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  • Good Stuff Eatery Heads to Saudi Arabia



    Posted by Jessica Sidman on Oct. 3, 2014

    Good Stuff Eatery will open its first international location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the next eight to nine months, with the possibility of as many as four more shops in the country going forward. Chef Spike Mendelsohn and his family are franchising the restaurant with Gulf Restaurant & Park Company in Saudi Arabia, which is owned by the Al Sairafi family. The company also operates Quiznos in Saudi Arabia as well a number of Lebanese, Chinese, and Italian restaurants.

    "One of them had gone to Georgetown and eaten and gone back home," says co-owner Micheline Mendelsohn, Spike's sister. "And we kind of just started talking with them about the possibility of bringing the brand over there."

    The Mendelsohn family gets as many as three to four franchise inquiries a week, Micheline Mendelsohn says. They've gotten about 10 total requests from the Middle East.

    "We're very careful about who we give the brand to and how we want to proceed with opening up different stores," she says. So what ultimately sold them on the Al Sairafi family? "Sometimes you just meet people and you automatically click, and that's what happened with this family... We're excited to give them our baby and see what they can do with it."

    The restaurant plans to send a team over to the Middle East to make sure the staff is trained properly. The Saudi team will also come to the U.S. for training. While the Saudi Good Stuff will aim to replicate the American versions as closely as possible in terms of look and menu, there will be some necessary changes. For example, Islamic dietary laws restrict pork and alcohol. That means no beer, and beef or turkey bacon instead of pork. Micheline Mendelsohn says they also don't allow very loud music in their restaurants. "When you walk into a Good Stuff Eatery, we have a really great playlist," she says. "So that will be one thing that we're going to change. We'll do some different types of sounds. We're going to figure that out."

    Y&H previously wrote a column about how American chains expanding to the Persian Gulf is all the rage. Red Velvet Cupcakery opened a location in Doha, while Arlington-based Elevation Burger has several locations from Kuwait to Bahrain to Oman. Other national chains like Pinkberry, Shake Shack, P.F. Chang's, IHOP, Potbelly, and The Cheesecake Factory also have spots in the Middle East, along with celebrity chefs like Alain Ducasse, Gordon Ramsay, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.


  • 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


    It starts months before. Chefs and culinary personalities across the country put on food and drink events in Chicago all year. Then comes the big weekend – that’s now.

    Last night Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet opened with the traditional Hamburger Hop. Twenty chefs competed to create the hamburger with the most epicurean elan.

    Chef Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eaterygot *Judge’s Choice for his “Prez Obama Burger,” with red onion marmalade, gorgonzola crumbles and horseradish mayonnaise on a brioche bun.

    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.


  • On the Menu: 7 Questions for Chef Spike Mendelsohn


    Well known for his television appearances, Chef Spike Mendelsohn runs a slew of popular restaurants when he's not traveling the country for speaking engagements, culinary demos and quick-fire competitions.

    Making his debut on Bravo's Top Chef: Chicago, Chef Mendelsohn then appeared onLife After Top Chef and Top Chef: All-Stars, plus Food Network's "Iron Chef America." In October, he'll debut as both host and judge of FYI Channel's new cooking series Midnight Feast.

    In Washington, D.C., Chef Mendelsohn runs Béarnaise Restaurant, Good Stuff Eatery, The Sheppard and We, The Pizza. It's a lifestyle that's all in the family for this chef, whose parents and siblings are also in the restaurant business. Chef Mendelsohn trained at the Culinary Institute of America and then worked for icons such as Thomas Keller of Bouchon, Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque and Drew Neiporent of Mai House.

    Read More

  • 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


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