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  • ZAGAT: Good Stuff Eatery Opens First Chicago Location in The Loop


    By Sarah Freeman

    Top Chef contestant and burger expert Spike Mendelsohn opens a Chicago outpost of his popular Good Stuff Eatery tomorrow. The opening marks the beginning of a national expansion for the farm-to-table burger chain that already has three locations in DC and one in Philadelphia. Mendelsohn chose Chicago because he fell in love with the city during the filming of Top Chef, and it's also where his sister went to college. “It’s a meat and potato town with great culinary stars, and we want to be part of the scene,” he says.

    The menu will be the same as at the other locations. Highlights include the Farmhouse burger, a farm-raised beef patty that can be topped with cheese or bacon, while other signature items include the Good Stuff Melt, the Steakhouse Burger, a muenster- and cheddar-stuffed portobello burger and a free-range turkey burger. Orders of hand-cut fries can be paired with an assortment of sauces from the dipping bar. Shakes made with custard are available in creative flavors like toasted marshmallow, red velvet and Vietnamese coffee.

    Down the road, Mendelsohn may add a Chicago-style hot dog or burgers named after local celebrities. During the 2014 Chicago Gourmet Hamburger Hop, Good Stuff Eatery won the judge’s choice award with its Prez Obama Burger, which also appears on the opening menu.

    The space will feature hardwood floors, whitewashed wood paneling, a marble barista station, a communal table and country-inspired chandeliers. Hours are Sunday though Thursday from 11 AM to 9 PM and Friday to Saturday from 11 AM to 10 PM. Flip through the slide show for a look at a few of the burgers.

  • Time Out Chicago


  • The Hottest Restaurants in Chicago Right Now, February 2015


    Good Stuff Eatery

    Former Top Cheffer Spike Mendelsohn has joined the local burger wars and the early word is positive. Try the Hamburger Hop-winning Prez Obama Burger.

  • What You Need to Know About the Chicago Dining Scene This Week


    Burgers, big moves, and a very literal dive bar.


    OPEN NOW: We may not know if the city will be home to President Obama’s library yet, but we do now have his burger—the first Chicago location of D.C.-based Good Stuff Eatery (22 S. Wabash, Loop, 312-854-3027) is open and serving their Prez Obama Burger (bacon, onion marmalade, Roquefort, horseradish mayo) and Michelle Melt (a turkey burger with swiss, caramelized onions, and herbed mayo) in the First Family’s hometown.

  • A New Place You Can Eat Burgers Inside Of


    The Obama Presidential Library may or may not ever come to Chicago.

    But one thing is for certain: his presidential hamburger will.

    Cue Good Stuff Eatery, the DC-based maker of burgers, the likes of which are favored by a certain leader of the free world (in case you give a sh*t), opening tomorrow in the Loop. (See the slideshow here.)

    The man behind this is one Spike Mendelsohn, the affable Top Chef alum who has made a name for himself with his take on the humble burger and fries.

    The inside’s nice, but nothing too fancy. Tall ceilings, whitewashed barn wood, leather-lined booths. The kind of place you just kind of tumble into whenever you want a lunch that requires the use of multiple napkins and/or malt vinegar.

    You have 13 burgers to choose from. The Spike’s Sunnyside is all bacon and eggs and brioche bun, but start with the basic Farmhouse burger and work your way up. Your fries are topped with rosemary and thyme. There are Creamsicle floats and milkshakes with flavors ranging from red velvet to a toasted-marshmallow gelée.

    Which sounds suspiciously French.

  • Eater: Inside Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery, Opening Tomorrow in the Loop


    by Brett Hickman , photos by Barry Brecheisen Jan 27 2015


    The first 50 customers in line will be gifted with one free mini milk shake per month for a year.

    Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery will join the growing number of interloping burger shops invading Chicago when it opens at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow in the Loop. Mendelsohn, a former Top Chef contestant, began Good Stuff in Washington D.C. and is intending to take the burgeoning (currently at 5 locations) chain national in time.

    When customers enter Good Stuff Eatery, they will be greeted by a giant cowbell along with an even bigger portrait of Mendelsohn before being herded into line. From there they can order from the 13 available burger choices (priced between $6.50 and $8.50). The selections include Mendelsohn's Hamburger Hop-winning Prez Obama Burger (applewood bacon, onion marmalade, Roquefort cheese and horseradish mayo sauce).

    Additionally, any burger can be turned into a chicken sandwich and they also feature 4 different wedge salads, as well as onion petals, chili and fries. There's a dip bar for those fries, featuring mayo "spiked" with Sriracha, chipotle and more flavors.

    This is just the first Good Stuff Eatery Mendelsohn and franchisees Brian Dralle and Glenn Steinberg have planned for Chicago. There's already a location targeted to launch late summer in Lincoln Park. It's also possible that Mendelsohn's We, the Pizza may land in Chicago at some point.

    Look over the space in the slideshow and get ready to sample the burgers, fries and shakes at Chicago's newest imported burger shop. And if you're the type that loves freebies, the location will reward the first 50 customers in line with a gratis mini milk shake every month for a year when they open tomorrow morning.

  • Good Stuff Eatery Promises 'Farm Fresh' Burgers in the Loop


    DOWNTOWN — Former "Top Chef" contestant Spike Mendelsohn may have a Michelin Star background, but the burger joint he's bringing to Chicago will keep it casual.

    Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery will open its first Chicago restaurant Wednesday at 22 S. Wabash Ave. in Jewelers Row.

    Mendelsohn, 34, grew up in Quebec and Florida with restaurateur parents who specialized in fine dining. He began visiting Chicago while his sister attended Columbia College, and told DNAinfo Chicago he's always admired the "great foodie scene" here.

    He even competed against Chicago's own Stephanie Izard during the fourth season of "Top Chef."

    Yet after the show — and stops at Michelin-rated restaurants in France, Vietnam, and New York (among other locales) — Mendelsohn says he grew tired of high cuisine.

    He opened the first Good Stuff Eatery in 2008 in Washington, D.C. The Jewelers Row restaurant opening Wednesday is the fifth store in the minichain, which he hopes to expand aggressively soon.

    "We're trying to go national," Mendelsohn said. "We love our brand and what we do."

    With so many upscale burger concepts entering Chicago, Mendelsohn said he hoped to distinguish Good Stuff Eatery with locally-sourced ingredients, including Illinois cattle and Wisconsin cheese.

    He ages a childhood favorite, quebecois potatoes, for six months to give them a sweeter taste, and leaves the skin on the fries for more flavor, he explained at a preview Tuesday.

    Additional selling points the Top Chef is banking on include gourmet milkshakes and a "mayo bar" with Sriracha and Chipotle-infused flavors.

    The burgers range in price from $6.50 to $8.50. Guests can add a fry and soda for another $4.45, or $6.45 for fries and a shake.

    One of his creations, the Prez Obama Burger with applewood bacon and Roquefort cheese, won the judges' prize at September's Hamburger Hop in Chicago.

    "There's so many burger places, it's hard to compare all of them," he said.

    Mendelsohn has since scratched his fine-dining itch by opening Béarnaise, also in Washington.

    With that out of the way, he says his next step will be taking his fast-casual concepts national.

    For the first time, he sold Chicago rights to franchisees Brian Dralle and Glenn Steinberg.

    Mendelsohn also has a pizza concept, "We, The Pizza," that he says he hopes to import here.

    Dralle said he's a Mendelsohn fan, and hopes to open more of the restaurants in neighborhoods like River North, the Gold Coast, and other Loop thoroughfares like LaSalle Street.

    "I watched his show and visited D.C. quite a bit," Dralle said. "The food was amazing."

    Doors open at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

  • Splash - Sun Times


    Splash - Sun Times 

    Thanks to a slew of shows like “Top Chef,” “Life After Top Chef,” “Top Chef All-Stars,” “MasterChef,” “Iron Chef America” — the list goes on and on — celebrity chefs have become the latest superstars.

    But when Spike Mendelsohn, 34, decided to enter the culinary scene, foodie stardom wasn’t on his mind at all. “I became a chef the old, traditional way, before reality TV competitions,” he says. “My aspiration was to open up one restaurant and have a couple Michelin stars. … Then ‘Top Chef’ came along and crushed all those dreams.”

    ‘Crushed’ is hardly the right word: After finishing fifth on “Top Chef’s” Chicago-set season 4 in 2008, Mendelsohn headed to Washington, D.C. to parlay his burgeoning fame into a burger joint, Good Stuff Eatery. He’ll open the spot’s first Chicago outpost at 22 S. Wabash Jan. 28 — a stylish 72-seat diner — and follow it up quickly with a second shop in Lincoln Park at the end of summer. The all-American concept has garnered waves of praise and press coverage, most notably when Mendelsohn debuted the Prez Obama burger — a combination of applewood bacon, red onion marmalade, Roquefort cheese and horseradish mayo that won top spot at Chicago Gourmet’s Hamburger Hop last year.


    Following his first success, Mendelsohn proceeded to cut the ribbons on several other D.C. spots, including We, The Pizza, an aptly dubbed pizza parlor; The Sheppard, a speakeasy; and Béarnaise, a chic French restaurant. He’s also swung open the doors to three other Good Stuff Eatery locations on the East Coast. But Chicago remains a sweetspot for Mendelsohn: His sister went to Northwestern University and his development partner for Good Stuff, Brian Dralle, is a Chicago native who was itching to set up shop in the city. “[Chicago is] a meat-and-potatoes kind of town,” says Mendelsohn. “It’s got a great food scene.”

    It’s tough to imagine a restaurant more American than Good Stuff — think burgers, hand-cut fries, hand-spun milkshakes, farm-fresh ingredients and a selection of local brews on tap — which is ironic, given that Mendelsohn was born in Montreal and cut his teeth working at Pepin Restaurant, his parents’ Spanish fine-dining hot spot in Florida. “I grew up in restaurants,” he explains. “I was a dishwasher, I did all the nitty-gritty [jobs]. But becoming a chef was the last thing I wanted to do growing up. It wasn’t as glamorous as it is now.” Mendelsohn laughs: “It was long hours — still long hours. It was working holidays — still working holidays, too.”

    That early reluctance to become a chef shifted when Mendelsohn’s grandfather became ill, and his parents left the then 18-year-old in charge of the kitchen. A year later, the kitchen ran more smoothly than ever before. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do [with my life],” he remembers. “[My parents] said, ‘Why don’t you stick around another year and we’ll send you to culinary school?’… I thought it was a joke, but they held up their end of the bargain and I held up mine.”

    The deal was enough to seal Mendelsohn’s fate. He attended The Culinary Institute of America in 2004, which he credits for giving him the confidence to pursue cooking. “It made me feel like I had something a little different,” he says.

    It’s yet another understatement from Mendelsohn; while he’s built a brand slinging burgers and fries, he’s proved his mettle in some of the toughest gourmet kitchens in the world. During his culinary school years, the young chef jetted off to Europe to work at the famed Château Les Crayères, tucked away in a castle in northern France. “That was an intense experience, big time,” he remembers. “I begged for eight months on the phone with a French chef to get that position. I’m the only American walking through the door, and they instantly called me ‘L’américain.’ They really put it to me. They didn’t let me just stroll right in and think I was awesome, they put me in check and embarrassed me and made me learn a lot of those hard lessons. But after about two months of initiation, they accepted me as [one of] their own.”

    In 2005, the globetrotting gourmand left France for the California countryside, working in Napa Valley at Bouchon before switching coasts to join the famous Le Cirque in New York.

    But it was “Top Chef” that unlocked Mendelsohn’s full potential: Though he began as a culinary purist with no eyes on fame, he’s since carved out a niche for himself, thanks to his charming personality and trademark fedoras. Now, his rock-star status continues to rise: He’s launched a private events company in D.C., where he currently resides, and is simultaneously taking his burger empire global. “We just signed an international expansion [deal] for Good Stuff Eatery in Saudi Arabia,” he says. “There happens to be a huge burger boom going on [there] right now.”

    Mendelsohn hasn’t given up on TV, either. Last year, he moved from show competitor to figurehead, helming programs like FYI’s “Midnight Feast” and “Late Nite Chef Fight.” But, female fans, prepare to be disappointed: The wunderkind chef is spoken for. “I am seeing somebody,” he admits, before adding a humorous aside: “If you can’t be near the one you love, love the one you’re near. … I’m just playing! My grandfather used to say that to me, [it was] one of his little schticks.”

    Despite already earning accolades here at the Hamburger Hop and garnering a fawning female fan base (Cosmopolitan magazine even spotlighted his dating tips), Mendeslohn is determined not to get a big head. He never saw fame coming and recognizes the spotlight’s fleeting nature, so he stays focused on the food, saying, “You never know when the idea of rock-star chefs is going to go away.”

  • Eater Chicago






  • Chicago Tribune

  • Chicago Magazine



  • Drexel to Host Second Philly Chef Conference


    By Arthur Etchells  |  November 13, 2014

    Drexel University’s Center for Hospitality and Sports Management is hosting its second Philly Chef Conference. The two-day event takes place on Sunday and Monday, January 11th and 12th and will bring renowned chefs, restaurateurs, purveyors and food writers from across the city and region to come together to discuss issues facing the restaurant industry as well as new food trends, products and techniques.

    The second day of the conference will be dedicated to hospitality and restaurant professionals. Participants will learn about writing a cookbook, opening a second restaurant, rebounding from a bad review, developing a menu and more. Panelists will include Craig LaBan (Philadelphia Inquirer), Bill Mignucci (DiBruno Bros.), Bryan Mayer (Kensington Quarters), Kristina Burke (Drexel), Joe Beddia (Pizzeria Beddia), Spike Mendelsohn and many others. Check out all of the panels on Drexel's Philly Chef Conference web site.

    Read more.

  • Washington Business Report


  • Spike Mendelsohn Is Bringing Good Stuff to the Loop



    Mendelsohn, who took the crown at this past weekend’s Hamburger Hop, has also got toasted marshmallow shakes and a mayo bar on tap for the joint’s first Chicago location.

    In what seems like a rare-as-a-perfect-peach public-relations convergence, chef Spike Mendelsohn won this past weekend’s Hamburger Hop competition at Chicago Gourmet, in advance of the planned early-winter opening of a local branch of his hamburger spot, Good Stuff Eatery (22 S. Wabash Ave., no phone yet).

    Mendelsohn, an alumnus of the Chicago–based season of Top Chef, opened the first Good Stuff in the Washington, D.C. area in 2008, the same year the show aired, and rode the TV-powered wave. “I did not really know the power of Top Chef, but [Good Stuff] became a success immediately,” he says. “Now we have nine restaurants—four done and five on the way.”

    In addition to the soon-to-be-nine Good Stuffs, Mendelsohn has two other concepts in D.C.: We, the Pizza and the less-casual French-inspired bistro Béarnaise, introduced after the other two. “I became known as the burger and pizza guy, and maybe my ego couldn’t take it,” he says.

    The menu for the fast-casual Good Stuff will hew to the model of the others, with hand-cut fries and a mayonnaise bar, milkshakes made from homemade custard (toasted marshmallow is popular, Mendelsohn says), and the burgers, including the Hop-winning Prez Obama Burger, with applewood bacon, onion marmalade, Roquefort cheese, and horseradish mayonnaise.

    Yep, the Prez Obama Burger, winning a Chicago burger competition right before its restaurant opens. Like we said, it’s like a total solar eclipse of public relations.

    More Here

  • Spike Mendelsohn wins Chicago's Hamburger Hop


    By Phil Vettel

    Spike came. Spike cooked. Spike conquered.

    Spike Mendelsohn, whose Good Stuff Eatery restaurants are in the Washington D.C., and Philadelphia areas, was guest chef and big winner in Friday night's Hamburger Hop, besting 14 other competitors.

    The Hamburger Hop, back for its fifth year, is a friendly, creative-burger competition among a dozen or so chefs. Patrons are treated to burger tastings and endless quantities of beer, wine and cocktails, and vote on the People's Choice winner. A panel including Carla Hall (of ABC's "The Chew"), Jeff Mauro (the Sandwich King) and Lin Brehmer (WXRT 93.1 FM) selected the judges' winner.

    Sponsors Allen Brothers Steaks and Turano Bakery supplied the meat and buns for the competition, though chefs provided individual specifications.

    Mendelsohn took the judges' prize for his Prez Obama Burger, which featured Amish gorgonzola chese, horseradish mayo and red-onion marmalade on a brioche bun.

     More Here


  • Chicago Gourmet Hamburger Hop 2014

    Local and national chefs faced off at Hamburger Hop to see who makes the best burger
    By Amy Cavanaugh

    The kickoff event to Bon Appetit's Chicago Gourmet food festival, Hamburger Hop featured local and national chefs facing off to see who can make the best burger. DC’s Spike Mendelsohn, who is opening a Chicago outpost of Good Stuff Eatery later this year, won the judge’s vote for his Prez Obama Burger, with red onion marmalade, gorgonzola and horseradish mayo. The fan vote went to River Roast’s John Hogan and Tony Mantuano for their Tête de Tête burger, with head cheese, onion pickle relish, cheese and crispy pig skin.

    More Here

  • Good Stuff Eatery To Open First Chicago Location This Fall


    By Lizzie Schiffman

    "Top Chef: Chicago" star Spike Mendelsohn will open an outpost of his cult classic burger joint in Chicago this fall, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

    Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery first opened a Capitol Hill location in Washington, D.C., in 2008. He later launched spinoff locations in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood, Philadelphia and Crystal City, Virginia.

    The Chicago location, Mendelsohn's first venture outside the East Coast, will open this fall on Wabash Avenue between Madison and Monroe streets, according to a spokeswoman for the company.

    The restaurant chain is known for its house-made burgers, hand-spun milkshakes and the extensive selection of toppings it offers for its hand-cut fries at a "dipping bar."

    More Here

  • Top 10 celeb-inspired cheeseburger joints in the US


    By Stephanie Schaefer

    September 15, 2014

    How do you make a cheeseburger an even more all-American meal? Throw in a side of pop culture and a dash of creativity. Chefs across the U.S. are constantly reinventing the cheeseburger and the good ol’ burger joint, drawing on the heroes of movies, music, politics and more for inspiration. Read on for our top 10 favorites of these all-American restaurants where celebrities are inspiring the dish of the day.

    Good Stuff Eatery, Washington, D.C.

    Located in the heart of the nation’s capital, Good Stuff Eatery is known for attracting high-profile diners including President Obama himself. In addition to featuring the “Prez” burger, this patriotic restaurant also gives First Lady Michelle Obama a nod. The “Michelle Melt” is a healthier version of the classic American staple and is made with a free range turkey burger, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, tomato, lettuce and a wheat bun. Something tells us Mrs. Obama, a health and fitness advocate, gives this meal her vote.



  • Want the Best Burgers in Washington DC?



  • Eat Here Now: 7 New Philadelphia Restaurants


    By A.D. Amorosi on 08/14/14

    If you’ve arrived to the City of Brotherly Love looking for somewhere new and notable to eat, we’ve got the must-try spots to satisfy your epicurean quest. From tempting neighborhood eateries to sophisticated Center City restaurants, Philadelphia’s food scene is stronger than ever. Here are a handful of restaurants to check out this fall.

    Good Stuff Eatery
    “Top Chef” contestant Spike Mendelsohn recently opened Good Stuff Eatery (108 S. 18th St., Philadelphia, 267.928.2848) in Philly’s Rittenhouse area. With locally-themed décor, which pokes fun at our “wit or wit out” cheesesteak lexicon, this joint serves up oversized burgers like Spike’s “Sunnyside” with cheese, Applewood bacon and a fried egg, and hand-spun shakes like toasted marshmallow.


  • Eater Philly: Updating the Eater Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

    More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? What are the new restaurants? What's everyone talking about? While the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the 'it' places of the moment.

    Thus, we offer the Eater Heat Map, which will change continually to highlight where the crowds are flocking to, rightthisverymoment. Casual options abound this month, with the debuts of the Blue Anchor (the floating restaurant at Spruce Street Harbor Park), Good Stuff Eatery (where the better-burger trend meets reality-TV stardom), Matt & Marie's 'modern Italian' sandwiches, and Square One Coffee (the first Philly location for the well-regarded Lancaster roasters).


    Yes, Spike Mendelsohn's burger-and-shake import is yet another better-burger place — but it's the only one in town blessed with a direct connection to sweet, sweet reality-TV stardom.




    Sadly, you can't spend the whole Summer watching outdoor movies (there are only 60 or so of 'em, after all), but here's the good news: that leaves plenty of time to check out the recently opened spots on our list of the 19 best new restaurants in Philly. But don't do it all at once or your midsection will be increasingly susceptible to Gravity (playing next week at Penn's Landing).

    Good Stuff Eatery
    This DC import from Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn has been bringing all the boys (and girls) to the yard... err, restaurant, since late June with its milkshakes, and contests in which the first 100 people through the door win said milkshakes for a year. It's got “food so pure you’ll think it’s Amish”, assuming the Amish eat things like the Uncle D's Chili or the 'Shroom Burger w/ slim cut fries, obviously.



    By Laura Hayes

    Any plans you had to get in shape this Summer might as well be abandoned at this point, as the season is rapidly drawing to a close. Might as well go the complete opposite direction. Your weapon of choice? The best burger and shake combos this city has to offer.

    Good Stuff Eatery
    Capitol Hill/Georgetown/Crystal City
    This burger and shake is spiked in a different sense, thanks to Chef Spike Mendelsohn. His burgers are bomb -- especially the Prez Obama burger, because it’s a night out at a fancy steakhouse between buns. A hockey puck-sized patty is topped with applewood bacon, onion marmalade, Roquefort cheese, and horseradish mayo. Try it with their signature toasted marshmallow shake.


  • 10 Hottest New Restaurants in Philadelphia

    By Danya Henninger

    Good Stuff Eatery

    Why It’s Hot: Spike Mendelsohn chose Philly as the location for his first joint outside the DC area, and picked in-demand architect Ed Eimer to design it for him (he also does Kevin Sbraga’s spots). With a counter below and spacious seating area above, you can have your speedy burger and eat it in peace too.

    Must-Order: Prez Obama Burger ($7.25), Michelle Melt ($7), toasted marshmallow shake ($6).

    Insider Tip: It might be a classic combo, but we recommend skipping the fries and spending those calories on one of the hand-spun shakes instead.

    108 S. 18th St.; 267-928-2848


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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'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

    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


  • 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


  • 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.)


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.).


  • 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.


  • 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’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.


  • 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.


    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 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 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


    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


    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


    • 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

  • 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


    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).