paired with something acidic or pickled.

    JE: You collaborated with your sister, Micheline, on “The Good Stuff Cookbook.” How important was it to showcase your diversity in your cookbook?
    CSM: The cookbook’s main purpose was not really about showing off our diversity as chefs, it was about showing what the Good Stuff Eatery was about. We touched on the family aspect of the restaurant and the meaning that Good Stuff Eatery has to us. There are a lot of family recipes that used to belong to my uncles and my grandfathers. Our family’s past helped me reunite with my family after years and years of doing our own thing to come together. All of us combined our expertise on fine dining and fast food together to create something that was easygoing, and we had a lot of fun with it. To be able to have a cookbook that gave readers…an inside look into my family’s creative process was probably the most meaningful accomplishment in my career.

    JE: If you had the chance to meet with aspiring chefs who want to go into the restaurant industry or the culinary world, what advice would you share with them?
    CSM: My advice to aspiring chefs is before they do any culinary school and spend a lot of money is to get a job in the business. Whether it is in one of your favorite restaurants or a restaurant that peaks your curiosity, work for a year straight before you commit your life to the industry. This is a very grueling business and people like to fantasize that it is not. I want to make sure that they know what they are getting themselves into because it is not glamorous as they imagined it would be.

  • Discover the Food Scene in Washington DC


    Carrying the prestigious title of the capital of the United States, Washington DC is home to many of the country’s treasured monuments, memorials and buildings. However, right alongside these impressive structures is Washington’s dynamic food scene. Bursting with creative cafes, lively restaurants and good old fashioned eateries, it seems Washington has embraced a culture of feasting. From American staples to the sweetest of treats, Washington DC will delight foodies of all ages.

    Here is our list of top spots in Washington DC to satisfy those hunger pains.

    Committed to freshness, fellowship and friendliness, the Good Stuff Eatery celebrates true American fare. This is the place to go to enjoy handmade burgers, hand cut fries and hand spun ice cream shakes. The restaurant’s farmhouse burgers are served with red tomatoes, onion, crisp lettuce and pickles topped with a spoonful of Good Stuff Sauce, on a freshly baked Pennsylvania Dutch bun. However it’s the signature shakes that keep people talking, in particular the popular Toasted Marshmallow Shake. This creamy drink combines the taste of campfire s’mores with custard, a hint of sour cream and vanilla, finished off with a delicious charred marshmallow. Other milkshakes flavours on the menu include the Milky Way Melt, Salty Caramel Kiss and Vietnamese Coffee.


  • 5 Adult Milkshakes to Try Now

    So far, this summer has seen the freedom of Lindsay Lohan, the return of Breaking Bad (thankgodthankgodthankgod), Anthony Weiner (seriously, we are done with you) and the birth of a child on the platform at L’Enfant Plaza.

    Add to the frizzy hair, forehead acne, pit stains, and all-around sweaty dishevelment that we endure annually, we totally deserve a treat (or five).  And those treats are called milkshakes. With booze.  They make everyone feel better. Celebrate the end of summer with these shaketails around the District:

    ...

    And for those of you who just want an unadulterated milkshake in its virgin state because they-are-just-fine-the-way-they-are-meant-to-be-damnit, there’s the heavenly Toasted Marshmallow and Red Velvet ($5.45, pictured) milkshakes from Good Stuff Eatery.


  • New noms to beat the Leo’s blues


    With summer over, Hoyas will descend on campus ready to figure out how best to avoid Leo’s while also avoiding starvation. Lucky, Georgetown restaurateurs provided a solution. M Street boasts an ample selection of Zagat-rated restaurants that you can explore, but, for those looking for a quick meal (and maybe some munchies), many new selections made their way in over the summer.

    Hillterns are already familiar with the Good Stuff Eatery, which has a location on Capitol Hill. Newly opened this summer, the M Street location of Good Stuff is looking like a force to be reckoned with. They have a sizable selection of burgers, including a gloriously unhealthy vegetarian choice that comes with a deep-fried, cheese-stuffed mushroom patty. They’ve also got some delicious fries, seasoned to perfection, with dip options from ketchup to Sriracha mayonnaise. Then, of course, there are the shakes. Handspun and topped with a scoop of homemade whipped cream, the shake may just be worth the $6 you drop for it. Among their quirky flavors are the Toasted Marshmallow, Soursop Hop Strawberry, and Salty Caramel Kiss.


  • Good Stuff Eatery Opening Monday in Georgetown


    Georgetown Patch

    Good Stuff Eatery will open its Georgetown restaurant Monday at 3291 M St NW, its third DC-area location.

    “We are thrilled to be opening our third location in such a dynamic and community centric neighborhood,” Chef Spike Mendelsohn said in a press release.

    The restaurant's menu includes a variety of burgers as well as hand-cut fries and handspun shakes.

    Special features of the Georgetown location of Good Stuff Eatery include an entire wall made of reclaimed barn wood from Maryland. Additionally the restaurants "Creamery" will be located on the second level visible from the 50 seats available for customers. The in-house creamery will be churning homemade custard daily for milkshakes.

    The new location opens about five years after Mendelsohn's first, which is located on Capitol Hill. The second restaurant opened in Crystal City in 2012.


  • Good Stuff Eatery's Georgetown Location to Open Monday

    DCist

    The Georgetown location of Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery will open on Monday, just over two years after the expansion was announced.

    Good Stuff Eatery opened on Capitol Hill in 2008 and expanded to Crystal City in Arlington. last year. The Georgetown store, located at 3291 M Street NW, will open its doors Monday, Mendelsohn said in a tweet.

    During his time in D.C., Mendelsohn, one of the many Top Chef alumni who calls the city home, has also opened We, The Pizza and, more recently, Béarnaise.


  • Good Stuff Eatery Opening Late July in Georgetown

    Georgetown Patch

    Good Stuff Eatery could be open in Georgetown by late July.

    The latest restaurant location for Chef Spike Mendelsohn is located at 3291 M St. NW in Georgetown.

    Signs at the front door announce that they are hiring and staff said they expect to bring on 30 or possibly more employees to run what they anticipate will be a very busy location.

  • Examiner: Good Stuff Eatery

    Examiner 

    Good Stuff Eatery takes the old fashioned burgers, shakes and floats and turns it into a deliciously hip place to eat! With two locations: Capitol Hill and Crystal City and open from 11am-11pm you can satiate your burgers and fries hankering fairly quickly!

    Chef Spike Mendelsohn from Top Chef has really created a nice niche especially at the Capitol Hill location, with his other restaurant We, the Pizza right next door. At the Capitol Hill location, the crux of the dining and the bathrooms are located up the stairs on the second level, so be mindful of baby strollers or wheelchairs.

    A short order eatery, you wait in line to place and pay for your order and salivate over the scent of the food being made to order. A simple menu with a few handcrafted burgers and then a handful of original burgers are sure to meet any burger lovers’ specific desire. Trying to stick to a diet? Not a problem here, any burger can be requested as “shun the bun” and it will be lettuce wrapped. Any burger can be substituted with grilled chicken as well as a turkey burger and vegetarian burger option on the menu too. If that still isn’t enough, Good Stuff offers four salads that can be personalized to no end! The sides are simple yet dynamic; Spikes Village Fries, Sunny’s Hand Cut Fries, Uncle D’s Famous Chili, and Cliff’s Homegrown Vidalia Onion Petals allow diners to tailor their meal.

    Colletti’s Smokehouse Burger ($6.98) was smoky, sweet and delicious. The handmade burger patty was tender, flavorful and juicy, and the chipotle BBQ sauce added a nice sweetness against the sweet undertones of the Applewood bacon. Paired with Spike’s Village Snack Fry ($2.49) hand cut fries topped with thyme, rosemary, and sea salt; this was a match made in heaven! With signature ketchups like mango, chipotle, and Sriracha, taste buds experience a layering of flavors that is unmatched.

    After the entrée is done, the grand finale: a handspun shake or a float! The Oreo cookie shake ($5.45) is both refreshing and decadent with real Oreo bits and a whole Oreo to top it off, this is a shake that makes you want to sit back, put your feet up and enjoy! A kids shake “Mini moo” ($3.95) is also available for the kids to enjoy.

    Good Stuff Eatery is exactly that, good stuff! It’s a great way to enjoy “fast food” the old fashioned way and catch up with some old friends and family over a delicious all American meal!


  • City Eats: Little Bites: Spike Mendelsohn’s Steakhouse Burger with Onion Straws

    City Eats's The Plate DC

    by Nevin Martell

    Oftentimes chefs don’t want to cook another meal when they get home after an arduous 12-hour stretch behind the burners. But throwing together a comforting snack to help take the edge off the day is another proposition entirely. These scrumptious nibbles don’t require a degree from the Culinary Institute of America to make, but they’re worthy of winning a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge.

    This week’s recipe comes from Spike Mendelsohn, who has competed in more than a few Quickfire Challenges. The chef-owner of Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza is on the verge of opening his Cap Hill steak frites concept Béarnaise, but was kind enough to take a minute out from his hectic schedule to share this recipe for his Steakhouse Burger with Onion Straws. We’re sure that Tom, Gail and Padma would love it.

    Steakhouse Burger with Onion Straws

    Serves four

    Ingredients:

    • 3 yellow onions
    • 1 pint buttermilk
    • 1 cup flour
    • Salt and pepper
    • Vegetable oil
    • 2 cups mayonnaise
    • ½ cup A1 steak sauce
    • ¾ tsp lemon juice
    • Cremini Mushrooms
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 beef patties
    • 4 sesame seed buns
    • 4 slices of Swiss cheese

    Ingredients:
  • First prepare the onion straws by cutting yellow onions horizontally into 1/16″ slices. In a large bowl, cover the onion slices in buttermilk. Then, dredge through a mixture of flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Fry in a deep pan filled with vegetable oil.
  • Make the steakhouse sauce by thoroughly combining mayonnaise, A1 steak sauce, and lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste.
  • Preheat extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan. Quarter cremini mushrooms. Add mushrooms to pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat. Allow to mushrooms to brown, then reduce and caramelize until there is a rich brown coating. Remove mushrooms from heat and set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet with olive oil to medium. Place beef patties onto skillet. Season the patties with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, flip and then cook for one minute. Add cremini mushrooms on top of the burger and then top each burger with a slice of Swiss cheese. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes for medium-rare doneness. Cover with a lid for the last 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
  • In the meantime, toast your buns. Set aside.
  • To assemble a burger, place one patty on a toasted bun bottom. Top the patty with the onion straws and a dollop of the steakhouse sauce. Cover with the bun top.

  • Nylon: 'Shroom Burger


    ‘SHROOM BURGER BY GOOD STUFF EATERY

    We met Chef Spike Mendelsohn about the time he started his Top Chef fueled rise to recognition. It was long before his restaurants Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza became “must visit” places in Washington DC. It was before the Obamas visited his flagship for the first time (they’re regulars now) and ended up with their own namesake burger. I guess you could say we knew him when…but the topic of today’s nosh-related obsession is his Good Stuff ‘Shroom Burger. If you check out the burger shrine’s menu HERE you’ll notice immediately that every item this place has put together is a signature creation. The ‘Shroom is portabello top stuffed with muenster and cheddar with a flash fried panko crust. The farm fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion accompany this masterpiece atop a a fresh Pennsylvania Dutch bun. This un-burger burger is so good you might consider taking a break from the traditional hamburger forever. As you can see from the picture above the Good Stuff professionals provide an array of incredible signature sauces, which of course are not needed but trying everything is always encouraged by these foodies. Of course no burger is complete with out the companion of Village fries topped with fresh thyme, rosemary, and sea salt. If you’re smart you’ll fast until your visit and conclude the meal with a Toasted Marshmallow shake–it tastes even better than you are imagining it right now. We’re proud of our buddy Spike and his families fast growing food empire, since you can often catch his mom Cathy at the restaurant being all sweet and mom-like to everyone, she’s really rad. Check for locations HERE and plan your trip to Good Stuff immediately!

    By Josh Madden 


  • Where to Eat at Reagan National Airport (DCA)


    People love flying into Reagan National Airport because of the view of the monuments downtown upon landing and the airport's accessibility via its own stop on Washington's Metrorail station. But while being teeny tiny means security lines can move swiftly, it also means there are fewer decent options when it comes to food. Still, there are a few gems within the airport itself and, conveniently, there are several restaurants worth visiting within reach for those travelers facing long layovers and delays.


    Good Stuff Eatery: Tourists may be familiar with chef Spike Mendelsohn from Top Chef and the Food Network. His expanding Good Stuff Eatery chain now includes Crystal City, where customers can get burgers and fries alongside the restaurant's popular milkshakes, which come in such flavors as toasted marshmallow. (2110 Crystal Drive; about 5-10 minutes from airport).


  • Horton's Kids brings lawmakers, local celebs to Nationals Park


    Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., CNN hostJake Tapper, and D.C. chef Spike Mendelsohn all donned Nationals helmets and swung a bat on Wednesday night for the annual Home Runs for Horton's Kids at Nationals Park.

    Organizers estimate the event raises about a third of the budget for Horton's Kids activities, such as mentoring, health services, and food deliveries for families living in Anacostia. Tapper and Mendelsohn, who have both volunteered for the nonprofit, spoke and, in the latter's case, sang for the cause.

    After his off-tune rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," Yeas & Nays asked the former "Top Chef" competitor how he got talked into singing on the jumbo scoreboard.

    "I'm a sucker," Mendelsohn said. "Sucker just in general, but especially if there's kids involved."

    Mendelsohn said that after he first opened Good Stuff Eatery he wanted togive back to the community that welcomed him.

    "The irony was that Ward 8 was maybe like a seven minute drive away from my restaurant," he said. "Everything was happening so well right there on Capitol Hill, but across the bridge in Ward 8 is very depressing."

    Mendelsohn said Horton's Kids creates opportunities those kids will grab and run with -- and run they did, beating the Nationals' giant-headed Teddy, who usually runs with the presidents, but on Wednesday raced the kids on field.

    Washington Examiner 

  • Horton’s Kids to Take Over Nationals Park

    Thirteen members of Congress and more than 60 staffers will join CNN’s Jake Tapper and celebuchef Spike Mendelsohn to hit up the 5th annual Home Runs for Horton’s Kids.

    Mendelsohn will help fete Horton’s Kids at Nationals Park. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

    The invite-only Nationals Park event, scheduled for Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., will raise money for the Ward 8 charity, which provides direct services on the Capitol campus for about 500 children and families in D.C.’s Anacostia neighborhood.

    Several of the Horton’s kids and families will join the congressional posse of fun, which will include Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Reps. James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., Dan Kildee, D-Mich., Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Cynthia M. Lummis, R-Wyo., Jack Kingston, R-Ga., Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla., and Joe L. Barton, R-Texas.

    The young and the young at heart will be able to participate in on-the-field batting practice, indoor batting cages, face painting, arts and crafts, a silent auction and a Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 kiosk.

    Washington Nationals mascot Screech and Racing President Teddy will also be there. Special treat, kids: Mendelsohn, a former “Top Chef” contestant and owner of Capitol Hill mainstays Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza, will create a special signature drink for the night. He will also lead the children in a rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

    No word on how many drinks Spike will need to pound before the public singing can commence.

  • Legislative! Judicial! Executive! Bars!

    When most tourists invade our nation's capitol, they want to spend time inside the buildings where "laws" are made. But anyone who knows anything certainly knows that it's far better to view them from the outside, whilst loaded with booze. So we drummed up a dead-simple commuter tour that will take you -- and your drinks -- to the best bars near the three branches of government.




    If you're already having trouble focusing on the Statue of Freedom above the Capitol building rotunda in the distance, lay a solid foundation for the big day ahead by dropping by Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery (just Northwest up the road) for burgers, handcut fries, and OG shakes.


  • Snackshot of the Day: Good Stuff Eatery's 'Shroom Burger


    The 'Shroom Burger from Good Stuff Eatery is better than Shake Shack's, hands down.

    The Daily Meal's editors, contributors, and readers dig into some pretty great restaurants, festivals, and meals. There's not always enough time to give a full review of a restaurant or describe in depth why a place, its food, and the people who prepare it are noteworthy, so Snackshot of the Day does what photographs do best, rely on the image to do most of the talking.

    Today's Snackshot is of Good Stuff Eatery's 'Shroom Burger. Good Stuff is the restaurant of favorite Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn. There are two locations in Washington, D.C. (Capitol Hill and Crystal City, and a third coming soon to Georgetown), and one in the works in Philadelphia. The 'Shroom Burger they serve is among the best out there. It's two big portobellos stuffed with Meunster and American cheese, fried to perfection, and topped with their signature Good Stuff sauce.


  • Mike Isabella, Bart Vandaele and Spike Mendelsohn made the WHCD rounds


    Four members of D.C.’s “Top Chef” contingent helped exhausted journalists and government types relax from a whirlwind weekend of White House Correspondents’ Dinner events Sunday morning. Spike Mendelsohn, Mike Isabella, Bryan Voltaggio and Bart Vandaele joined the Reuters/Yahoo News brunch atop the Hay-Adams Hotel, passing out dishes inspired by politicos and talking new restaurants.

    Mendelsohn, likewise, took a fairly unexpected approach. No burgers or pizza for this brunch; instead, an airy artichoke cappuccino with truffle oil creme. The dish was a nod to his upcoming Bearnaise Restaurant, a steak frites joint on Capitol Hill near Good Stuff Eatery and We The Pizza.


  • A Break from Red Meat: 12 Non-Beef Burgers to Try


    Sometimes it's time to switch up the burger routine and step away from the beef. From burgers made from poultry to those featuring morsels of the sea, here are some unique burger choices on area menus — no cows allowed. Is a shrimp burger really a burger? It's open to debate, but here are some options for the non-purists.

  • Eater Readers Pick Their 25 Favorite French Fries


  • CITY GUIDES WASHINGTON


    Good Stuff Eatery: Although you aren’t supposed to eat dessert before your meal, we give you permission to go straight for the toasted marshmallow milkshake; just be sure to finish it off with one of their handcrafted burgers. The ‘shroom burger with muenster, cheddar and stuffed portobello mushrooms topped with the secret Good Stuff sauce has our vote.


  • Big Morning Buzz Live: Katie Lee & Spike Mendelsohn's Road Trip Competition

  • U.S. News Talks to Top Chef

  • Chef Spike To Participate In 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll

  • Good Stuff Eatery Coming Soon to Georgetown

    By Examiner

    Good Stuff Eatery will be opening its third location in Georgetown in spring 2013. The burger and shake diner is owned and operated by mother and son Cathy and Spike Mendelsohn. The first location opened in Capitol Hill in July 2008. Good Stuff Eatery is a place where food is handcrafted rather than served in an assembly line.

    A visit at the Capitol Hill location felt like an assembly line. It was packed on Saturday. The line to place an order was long. After placing an order, you wait for the food to arrive in bags on a red tray. While you wait in line, you see how the cooks actually prepare the food. That's a good thing. Seating can be difficult. You may find yourself waiting for an empty table.

    The blazin' barn is a beef burger with pickled daikon and carrots and seasoned with mint, cilantro, and basil thyme. It was good but not much kick. Spike's village fries were the best. The combination of thyme, rosemary and sea salt was delightful. Forgo using ketchup on fries. Spike's village fries are best dipped in Old Bay mayo (which is the best mayo!), sriracha mayo, and sriracha hot chili sauce.

    The toasted marshmallow shake is a good choice It tasted like heaven. One can imaging floating on a cloud while drinking this shake. It would be nice to have the ingredients listed on their shakes.

    There is no need to super size because the food served is a reasonable portion and it's worth the money.


  • Restaurant Spotlight: Good Stuff Eatery

    Burgers and shakes are an easy sell. They’re cheap, delicious, and so wrapped up in Americana that the thought of enjoying either elicits a nostalgic grin. In the Washington, D.C. area, there’s no shortage of burger joints ready to grill up bun-bound, cheese-covered, beefy masterpieces. It takes something special to stand out from the crowd. And Good Stuff Eatery, with its farm-fresh ingredients and fun and tasty burger recipes, has found a way to distinguish itself.

    The growing venture, the brainchild of “Top Chef” alum Spike Mendelsohn, put down roots in Crystal City last summer after the 2008 opening of its flagship Capitol Hill location (and a Georgetown spot is expected soon).

    On a late weekend evening at the Crystal City location, customers fill the restaurant, chatting between burger bites over the sound of upbeat tunes and the sizzle of the grill. The restaurant is urban-loft-meets-rural-barn. The grill sits behind a long, stainless steel counter that runs parallel to a large farmhouse-style communal table. Over the dining area, ceiling joists suggest the shape of a barn, but the comically oversized cowbell emblazoned with the signature Good Stuff cow logo hanging above the soda fountain area says it loudly. But the restaurant’s “not far from the farm” motto goes beyond décor.

    One bite of the Farmhouse Burger ($5.95) says it all. The lettuce and onion slices are crisp, the tomato is flavorful, and it’s all undeniably fresh. But the toppings are just an accent to a well-seasoned, well-grilled beef patty. Topped with a bit of house special sauce, the Farmhouse Burger is quality in simplicity (but adding some American cheese or Applewood bacon for a few cents more won’t hurt).

    For diners looking for more fun on their bun, the Original Burgers selection offers 10 clever creations. The Prez Obama Burger ($6.98) shows the care Good Stuff takes in balancing the flavors of its toppings. The horseradish sauce could easily be too overpowering, but instead it gives the burger just a breath of heat. The onion marmalade could be too sweet, but it’s tempered by tangy Roquefort cheese and savory, crunchy Applewood bacon. It’s all combined atop a delicious beef patty and within a pillowy potato roll that’s sauce-soaked at the edges but still clinging on to this mighty burger creation. Other burger feats follow: a Steakhouse Burger that isn’t dominated by onion straws or sauce ($7.25), and the Blazin’ Barn ($6.98) that combines pickled daikon and carrots and herbs with spicy mayonnaise for a light and fresh burger that packs potent heat.

    Burgers and fries are a match made, and Good Stuff doesn’t disappoint in the French fry category. The hand-cut fries are offered up two ways: Sunny’s Handcut Fries ($3.69), simply fried and sea-salt dusted, and the Spike’s Village Fries ($3.79), which gets almost as creative with toppings as the burgers. Here, fresh thyme, rosemary, and sea salt combine for a blend whose herby aroma is unmistakable, even if it’s buried deep in a take-away bag. It’s a pleasant way to dress up the fries, which are just crispy enough and fried to a light brown. The dipping bar is an added bonus, and goes far beyond the standard ketchup and mustard (think chipotle mayonnaise, Old Bay mayonnaise, and the list goes on).

    Any burger can become a meal for a few dollars more with a snack-sized portion of either of the fries and a small shake, an excellent way to sample the restaurant’s hand-spun milkshakes. Vanilla and chocolate are covered, but with options like Salty Caramel Kiss and Toasted Marshmallow, it’s hard to stick with the classics. The honest, rich cream flavor comes through in these thick shakes, and the dollop of whipped cream is – like fun toppings on a stellar burger and good food made with great ingredients – icing on the cake.

    Good Stuff Eatery is located at 2110 Crystal Drive, Arlington. For more information, call 703-415-4663 or visit goodstuffeatery.com/crystal-city. Restaurant hours are Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.


  • We Swear to Uphold Massive Amounts of Burger Consumption

    We’ve been chowing down on these suckers for years now and even after all our conquests, it’s still one of our top picks. And since there’s now a Crystal City joint to satiate our fix (not to mention, a G-Town spot on the way), our consumption levels are at an all-time high.

    Screw term limits– Prez Obama burgers for life.

    Read more 


  • BILB: PREZ OBAMA EDITION

    In honor of the presidential inauguration Sunday and the festivities today, we’re highlighting one of our favorite burger concoctions in D.C.: the Prez Obama burger from Good Stuff Eatery.

    It made its debut back in 2008 when Spike’s beefy creations for Obama and McCain went bun-to-bun against each other in Good Stuff’s own burger election. Much like the real deal, the Obama burger won in a landslide and it soon became a permanent addition to the Good Stuff lineup.

    It’s not a real attractive thing but then again none of Good Stuff’s burgers are all that pretty. Fortunately, looks don’t coincide with taste. The toppings come together with the beef in a gooey, sloppy hot mess, but damn, it’s a hell of a delicious hot mess.

    More here

  • A Trendy Turn in Obama’s Town

    SOON after President Obama places his hand on the Lincoln Bible on Monday, he will join lawmakers for a luncheon of steamed lobster, hickory-grilled bison and New England chowder in the Capitol’s ornate Statuary Hall.

    Meanwhile, in the trendy corridors of this city, the Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill will be gearing up to serve its signature Prez Obama Burger (with applewood bacon and Roquefort cheese) and its Michelle Melt turkey burger (free range, of course, on a whole wheat bun), the staff at the Boundary Road restaurant on H Street Northeast will be pouring craft beers from Baltimore and Brooklyn, and at the U Street Music Hall, the rock music will be playing long after the swearing-in is over.

    None of these places existed before 2008.

    That was the year when Barack Obama won his first election and started putting together an administration that would soon replace that of President George W. Bush. And for many of Mr. Obama’s young supporters, this secondinauguration — and its revelries — are symbols of the transformation of the nation’s capital into a younger and livelier city.


    More here

  • PBS: Politics and Pizza: An Insider's Tour of Washington

    Visiting Washington, D.C. for the Inauguration? NewsHour political editor Christina Bellantoni gives an insider's guide to sites that are off the beaten tourist path. She visits the best places to get grub, meet the the locals and rub elbows with some real politicos. Take her cue and you just may find yourself lunching on a half smoke next to a Supreme Court justice.

    • Good Stuff Eatery: NewsHour recommends the Milky Way milkshake, plus the Village Snack Fries with Sriracha dipping sauce
  • Serious Eats: Where to Eat in D.C. Near the National Mall on Inauguration Day


    Face it, if you're planning on attending the inauguration on Monday, you should be bracing yourself for crowds of biblical proportions. It may not be projected to be nearly as packed as Obama's first go around, but don't expect getting around to be easy. That said, don't let the patriotic hysteria keep you from enjoying a few good meals in the nation's capital. Since many of the Metro stations in the immediate vicinity of the National Mall will be closed the day of, here's a list of good bets within walking distance.

    Good Stuff Eatery: Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn's popular burger joint that's spitting distance from the Capitol building. Obama themed burgers, rosemary and thyme seasoned fries, and toasted marshmallow shakes.

    303 Pennsylvanie Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003; 202-543-8222;


  • Beyond Obama's oath, what to see and taste in DC


    ___

    Where to Eat

    Restaurants across the city will brag that the president and first lady have dined in them. Tourism officials have put together an itinerary for visitors to "Play in President Obama's Backyard" with some of their favorite dining spots.

    Organic eatery Restaurant Nora, Blue Duck Tavern and BLT Steak have all been Obama picks for date nights. During the campaign, the president took supporters from battleground states to dinner in the hip H Street Northeast neighborhood.

    For a quicker meal, the president and first lady have been known to grab a burger at Chef Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill or at Five Guys. The president's favorite pizza is said to be the St. Louis-based District of Pi, which opened a spot in downtown Washington after he moved to the White House.

    http://washington.org/dc-itinerary/dc-itinerary-play-president-obamas-backyard


  • Cayman Cookout: The food fest circuit's hottest ticket Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

    Cayman Cookout: The food fest circuit's hottest ticket

    Picture the ultimate winter get-away in the Caribbean. Then throw in 30-plus celebrity chefs, including Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert and Spike Mendelsohn and you have, quite possibly, the hottest ticket in the culinary fest circuit.

    Grand Cayman’s 5th annual “Cayman Cookout” (January 17-20) features four days of beachfront brunching, lunching and dining on fresh Caribbean cuisine … no shoes required.

    What makes this Caribbean food and wine festival stand out from the all the others? Organizers say that’s simple: intimacy.

    “This one you can literally walk up and have a beer with your culinary icon, you really can get up close and personal to your favorite celeb chef,” says Nancy Harrison, Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, the host hotel for the event.

    The idea for a more intimate gathering came from the event’s ringleader, Chef Eric Ripert, best known for his Michelin rated restaurant Le Bernardin in New York City. Chef Ripert’s loyalty to the Cayman Islands started seven years ago after vacationing there for the first time. One year later he opened “Blue” at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in the Caribbean.

    “It is remarkable to see Cayman Cookout evolve over the past five years. Each year, the line-up is more and more impressive. Before we would extend invitations to my colleagues and today they are reaching out to me to be a part of the fun. It is one of my favorite weeks of the year,” says Chef Ripert.

    Tickets to the culinary fest aren’t cheap, but well worth the price for the more than 3,000 die-hard foodies who travel from Canada, the U.S. and South America to attend. One event not to miss is the official kickoff “Barefoot BBQ” party held at the Royal Palms restaurant on Grand Cayman’s exquisite Seven Mile Beach. Chefs Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert and Jose Andres work their culinary magic on grill stations at the waters edge then guests wade into crystal blue sea to get their food and indulge, then relax the night away. Tickets are $299.

    Without question, the ultimate daytime event is “Burgers in Paradise.” Guests board red-sailed catamarans and head out over the island’s North Sound to visit one of Cayman’s top tourist destinations, Stingray City. After snorkeling and swimming with the stingrays, guests re-board the catamarans and sail to Rum Point to experience a burger-lovers well…. paradise on a private beach.

    Chef Spike Mendelsohn says there couldn’t be a more perfect setting. “I grew up with a lot of locals from this island we all went to military school together... (I’m) looking forward to hanging with some of them at Rum Point and taking a fishing trip,” he said. Burgers in Paradise tickets are $329.

    The four days of over-indulging wraps up on Sunday with a Champagne Brunch & Cook-Off Brunch where local chef-testants compete for the title of Grand Cayman’s own amateur "Top Chef" at the Ritz Carlton. Tickets are $195. Next year’s Cayman Cookout is set for January 16-20, 2014.

    For a more cost-friendly culinary option consider the Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival at Camana Bay.

    The casual, day-long event showcases island creations from roughly 35 local restaurants, attracting close to 5,000 people. Take a break from eating and learn about the island culture while listening to live music and sipping on rum crafted by the Cayman Islands Distillery. A chance to witness the festival’s “Heavy Cake Competition” is reason alone to attend. A taste of the Cayman’s famous heavy cake (a classic Caribbean dessert made with cassava (local plant) coconut milk and brown sugar) will likely leave you wanting more and also dreaming about your next trip to the Caribbean’s culinary capital. Taste of Cayman tickets cost approx, $50. The Taste of Cayman serves as a fundraiser for the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.



  • An inauguration visitor’s guide to D.C. food, drink and sightseeing

    You can also eat Obama-inspired meals: the Obama Burger, a creation of Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, at his Capitol Hill burger and shake restaurant Good Stuff Eatery, pays homage to Obama’s highbrow taste with onion marmalade, roquefort cheese and horseradish mayo.


  • DIY Inauguration Party: The Best Spots to Get Deep-Dish, Burgers, and Other On-Theme Treat

    Missing the big bucks and black-tie gear required to attend a presidential ball? That shouldn’t stop you from getting into the spirit over inauguration weekend. Grab a few friends and party like the 47 percent—entitled to (delicious) food and drink. We’ve rounded up White House-themed eats and sips for throwing your own festivities, from gallons of Ben’s chili to Chicago dogs to stand-in brews for the President’s much-prized Honey Ale.

    Burgers

    If this balmy weather holds up, you may just be grilling on your inauguration/Martin Luther King Day off. Even if you’re pan-frying your patties, follow tips for the perfect burger from Ray’s Hell-Burger owner Michael Landrum, who has hosted the President on two occasions. Feel more like carrying out for the crowd? Make like the First Family and pick up sandwiches at Good Stuff Eatery, where the likes of a bacon-and-Roquefort-topped Prez Obama Burger can be had to stay or go.


  • Spike Mendelsohn's unique holiday recipes


    HOW IS LIFE AFTER TOP CHEF?
    Celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn talks cooking, holidays, life after Top Chef and more. Find out what he's been up to since becoming a fan favorite.

    You probably remember Spike Mendelsohn from Top Chef, but he's been very busy since his season 4 appearance. You can now find him starring in Bravo's Life After Top Chef. He was a recent competitor on Food Network's Next Iron Chef.

    And if multiple television shows aren't enough, he's also opening a new restaurant, Bearnaise, in Washington D.C. Still, Spike had time to talk to us about all this and more, sharing some holiday cooking advice and a few one-of-a-kind recipes, featuring Captain Morgan Rum that are sure to impress your holiday guests.

    SheKnows: How is life different after Top Chef? What's changed?

    Spike Mendelsohn: Life after Top Chef has been a complete turnaround for me. Before I went on the show, I was cooking in a New York City kitchen, running from one restaurant to the next. Going on the show gave me the opportunity to gain some notoriety and be able to have some marketing with my name. It opened the gates to so many opportunities. Now I own my own restaurants, and I'm opening a new one soon. I get to travel the world, participate in food festivals and do all sorts of charity events. It truly made my career, and when you're presented with an opportunity, you just have to take it and run with it. Top Chef gave me that opportunity, not only for me, but for everyone around me. It helped support my entire family, my friends. It's something truly unique.

    SK: When you're busy filming, what do you miss most about being in the restaurant?"I come from a classic French background, where the importance of really delicious sauces is at the forefront of food."

    SM: When I'm busy filming, I miss yelling at people in the kitchen (laughs). I miss the hustle, the rush of service and burning myself and having to put food out on time. Being on the line is an adrenaline rush and is something you wouldn't understand unless you were a chef. That's part of the reason why I'm opening a new restaurant. It allows me to be in the kitchen a lot more, as opposed to the fast casual restaurants I've been doing. I've been in the kitchen since I was 13 years old, so having a break these past three years from the everyday kitchen life has been really unique and a great learning experience. I've gotten to learn the business a lot more and how to build a restaurant. I enjoy both sides now.

    SK: What is the concept for Bearnaise?

    SM: Bearnaise is a classical steak frites restaurant out of Paris. It's a prix fixe menu that really takes the essence of a Parisian-style steak frites restaurant and replicates it in the United States. We're changing it up a little bit to provide more options and do a couple different things, but for the most part it's going to stay pretty classic. For instance, we're going to have French onion soup, classic walnut salad, different types of steak frites with all sorts of sauces. It'll be a steak frites place with my take on it, so I'm pretty excited about it.

    SK: What tips would you give home cooks for making holiday dinners less stressful?

    SM: My biggest tip is that you don't have to do it all by yourself. Ask your guests to bring something to eliminate some of the items off your prep list. If you want a sweet potato casserole or some mashed potatoes, ask someone to make it and bring it with them. I think that makes it a little more interactive and fun too, when people get to bring their sides and their sauces. Also, don't wait until the last minute to prep everything. Think about leftovers and how great those taste. Making things a day or two ahead always helps, and that food will only get better with time. Throw the stuffing together the day before and have it already made, so when you wake up in the morning you can just reheat it.

    SK: What are your favorite holiday dishes to prepare?

    SM: My favorite holiday dish to prepare is stuffing. I think they're so delicious, and I also love to make sauces. I'm known for my holiday sauces, like the gravy, red wine sauces and reductions. I come from a classic French background, where the importance of really delicious sauces is at the forefront of food.

  • NBC Decision 2012: Ragin' Cajun vs. Sharp & Sassy

    View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.



  • Chef Spike on Recipe Rehab

  • The Next Iron Chef: Transformation

    THE CHRON

    The contestants arrive in the kitchen to find the altar is stocked – with canned meats. There is pâté, clams, ham, SPAM… and three sets of cans with question marks on them.  What is this – MYSTERY MEAT!? Will somebody end up with Pink slime?

    Also, why didn’t they do this in a featured foodie locale – say, for example, one of the shuttered BPI plants.

    AB then announces the theme of tonight’s Chairman’s Challenge: redeem canned meats using Transformation.

    In other words, the Iron Chef wannabes have to turn a Steaming Pile o’ Turds into a sweet-smelling bouquet of roses.

    The contestants pick their poison choose their cans. As the winner of last week’s Challenge, Chef Frietag gets theSignificant Advantage of picking her can last. She has the option of stealing someone else’s can, but decides she wants them to fail with what they chose, so she chooses corned beef.

    One hour is put on the clock, and it is time to cook: GO!

    And: cooking happens. In other news:

    Chefs FoamBoy and Spike decide to form an “alliance.” Which the other contestants feel obligated to comment on. The scary thought? These things normally end up on the other Reality TeeVee shows with one member stabbing another in the back. And these contestants? Use real knives.

    Chefs Spike and Falkner explain how important Transformation is to an Iron Chef. Apparently, it is very important.

    Fun Fact: Chef Freitag DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO OPEN A CAN OF CORNED BEEF (“Oh, there’s a key on the bottom of the can! D’oh!“)

    Ding! Cooking is done, and it is time for Tasting and Judgement.

    Chef Falkner (Roast Beef) – First up, Roast Beef with Bordelaise Sauce. The judges like it. No… they LOVE it! I’m guessing there will be no Secret Ingredient Showdown for her this week.

    Chef Freitag (Corned Beef) – Presents her Homage to Corned Beef. Iron Chef Zakarian liked it. But, did sheTransform it? Or was it just a garnish?

    Chef Spike (Vienna Sausage) – He goes Asian again, with a Vietnamese Vienna Sausage Crepe. Simon Majumdar comments that the heat is very pronounced. Chef Spike hits the Room In Which Side-bars Happen to explain that his sauces are never unbalanced. Iron Chef Zakarian: it would have been better “as an omelette.”

    Chef Mehta (Chicken) – He delivers a Chicken Pakora w/curry rice. Donatella Arpaia: it is “perfect.” Iron Chef Zakarian thinks it is a “touch of sheer genius.” Simon Majumdar observes that the “rice is overcooked.” (but, was it Transformed?)

    Chef FoamBoy (Clams) – His dish is an Acqua Pazza with clam cake. Simon Majumdar commends Chef FoamBoy on his good presentation, but says the dish is too salty. So salty, in fact, that he calls for a priest to perform an exorcism on his mouth. Donatella Arpaia and Iron Chef Zakarian agree on the level of saltiness. Mayor Bloomberg shows up with his Food Police and has Chef FoamBoy summarily executed. (OK, that last thing didn’t actually happen. But, it would have been awesome if it had.)

    Chef Appleman (Canned tuna) – He serves up Tuna Three Ways. Iron Chef Zakarian loved it. Donatella Arpaia and Simon Majumdar said it was transformative, but the results weren’t tasty.

    Chef Guarnaschelli (Spiced ham) – She made a Ravioli w/spiced ham, peas, and basil sauce. Simon Majumdar observed that it “looks like Kermit in a blender,” while Iron Chef Zakarian noted that it “tasted better than it looked.” Chef Guarnaschelli is planning her strategy for the Secret Ingredient Showdown.

    And then, Judgment is pronounced.

    Chefs Freitag, Falkner, and Mehta were on the top. Chef Falkner got the W. (Finally! Yea!) Chef Appleman was saved by the shaved tuna. Chef Guarnaschelli’s dish was lacking in flavor. But it was transformative, so sheSurvives To Cook Another Day, as well.

    Poor Chef Spike FoamBoy [thanks to readers/viewers MC and CL for the correction!] – it seems that the judges used the “I” word (“inedible”) when describing his dish. And so, it will be  Chef Spike vs. Chef FoamBoy in theSecret Ingredient Showdown. The Grand Alliance dies before it gets a good start.

    The Secret Ingredient Showdown

    The two chefs will have 30 minutes to create an amazing dish using the secret ingredient, which is… LOBSTER!Allez Cuisine! Let The Cooking Begin!

    As she puts her shattered nervous system back together, Chef Guarnaschelli quips that “This is not s Showdown – it’s a Bro-down.”

    Chef Spike, on his strategery for this segment: “I want to make the food that makes people want to go home and have the sex. Or go to sleep.”

    Chef FoamBoy breaks out the Liquid Nitrogen to cool off his hibiscus mixture. Because all about the Molecular Gastronomy, he is. Which is a good thing, as it is very Transformative.

    Chef Spike starts piping his lobster noodle into the boiling water. Will it work, or is he going to be in hot water with the judges? It works!

    Chefs FoamBoy and Spike decide to take a major risk, and plate their dishes USING THE SAME PLATE. Will they both be sent home? They seem to hope that both of them will be safe. However, it is “Iron Chef” – not “Iron Chefsssssss!”

    The other contestants, they are not amused. One of them says something about “disrespectful” and “breaking the rules.” AB looks at the whole thing, and his face gets even longer than usual. But, he notes that it will make presentation of the dishes to the judges much easier.

    Chef Spike presents his Lobster Laksa. Iron Chef Zakarian noted he “used it [lobster] in a global fashion.”Doantella said it was “well balanced.” Simon thought it was “really nourishing.”

    Chef FoamBoy presents his Lobster salad w/mango, black bean sauce and hibiscus. Simon Majumdar thought the lobster & fruit worked well, even though they shouldn’t. Iron Chef Zakarian and Donatella Arpaia also liked it.

    So, it is on to the $64,000 question: Do they hang get judged together, or separately?

    Iron Chef Zakarian thought they (the judges) got played by FoamBoy and Spike. Donatella Arpaia thought it showed arrogance on their part. AB said he would talk to the Chairman. Simon Majumdar thought that would be a good idea.

    My bet is that both of them are 86ed.

    Apparently, the Chairman had other ideas. AB coldly informs Spike and FoamBoy that the judges were not pleased. However, they had to render a decision: in this instance, they chose to reward creativity, so Chef FoamBoy Survives To Cook Another Day. However, AB says, the other contestants won’t be having his back in the future. (Unless it is for target practice, perhaps?)

    Which means that, by process of elimination, Chef Spike Will Not Be The Next Iron Chef.

    As Chef Spike takes his leave, Chef FoamBoy quips: “And then there were six.” The other contestants give him a dirty look.

    Next week, on The Next Iron Chef: it’s the Auction Challenge, redux. In a hangar. Cow heads are seen. And bid upon. The whole thing should prove completely disgusting. Which is as it should be.


  • 'Next Iron Chef' recap: The bromance wins out


    By Rene Lynch
    November 26, 2012, 9:30 a.m.

    "The Next Iron Chef" judges were clutching their pearls and reaching for the smelling salts. Why? Because Spike Mendelsohn and Marcel Vigneron dared -- dared! -- to make the best of an awful situation. Now, you could argue that the chefs were exhibiting adaptability, creativity and risk-taking, qualities befitting an Iron Chef.

    But that doesn't make for good TV.

    Instead, the judges had their knickers in a twist over the chefs' decision to plate their dishes together.

    The two chefs, who happen to be BFFs, found themselves competing against each other in the secret-ingredient showdown after they both failed miserably in an earlier challenge that required them to transform canned foods into something magical. Spike used his ingredient -- canned sausages -- as the stuffing for a Vietnamese crepe that left the judges underwhelmed.

    That showing was still far better than Marcel's: He had to transform canned clams, and came up with a clam cake that was easily one of the worst things the judges had ever put in their mouths. It was deemed inedible, and overly salty. And Judge Simon Majumdar said he might need a priest to "exorcise my mouth," which has got to be one of the single best insults ever handed down in "Next Iron Chef" history.

    Spike and Marcel were then given a gift -- lobster -- in the secret-ingredient showdown that pitted the two against each other.

    Spike offered a bowl of Lobster Laksa, featuring foamy lobster noodles of all things. They looked gross, but the judges seemed to love them. Marcel came up with the winning dish, a mango and lobster salad with a black bean sauce.

    But what they cooked was almost beside the point: The chefs turned the "Next Iron Chef" world upside down when they decided to plate their dishes together on a single platter.

    I'll pause here so you can fan yourself for a few moments, and recover from this unbelievably disrespectful and unprecedented act of defiance.

    "We're in this together," Spike explained of the plating decision with his bestie, and added: "Iron Chefs embrace risk and we took a huge gamble."

    The judges begged to differ.

    "They're really overly cocky," Donatella Arpaia sniffed. (By that measure, both Nate Appleman and Jehangir Mehta should be heading for the door before the harmless Spike and Marcel.)

    I was waiting for her to scream: "Off with their heads!"

    "I felt like we got played here," said Iron Chef and judge Geoffrey Zakarian (who by the by is my favorite Iron Chef, just in case you were wondering.) Simon called it unbecoming "silliness."

    Do you agree with the judges? Was this single-plating maneuver totally out of bounds?

    I kinda liked it. I considered it a dash of fun by two guys who are outstanding chefs but, really, at the end of the day, know deep down inside they are long shots for the job opening.


  • Last-Minute Thanksgiving Tips From Some of D.C.'s Top Chefs


    There's not much time left before the turkeys, tofurkeys and turduckens start hitting the table. Are you still trying to decide on your side dishes, though? We've got you covered.

    Whether you’re cooking for your S.O. for the first time, or it’s just another Thanksgiving at home with your family, some of Washington’s top chefs are looking out for you.

    Check out some easy ways to cut corners, tips on how to survive the holiday, and -- of course -- plenty of menu suggestions.

    And they didn't forget about leftovers.

    Spike Mendelsohn

    Chef & owner, Good Stuff Eatery & We the Pizza (303-305 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)

    Q: What special dish are you making this Thanksgiving for your family?

    I make a roasted butternut squash soup that my family loves. So that will definitely be on the menu. It's tastes like fall. Use a homemade stock and put a lot of love into it. The key to really hearty, well-developed soups is to take your time and really put heart into it.

    Q: What are your two best tips when it comes to cooking a Thanksgiving meal?

    1. It's OK to cheat a little bit and cut down on your prep time. We all love the idea of a homemade Thanksgiving meal, but no one will know or mind that you ordered already-peeled chestnuts online rather than spend[ing] hours just peeling chestnuts. Your dish is still going to taste delicious and it will allow you more time to unwind and relax with family.

    2. Create your own traditions. Deep fry that turkey. Make a Turkey Day sangria with hard cider. You don't have to stick to those same recipes that Grandma used to make if you are yearning to reach outside the box.


  • Best Top Chef Restaurants

    Since its 2006 debut, Top Chef has turned Tom Colicchio and F&W’s Gail Simmons into food celebrities, introduced Americans to cooking with vending-machine food and created a wave of chef-testants turned restaurateurs, who have become a large and profitable niche in the food industry.—Katherine Sacks


    Good Stuff Eatery; Washington, DC


    Spike Mendelsohn’s Capitol Hill restaurant Good Stuff Eatery gets its name from the words his restaurateur grandfather used to say when biting into a cheeseburger. The former Top Chef: Chicagocontestant also borrowed a few other tips: “We wrap our burgers in wax paper, just like my grandfather did.” The Prez Obama burger (bacon, red onion marmalade, blue cheese and horseradish) is a clear neighborhood favorite, beating out the McCain burger during the restaurant’s 2008 election-inspired contest. Besides classic burgers, the restaurant specializes in herb-tossed fries and toasted-marshmallow milk shakes. For his next project, Mendelsohn is teaming up with sister Micheline to open the brasserie Béarnaise this winter. goodstuffeatery.com



  • Life After Top Chef to Feature Chef Spike Mendelsohn at Washington Capitals Game

    Life After Top Chef, a Bravo Media production that documents the lives of former Top Chef contestants, will feature chef Spike Mendelsohn at a Washington Capitals game in its Wednesday, Nov. 14 episode. The episode, “Mt. Viviani Erupts," will premiere at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

    Mendelsohn attended the April 5, 2012 Capitals vs. Panthers game and participated in intermission activities including riding an Olympia, dressing up as mascot Air Slapshot and participating as a member of the ice crew.

    “Having been a hockey fan my whole life, being able to be a part of the Caps team culture there was a really cool thing and a day I won’t forget," said Mendelsohn. "I hope Top Chef viewers will enjoy watching my experience as much as I enjoyed being there."

    Life After Top Chef documents the lives of four former Top Chef contestants as they reach milestones in both their personal lives and culinary careers. Mendelsohn competed on season four of Bravo’s hit television show Top Chef as well as on Top Chef All-Stars. In 2008 he and his family opened Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill. In Washington D.C., Mendelsohn owns two Good Stuff Eatery locations as well as We, The Pizza.

    In addition to highlighting Mendelsohn at a Capitals game, the Nov. 14 episode profiles the chef and his family as they prepare to open the Crystal City, Va., location of Good Stuff Eatery.


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    ARLINGTON, Va. – Life After Top Chef, a Bravo Media production that documents the lives of former Top Chef contestants, will feature chef Spike Mendelsohn at a Washington Capitals game in its Wednesday, Nov. 14 episode. The episode, “Mt. Viviani Erupts," will premiere at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

    Mendelsohn attended the April 5, 2012 Capitals vs. Panthers game and participated in intermission activities including riding an Olympia, dressing up as mascot Air Slapshot and participating as a member of the ice crew.

    “Having been a hockey fan my whole life, being able to be a part of the Caps team culture there was a really cool thing and a day I won’t forget," said Mendelsohn. "I hope Top Chef viewers will enjoy watching my experience as much as I enjoyed being there."

    Life After Top Chef documents the lives of four former Top Chef contestants as they reach milestones in both their personal lives and culinary careers. Mendelsohn competed on season four of Bravo’s hit television show Top Chef as well as on Top Chef All-Stars. In 2008 he and his family opened Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill. In Washington D.C., Mendelsohn owns two Good Stuff Eatery locations as well as We, The Pizza.

    In addition to highlighting Mendelsohn at a Capitals game, the Nov. 14 episode profiles the chef and his family as they prepare to open the Crystal City, Va., location of Good Stuff Eatery.

    Together with Mendelsohn in Washington, D.C., Life After Top Chef focuses on former contestants Richard Blais in Atlanta, Jen Carroll in Philadelphia and Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles.

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    ARLINGTON, Va. – Life After Top Chef, a Bravo Media production that documents the lives of former Top Chef contestants, will feature chef Spike Mendelsohn at a Washington Capitals game in its Wednesday, Nov. 14 episode. The episode, “Mt. Viviani Erupts," will premiere at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

    Mendelsohn attended the April 5, 2012 Capitals vs. Panthers game and participated in intermission activities including riding an Olympia, dressing up as mascot Air Slapshot and participating as a member of the ice crew.

    “Having been a hockey fan my whole life, being able to be a part of the Caps team culture there was a really cool thing and a day I won’t forget," said Mendelsohn. "I hope Top Chef viewers will enjoy watching my experience as much as I enjoyed being there."

    Life After Top Chef documents the lives of four former Top Chef contestants as they reach milestones in both their personal lives and culinary careers. Mendelsohn competed on season four of Bravo’s hit television show Top Chef as well as on Top Chef All-Stars. In 2008 he and his family opened Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill. In Washington D.C., Mendelsohn owns two Good Stuff Eatery locations as well as We, The Pizza.

    In addition to highlighting Mendelsohn at a Capitals game, the Nov. 14 episode profiles the chef and his family as they prepare to open the Crystal City, Va., location of Good Stuff Eatery.

    Together with Mendelsohn in Washington, D.C., Life After Top Chef focuses on former contestants Richard Blais in Atlanta, Jen Carroll in Philadelphia and Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles.

  • Zagat Names 5 Best Burgers in DC Metro


    Good Stuff Eatery

    Cost: $15

    Former Top Chef contender Spike Mendelsohn is behind this “popular” Capitol Hill counter serve (and newer Crystal City sibling) wooing “celebrities”, “pols” and “policy wonks” with “creative”, “juicy” burgers, “perfectly seasoned” fries and “unbelievably decadent” milkshakes (“heaven in a plastic cup”), all doled out “fast” in upscale-industrial “fast-food” digs; despite “limited” seating, occasional “long” waits and tabs some consider “pricey” for the genre, it’s still usually “jam packed.”


  • Meals On Meals Wheels Features Chef Spike

  • Newsource Elections 2012



    CNN ELECTIONS

    As this election season prepares to wrap up, voters are making decisions, standing up for what they believe in, and voicing their concerns. And why shouldn’t they? Every vote matters, right? But no matter how you feel about foreign policy, healthcare or the debt ceiling, there is one topic that gets unanimous support here in Washington. And that’s food.

    Restaurants throughout the nation’s capital are serving up festive meals and beverages to lighten up the political atmosphere. The only choice one really has to make is, “Sweet or savory?”

    Right down the street from the White House, the Occidental Grill has retrieved the cookie recipes submitted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, for Family Circle magazine’s quadrennial presidential bake-off.

    According to Chef Rodney Scruggs, the cookie poll is tracking very close to the actual presidential polls. Ann Romney’s cookie pulled its first lead after the first presidential debate, when her husband made some gains in the polls. It’s fluctuated since. Whether guests base their vote on the taste of the cookie or on their actual presidential preference will become apparent after both the cookie contest and the White House race wrap up.

    To follow the results, check out the cookie poll on Occidental’s Twitter feed orFacebook page.

    At Good Stuff Eatery it’s a debate with more red meat. The “Prez Obama Burger” made it’s first appearance on the menu during the 2008 election when it was running against the McCain burger. The Obama burger won by a landslide. After Obama’s presidential win, the restaurant also introduced a health-conscious turkey burger called the “Michelle Melt” that reflects the First Lady’s fitness mission.

    Now, as one of the restaurant’s most popular burgers faces another election year, a different competition has been initiated. Good Stuff Eatery started a competition with burgers inspired by the famously bipartisan couple of Democrat James Carville and Republican Mary Matalin. The burgers will be grilled until Election Day, and results of the poll are updated daily on a board set up inside the restaurant.

    And what happens to the Obama burgers if the President isn’t reelected? Good Stuff says they’ll stay on the menu.

    Winnette McIntosh Ambrose has dubbed her shop near Capitol Hill, The Sweet Lobby, the District’s “political pastry polling headquarters.” She’s offering vanilla bean French macarons emblazoned with elephants, donkeys, Obama and Romney campaign logos and, for those who don’t want to take sides, a simple “Vote 2012” message.  Sweet Lobby has been updating the sales tally on Facebook and Twitter throughout.

    And if you needed any extra incentive to get out and vote Tuesday, McIntosh Ambrose says those sporting an “I Voted,” sticker will be rewarded with a free dessert. Pretty sweet.

    (Photos & text by Samra Khawaja & Karin Caifa)

  • Get Chef Spike's Chinese Chicken and Farro Recipe

    Better Eats

    CHINESE CHICKEN WITH FARRO
    Serves 4
    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 cup farro or wheat berries
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1-inch peeled and minced fresh ginger
    • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
    • 1/2 pound snow peas, cut on the diagonal
    • 8 green and yellow pattypan squash, chopped small
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into small chunks
    • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
     DIRECTIONS
  • To prepare the farro, bring a 2-quart pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the farro, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer until the farro is tender and the grains have split open, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  • Coat a wok or large wide skillet with the oil and place over medium-high heat. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the garlic, ginger, and scallions; stir-fry for 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant. Add the snow peas and pattypan squash. Cook, tossing the vegetables, until tender. Move the ingredients to the side of the pan and pour the egg into the center. Scramble the egg lightly, just until set but not brown. Add the chicken, tossing quickly to incorporate. Fold in the cooked farro and toss everything together to combine well, breaking up any clumps with the back of a spatula.
  • Moisten with the soy sauce. Toss the ingredients together to heat through. Spoon the chicken farro out onto a serving platter.
  • Spike Mendelsohn Talks 'Life After Top Chef' and Fall Recipes with Captain Morgan: Intervi

    Foodista

    Spike Mendesohn is one celebrity chef with a lot on his plate. He currently has a reality show that takes a behind-the-scenes look at his family's restaurant business called Life After Top Chef on Bravo. He is a contestant on the latest season of The Next Iron Chef on the Food Network, and he has recently teamed up with Captain Morgan to create fall recipes with their latest formula, Black Spiced Rum.

    I had the chance to speak with Spike about his many ongoing projects. Check out what he had to say about being on Top Chef versus The Next Iron Chef, and what it's like to work with Captain Morgan Rum below!


    What can people expect to see on your new show, Life After Top Chef?

    Well I think people will be really interested to see the team that’s behind me, and it’s family. So people that thought it was just Spike Mendelsohn making everything happen... I think they’ll be surprised that there’s a lot more components to the company and what we’re doing. And working with your family is always something that’s very challenging. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, but working in a family can be really challenging and I think people will be really interested to see that. Most of the time, you have investors or backers, you have strangers that you partner up with. For me, I think I am fortunate enough to make it a family affair and this way, we all work together, we all know each other, we all trust each other. I think it comes off really cool.

    What will we learn about you on Life After Top Chef that we didn’t get to see on Top Chef?

    I think people watch you on a reality show and they judge you on your performance and they judge you on the role you play on the show. And at the end of the day, I really don’t think people know you at all because they can only judge you on what the TV shows. So I think the fact that this is a little bit more about my personal life, people will get to learn things about me that they would have never imagined.

    First and foremost, how close of a family person I really am. Second, that cooking wasn’t really a choice for me, it was something I had to do, it’s something I grew up in. I have a hundred years of family in the restaurant business rooting from Montreal. I think they’ll get to see how and why I became a chef. And you always get people who go, ‘You went on the show to be famous,’ ‘You went on the show to do this or that,’ and I think they’ll see, ‘Hey listen, I was in a kitchen since I was 13-years-old doing that.’

    The last three years of my life was something amazing for me to actually step out of the kitchen and do something different that the business offers, it was something that’s a great pleasure for me. Because before that, I was in the kitchen for nine years straight. So I think I’ve paid my dues and I think people will be able to see that. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy it.

    What excites you most about being on the new season of The Next Iron Chef?

    One thing that excites me the most is that it’s a different network, it’s a different competition show, so it’s less about the drama and more about the food. Although Top Chef is a lot about the food, but they put you in situations that are almost impossible. Whereas, in Iron Chef you only have to cook four dishes and that's for the judges. So you get a lot more time to perfect the food and people can get a lot better of a feel of what your cooking is because you have that time. I think people will get to see the type of food I like to cook a lot more on The Next Iron Chef.

    You’ve also recently teamed up with Captain Morgan Rum. What can you tell us about that partnership?

    Well I can tell you that it’s very exciting. I was very fortunate to partner with Captain Morgan and I have to tell you it’s been a great adventure for me because I really haven’t had the opportunity before to come up with drink recipes and pair them with food recipes. So for me, like I said, this has been a huge, huge adventure. But when I came up with these [recipes]... I was telling people, ‘Hey! I’m going to picture myself as a pirate on a pirate boat in the Caribbean.’ I just had a lot of fun with it.

    And specifically with the fall recipes I came up with, I got to use this new black label Captain Morgan, which is a little bit bolder than the original. It’s something that was really fun to work with because it has some double charred blackened oak in it, it had premium cassia bark and rich clove spice essence. It was truly something unique to work it. It was fun, what can I say, I had a lot of fun with it.

    I’m actually looking at a couple of your Captain Morgan recipes now, like the Black Apple Harvest and the Cream Soda Braised Ribs. How did you come up with these recipes and what makes them unique compared to other fall recipes?

    Well, I’m a chef on the first hand so I am always thinking about seasons and aromas. So, for some reason when I tasted the Captain Morgan Black by itself, I instantly thought of apples and then cinnamon, and then I had applesauce in my refrigerator and I thought it would be really cool if I could come up with a cocktail that has applesauce in it with a little bit of a texture. Everybody thought I was insane. The more people think I’m insane, it motivates me more to prove them wrong.

    So I think I came up with a really delicious drink -- it has some applesauce in it, some cinnamon, some allspice, some nutmeg, a little bit of crushed ginger, some lemon juice, I used apricot liqueur which you don’t have to use if you don’t have it, and obviously Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. I shook it up in a shaker with ice, poured it through the strainer on the shaker, not a fine one because I still wanted some of the applesauce texture in the drink. I poured it in a glass over ice and I think I came up with a really delicious original drink. I think it’s what this Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum is all about -- something original, making it an adventure and I think that drink is something really unique. I haven’t ever seen someone make a drink with applesauce before so I was kind of proud of myself on that one.

    And then the Cream Soda Braised Ribs -- I think it’s just a great tailgating ingredient, whether you’re homegating or you’re actually out tailgating somewhere. I think it’s a really good recipe. I love the idea of braised ribs with Coca-Cola, but I wanted to do something a little bit different. I braised the ribs in cream soda, which imparted a really nice vanilla flavor in the ribs. And then I glazed them over the barbecue with a little bit of chipotle Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum barbecue sauce. So you have the vanilla tone, you have the sweetness, you have the spiciness from the chipotle, then you have the black spiced rum flavor it in also. So it made for really, really delicious tailgating food.

    You can check out Spike's Black Harvest Apple and Cream Soda Braised Ribs recipeshere.

    What are some tips you can give to people who want use their favorite liqueurs in their holiday recipes?

    I’d have to say to have a lot of fun with it. Be laid back, make it an adventure. I always like to have other people’s opinions, so I always tell people, ‘Invite your friends over.’ Make it an affair so you can bounce ideas off each other. And at the end of the day, don’t make it so intimidating. I feel like people are intimidated by recipes and cookbooks and they feel like they need to follow everything by the ‘T’. Listen, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can try something and it doesn’t work, you just adjust and it will work the next time. My biggest advice is don’t add so much pressure to yourself and make sure when you’re coming up with these recipes with the liqueurs, do everything in moderation.

    How can people take a classic cocktail and turn it into something new, especially when entertaining and hoping to bring something new to the table?

    I think you can just substitute ingredients. If there’s a recipe for a cocktail that has grapefruit juice or something like that in it and you’ve had it before with the grapefruit juice, well then maybe use apple juice or orange juice or apricot juice or ginger juice. Coming up with recipes is a trial. I think the most important thing people need to realize when they are making cocktails is that it’s really all about balance in a cocktail. So you don’t want it to be too sour, you don’t want it to be too spicy, you don’t want it to be too tangy. So you always want to adjust your recipe and come up with something that is well balanced. At the end of the day, that’s what makes a really good cocktail. And you don’t have to overcompensate. Just use a couple of ingredients, you don’t have to use too much. For example, in mine, you don’t see a whole lot of ingredients in it, there’s a couple different spices to complement the Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum, but at the end of the day, it’s lemon juice, applesauce and Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. You don’t have to do too much.

    What’s your favorite food and drink trend for this fall and winter season?

    For me, I’ve had the great opportunity to work with Captain Morgan right now, so I’d say try some cocktails with the Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. I think you’ll be very impressed. It’s bolder, it’s something very unique, the bottle is really sexy so it looks good on the counter. But again, when you’re trying out these cocktails, everything in moderation. So, take it easy.

    As far as food, I think food trends are always evolving and there’s always different things. I think since it’s the fall season, coming up with cool new tailgating recipes is something people can have fun with and try to make it a little bit different than the same old things with wings. Just try to do what I was just talking about, instead of braising ribs with coca-cola try cream soda, do things to make things just a little bit different. Minor adjustments can make all the difference sometimes. I think we’re a generation of foodies, we love trying new things... and I think that’s what you should do during the tailgating season, just try different things.


    Life after Top Chef airs Wednesdays on Bravo at 9 pm EST. The new season of The Next Iron Chef premiers this Sunday at 9 pm EST. For more from Spike, you can check him out on Twitter.

  • Spike Rings NASDAQ Closing Bell

    Watch Here


  • Chef Spike on Bravo TV's Watch What Happens Live

  • Chef Spike on VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live

    VH1

  • Chef Spike on Recipe Rehab

    Better Eats

    Check out the recipe here

  • Make Spike's Fall Turkey Burger and Toasted Pumpkin Marshmallow Shake from the Today Show

    Watch the Segment Here

    There's nothing better than seasonal eats. here, former "Top Chef" star Spike Mendelsohn shares his recipes for a fall turkey burger with caramelized apples and camembert cheese and a yummy pumpkin shake.


  • Top Chefs, Mom Bloggers, Churches, YouTube Foodies and ONE Members Highlight Global Hunger


    WASHINGTON - From celebrity chefs and mom bloggers to churchgoers and YouTube stars, ONE members are mobilizing en masse around the country on World Food Day, October 16, to raise awareness of global hunger and malnutrition. These activities are part of a new campaign from ONE that’s calling on world leaders “to make measurable commitments to reduce chronic malnutrition for 25 million kids by 2016 so they can reach their full potential.”

    As part of the campaign, supporters around the globe are celebrating the sweet potato, an example of a nutritious crop that can help fight chronic malnutrition. Every year, malnutrition is the underlying cause of more than 2.4 million child deaths – or more than one third of all deaths of children under the age of five. ChefsMario Batali, José Andrés, Marcus Samuelsson, Spike Mendelsohn and Hugh Acheson are among dozens of celebrated chefs who will support the campaign by shining a spotlight on the humble sweet potato in the coming months.

    ONE is calling on the public to send a mass, highly-coordinated ‘Heat Tweet’ at 12pm EST on World Food Day to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging her to put global nutrition on the international agenda. (.@StateDept #SecClinton Create a #recipe4change. Put global nutrition on the agenda. 25mm kids are counting on it)

    Already, more than 150,000 people have signed the Nutrition Petition at ONE.org asking world leaders to take concrete action on behalf of the world’s chronically malnourished children.  Everyone is also invited to submit their favorite sweet potato recipes at ONE’s Recipe4Change Cookbook.

    Other World Food Day activities include:

    • Celebrity Chef Events in six cities across the nation include cooking demonstrations and tastings. All are free and open to the public:
  • ATLANTA: Chef Hugh Acheson at the Viking Cooking School at 11:00AM ET.
  • DENVER: Chef Hosea Rosenberg and former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter at the University of Colorado Anschutz Wellness Center at 9:00AM MT.
  • DES MOINES: Chefs Sean Wilson and Hal Jasa are at their restaurant, Proof, at 10:00AM CT
  • NEW YORK CITY: Chef Sam Talbot at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) at 11:00AM ET.
  • SAN FRANCISCO: Mom Blogger Amy Graff, Bakers Mindy Canner and Kate Kuckro, andChristine Pelosi are hosting an event at the ING Direct Cafe at 8:30AM PT.
  • WASHINGTON, DC: Chef Spike Mendelsohn at his restaurant, Good Stuff Eatery, at 11:00AM ET. In partnership with Africare and GAIN’s Future Fortified campaign.
    • YouTube Stars - Online, some of the biggest culinary stars of YouTube, such as Betty’s Kitchen,ShowMeTheCurry and The BBQ Pit Boys, are submitting videos with their favorite sweet potato recipes to the ONE YouTube Channel.
    • Faith Events - On October 14th, the Sunday before World Food Day, thousands of church congregants across the country began a six-week journey to learn how small farmers in Africa are lifting themselves out of hunger and poverty by reading and discussing The Last Hunger Season, a best-selling book by acclaimed author Roger Thurow.
    • Funny or Die – The comedy video website is getting the word out with a humorous look at the challenge of changing the world one sweet potato at a time. Meet Claude, the sweet potato intern in the nation’s capital.
    • ONE Moms (and ONE Mums) - Many of ONE’s most engaged members are ‘mom bloggers;’ women who use their extraordinary power to spread awareness of the fight against hunger, extreme poverty, and disease. This month, a group of influential ONE Moms and (ONE Mums from the UK) traveled to Ethiopia to see first-hand how smart, effective U.S. foreign assistance programs, are helping African families lift themselves out of poverty. Check out their remarkable journey at ONE.org/moms.

       ####


  • Burger Bash 2012

    Huffington Post

    At last night's New York City Wine and Food Festival Burger Bash, hosted by Rachael Ray, 28 chefs grilled their burger creations for a ravenous crowd.

    Though we liked the winners in both categories, we had five favorites that we happily would have eaten all night if we had had the room. Good Stuff Eatery's Brit Burger was well-balanced with sharp cheddar and horseradish mayo.



  • Life After Top Chef Premieres October 3; Watch a Preview

  • PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION COCKTAILS & FOOD IN DC: WHERE IT'S AT!

    FROM BYT

    What with the presidential campaigns at our doorstep this week, we figured that, following the old BYT adage "NO MATTER WHAT-YOU'LL WANT TO BE DRINKING" - we'd round up some drink and food specials to make these go down ever so smoothly. You and your hangover for the next month are (more than) welcome.

    PUNDIT BURGERS AT GOOD STUFF EATERY
    Good Stuff Eatery offers a burger ballot in honor of "America's favorite political duo" James Carville (pictured below) and Mary Matalin. Carville's burger comes toasted with roasted creole onion, southern fried pickles, cheddar cheese and a Ragin' Cajun barbeque sauce, while Matalin's sandwich is topped with grilled Portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, tomato, arugula and peppadew pepper mayo.

  • The Next Iron chef: Redemption

    Watch our very own Chef Spike Mendelsohn on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption


    Food Network | Premieres Sunday, November 4, at 9pm Eastern/ 8pm Central

  • Sizing Up Good Stuff’s Election Burger Roster

    By Roll Call 

    Former Rep. David Wu sits outside Good Stuff Eatery on Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast next to a board tallying the score of the restaurant’s Great Burger Debate. At press time, the Ragin’ Cajun was leading the Sharp & Sassy, 480-315. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

    “Top Chef” alumnus Spike Mendelsohn has officially sunk his teeth into the upcoming election.

    The Good Stuff Eatery founder has cooked up a pair of politically themed burgers modeled after campaign surrogates (and real-life spouses) James Carville and Mary Matalin.

    The Ragin’ Cajun looks every bit as menacing as its namesake pundit. The cholesterol bomb is outfitted with a thick, breaded “Creole” onion ring, golden cap of molten cheddar and fabulously vinegary pickle slices. (Warm? Yes. Fried? Not so much.) A zesty chipotle barbecue sauce (could be hotter/smokier) completes the package.

    The Sharp & Sassy tastes more refined, even if properly appreciating it does require getting a little sloppy. Grilled portabellas tumble from the burger as soon as one peels back the wrapper, exposing a patty enrobed in a froth of peppadew pepper-spiked mayo and rapidly reducing goat cheese.

    A GSE spokeswoman said the Democratic and Republican strategists (respectively) were both consulted about the signature sandwiches and were given final approval over each. The burgers were officially unveiled Aug. 24, and the restaurant is carefully tracking which side scores the most orders through Election Day.

    At press time, the Carville construct was leading the makeshift Matalin, 480-315.

    But all that has happened while true partisans were getting their hero worship on in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C.

    “It’s going to be interesting, once everyone’s back from the conventions, to see how these votes change,” a GSE aide said.

  • Life After Top Chef Premieres October 3; Watch a Preview

    From: Eater 

    The fine arts network Bravo has announced the officially official premiere date ofLife After Top Chef: October 3. As previously announced, the show features former cheftestapants Richard Blais in Atlanta, Jen Carroll in Philadelphia (and, as noted by Eater operatives, in Charleston), Spike Mendelsohn in D.C., and Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles. It follows the chefs as they "[open] their own restaurants, [expand] franchises and [establish] themselves as culinary leaders in the food world." Excellent.

    So what has happened to these heroes since they were last on Bravo? The show follows Blais as he tries to balance family time with opening his new Atlanta restaurant, the Spence. Mendelsohn tries to expand his brand while "avoiding ruffling feathers with the Mendelsohn clan." Carroll works on opening her "dream restaurant" Concrete Blonde — which, spoiler alert, has been put on holdwhile she eyes New York City spaces. Apparently Viviani has his eyes on becoming the "male Martha Stewart." Here's a very exciting video preview and the press release:



  • The Best Places to Eat in Washington D.C.

    From: Every Day With Rachael Ray

    On Capitol Hill, Top Chef All-Stars competitor Spike Mendelsohn whips up juicy, hand- crafted burgers at GOOD STUFF EATERY. Spike's Sunnyside comes with a fried egg and bacon; the Michelle Melt, a free-range turkey burger, honors the health-minded first lady, who has visited.



  • Spike Mendelsohn crafts a milkshake inspired by classic campfire s’mores

    From: AP

    Even a poorly executed milkshake still is probably pretty good. But to elevate the classic cool treat to a higher level of indulgence, tips from a milkshake master can help.

    For that, we turn to Spike Mendelsohn, veteran of season four of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and creator of Washington’s Good Stuff Eatery, as famous for its milkshakes — including a to-die-for toasted marshmallow variety — as for its burgers.

    To help usher in summer, Mendelsohn created a shake especially for The Associated Press. Inspired by s’mores, that classic campfire treat of toasted marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate, Mendelsohn picked flavors he hoped would appeal to people all across the country.

    “It’s a shake that everyone can relate to,” he said during a shake-making session at his new Good Stuff location in Crystal City, Va. “S’mores are something everyone had growing up. It’s the kind of shake that puts a smile on people’s faces.”

    To capture the thick, creamy, malt-shop quality of a great shake no matter what the variety, Mendelsohn offered the following tips.

    — Start with frozen custard. Super-thick and richer than ice cream with more butterfat, custard will give your shake a silky texture and stuck-in-the-straw consistency. “To me, it’s the ultimate ingredient,” Mendelsohn says. Frozen custard is available in many grocers, and can be shipped overnight from online creameries. If all else fails, Mendelsohn says, use the highest butterfat ice cream you can find.

    — The right stuff. “What ruins a milkshake is the equipment,” he says. Blenders infuse too much heat and friction where the blade spins, and that will melt your custard, resulting in a watery consistency. Instead, invest in an old-fashioned shake mixer — the kind with the single prong and metal cup — available online for about $30. The metal cup is key, he says, because it keeps all the ingredients cold while they’re being churned.

    — Use a plain vanilla base. “Like with art, you start with a blank, white canvas,” Mendelsohn says. “Use plain vanilla custard and you can add elements that pop.” Toasted marshmallows, malted milk balls, candy, cookies and fruit purees are a good start. The only exception is for chocolate shakes, he says, which should start with chocolate custard.

    — Texture makes your mouth happy. For smooth shakes, such as banana or plain chocolate, you want a super smooth consistency. For cookie shakes, or something with elements like malt balls or coconut, give it a little crunch throughout. “People like chunks,” he says.

    — Garnish with panache. The garnish is the shake’s come on, broadcasting what it’s about and what you can expect from it. For a shake flavored with toasted marshmallows, stick one on top. Strawberry shake? Put a gorgeous piece of fruit on the rim, and maybe drizzle the top with glistening coulis. And every shake needs homemade, hand-whipped, super-thick whipped cream. “Just put a big bazonker on top,” Mendelsohn says.

    Besides the famous toasted marshmallow shake, diners at Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery can choose from an imaginative variety: Vietnamese coffee, Milky Way malt ball, salty caramel kiss, and of course, the AP s’mores shake. But the chef’s favorite?

    “I still just like chocolate shakes actually,” he says.