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Anyone try Good Stuff Eatery yet?

f
FlaHopper Jul 8, 2008 06:50 AM

Spike from Top Chef opened his new Capitol Hill burger joint yesterday. I saw one glowing customer review on the Washington Post, but has anyone else tried it?

  1. t
    tld373 Jul 14, 2008 01:58 PM

    I went Saturday at around 2:30 for a late lunch with a friend. The line was still around the block but moved relatively quick - we timed it and made if from our spot on the sidewalk in front of the Cosi to the ordering/registers of Good Stuff in about 25 minutes. Spike's dad mans the door on the weekends and is adorable. Lots of staff - looks like they had the labor/efficiency part down. The dad was letting people in in groups, so the inside wasn't insane. Once you're in, you go through another inside line, put your order in at the register, and then are given a 'buzzer' - to be called when your order is up. They ran out of milk and basics with the shakes, so our food came within 5 minutes but we kept getting told to come back for the shakes - something they need to work on. Both the burgers and shakes have awesome flavor (as do the onion rings and dips, IMHO) but I thought both could be tweaked...the burgers, while fresh and tasty, are small...my boyfriend would've starved. (And there aren't a lot of options for double burgers on the menu that I noticed.) The shakes are not the thick classics with whipped cream of my youth...they're very thin and not worth the calories for me for that reason alone. However, they do have a good thing going...management seems good (they were constantly restocking and emptying trash) and yes, Spike with his fedora et al was there...in person and in pictures all over the walls. I'd go back - we definitely need something like this on the Hill.
    Note - they must be changing the hours. They turned people away and closed down at 3:30 and said they would open again at 5...and were NOT open on Sunday at 7:45 when we attempted to go back - ?? don't know what's up with that.

    1. s
      Super Salad Jul 10, 2008 10:26 AM

      I need serious information on line wait. We are planning an office outing and are thinking about going next week.
      Your thoughts on going for a late lunch at
      2PM or 2:30PM.

      Will it still be jammed? Is there any place to sit?

      1. e
        edlf25 Jul 10, 2008 08:45 AM

        Tried Good Stuff last night. Took the metro from Dunn Loring around 5:30pm (all the way across town), and got there in time to beat the after work crowd. The wait in line was less than 10 minutes.

        I ordered the 5 Napkin with Village fries, and the boyfriend ordered the Big Stuff Bacon Meltdown with the onion rings. We were hoping for some draft Blue Moons to go with our meal, but the taps were not working. We got bottles instead.

        We both really, really enjoyed our meal. I'm not a huge burger person (I crave the mini's from Matchbox from time to time, but other than that don't seek them out), and I ate every last bite of my meal. My patty was cooked perfectly (good size - not small, but not so big you destroy the burger trying to eat it). The brioche bun was light and buttery. The best part was the fried egg and bacon. Really did taste "farm fresh." I love breakfast, so this combo to me was absolutely delicious.

        My boyfriend also raved about his burger. Praised the tastiness of the bacon specifically (THICK CUT), and loved the cheese--tasted sharp and fresh, not processed.

        We both loved the taste of the fries and the onion rings, though we'd agree with some other comments that: 1) the fries seemed a little "short" (though I'd rather have them crisp like they were than longer and mushy ala Five Guys) and 2) the onion rings weren't really "rings," more like pieces. Still -- good enough that we ate every last one.

        Overall very impressed and definitely going to return. Looking forward to trying the shakes next time.

        4 Replies
        1. re: edlf25
          j
          Jeserf Jul 10, 2008 08:57 AM

          I'm glad someone else thought the fries were too stubby!

          I wanted them longer, too, but so that I could enjoy the sauce more :)

          1. re: edlf25
            e
            Ericandblueboy Jul 14, 2008 02:35 PM

            What is your definition of "perfectly cooked" for burgers? Does one have the right to request how a burger is cooked?

            1. re: Ericandblueboy
              e
              Elyssa Jul 14, 2008 03:50 PM

              I don't think they allowed you to request medium vs medium rare etc...at least they didn't ask me when I went. But the burger I had was not overcooked...still juicy and a little pink but I also like my meat cooked medium usually.

              I need to post more about my experience when I have more time.

              One thing to note: when I walked by today there was a note on the door saying they will be closed (this past) Sunday and today to prepare for "other Top Chef contestants, Chef Spike" and other DC fans for their red carpet grand opening. I thought they already had their grand opening but I guess not. They really have a HUGE media plan don't they?

              1. re: Elyssa
                e
                Ericandblueboy Jul 14, 2008 08:48 PM

                Oye! If they're in business a year from now, maybe I'll go try it!!

          2. w
            WestN Jul 10, 2008 06:26 AM

            Went last night and I have to give it an enthusiastic "meh." The queue wasn't too bad at around 7:30, the problem comes from everyone waiting for their orders crowding. Despite the near feeding frenzy, the staff remained exceptionally friendly, cooperative and willing to hand out free beer on a moment's notice.

            I got a Spike's 5 Napkin, Village Fries, and a Chocolate shake. The burger was seriously under impressive (tiny, overcooked patty) though the toppings and bun were pretty good. The fries basically just tasted like peanut oil and i really wished I had got onion rings after trying my friends (side note about the mayo bar: I'm not a huge mayo fan but the sentiments at my table were all pretty similar. The Old Bay is too Old and Bayish, the mango is terrible, the chipotle is alright, and the Sriracha has a kick if not much flavor). My shake was alright, I didn't like it at first because it reminded me a lot of a McDonald's shake but after a while I started to come around on it.

            Overall, I'm going to hold off on a final judgment until I go back sometime after the crowds die down and the staff has had time to get everything worked out. Also, I'm not going to go to Ray's only a few days before because it seriously overshadowed my Good Stuff experience.

            1. j
              Jeserf Jul 10, 2008 05:40 AM

              I went last night. Will report my version, and if the other chowhounder I went with wishes to contribute, then hopefully they will!

              1. w
                WestIndianArchie Jul 9, 2008 06:11 AM

                How does it compare to Ray's new joint?

                1. scotcheroo Jul 8, 2008 08:10 AM

                  I tried to go yesterday with a couple co-workers. Line was 3-4 deep and about a 1/2 block long. I appreciate a good burger but don't want to fight Bravo TV fans to for an hour to get one.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: scotcheroo
                    e
                    Elyssa Jul 8, 2008 08:27 AM

                    Are the line mostly during lunch, dinner or both? Because I'm going tomorrow and trying to figure out if the line will be incredibly long around 5:45-6:00pm for dinner.

                    1. re: Elyssa
                      scotcheroo Jul 8, 2008 09:12 AM

                      Dunno about dinner - but the wait at lunch yesterday was AT LEAST an hour judging by the length of the line and how fast it was moving. It might be better at dinner, not so many staffers around.

                      1. re: scotcheroo
                        d
                        dc_eater Jul 8, 2008 08:28 PM

                        We went yesterday around 8:45/9 pm -- the first day -- and it took about an hour to go through the line, place our order, and get our burgers / drinks. The burgers are very good but it required a lot of patience. Service is pretty disorganized (or maybe overwhelmed by the crowds). The fries were good but would have been better if they were warm -- I suspect they cooled during the wait.

                        Bottom line: If you can stand waiting, it is worth going, especially if you don't mind the kinks. Otherwise maybe wait until the crowds are fewer or try to go at an hour when it will not be crowded. (Not sure when that is.)

                        1. re: dc_eater
                          j
                          Jeserf Jul 9, 2008 08:35 AM

                          ...I hope it's busy that late...

                          <worried>

                    2. re: scotcheroo
                      r
                      Rosco1 Jul 10, 2008 05:25 AM

                      A week won't cut it. I suggest you wait until August recess when most Capitol Hill restaurants empty out.

                    3. e
                      Elyssa Jul 8, 2008 06:56 AM

                      Here's another post with some info: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/530677

                      I know a few people on Don Rockwell have tried the burger as well.

                      For the record, I don't really read the reviews on WP.com unless they are written by Tom. I just find them a tad hard to trust. And Tom himself has said to skip over them. Not that I think Good Stuff is good or bad---I'll be trying it on Weds so I'll let you know :)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Elyssa
                        f
                        FlaHopper Jul 8, 2008 08:07 AM

                        Interesting write up on the Capitol Spice blog, but I'll be interested to hear how the food and service are now that it's officially open. With visions of lines streaming out the door, I think I'll wait another week or so before venturing in.

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