Good Stuff Eatery
Two friends and I went to Good Stuff Eatery last night. This is my version of events! :)
I was SO looking forward to eating here. I love a good burger/fry place. It's true, I don't get out much.
We arrived at 6pm, and I thought the wait was short. Small line. The confusing part, however, is that the menu is above where you pick up your food. So you don't really know who is in line, who is waiting for food, or who is just looking at the menu.
I ordered the vegetarian "burger". It's a panko-crusted, flash fried portobello mushroom (ok, more than 1, I think it's two sandwiched together) with muenster, tomato, and lettuce. I was VERY surprised at how good it was. It was very meaty and not in the fake meat way. I put some chipotle mayo on it and YUM. My friends mentioned that they thought their burgers were salty in places, which I didn't think was the case with my "burger". That could have been because I put the mayo on and didn't taste the salt. And I like salt. However, later in the evening I was VERY thirsty, so either the heat or the salt got to me. I'll guess it was a little of both, but the salt didn't help.
I had a small order of Spike's Fries with the herbs on top. They were also delicious, as were all of the mayos that you can dip into. My favorite was the mango. The Old Bay was a close second. They were all delicious, though. My only issue with the fries is that they are very small. I don't know if this is the norm. Like, the actual fry itself seemed like the leftover of the batch - not one was more than 1/2" long, so it was hard to dip. I would like if they were a bit longer.
And the best part - toasted marshmallow shake. OMG. I want one now. And in another hour. I shared this with a girlfriend, so I only had 1/2 of a shake. My ONLY issue with the shake is that I would have liked it to be a little thicker. There's something about working for the milk shake through the straw that I like, then it gets thinner as it starts to melt. But it was fabulously delicious.
The service was fine - the woman at the bar/shake/food receiving end was very friendly. It took a bit of time for them to realize I still needed my shake. I don't think the wait for the food itself was excessive for a freshly made item. Everything was hot (well, not the shake).
The space is nice - but I did feel rushed to leave our table because others were staring at us. Had it been a nicer evening out, I would have enjoyed the outside area - it's nice.
Spike was there handing out orders this afternoon. I liked the bacon cheeseburger -- the patty was done to a perfect medium-rare (which could turn off some of the Five Guys crowd) and the bun was nice, though the whole package was a little greasy and sloppily assembled. The herbed "Village" fries were also good -- not the best fries in the world, especially if they're allowed to steam in the container, but the rosemary topping is quite inspired.
Definitely superior to Five Guys or Elevation Burger.
I have to agree that just about everyone in the place thought the toasted marshmallow shake was worth the trip by itself and yes, they do need to be thicker. I was trying to figure out what was holding the shakes back from being good and it was that their consistency was a little too McDo.
I too tried Good Stuff last night. Unfortunately, I didn't have the same great experience as the original poster. I'll chalk it up to the restaurant working out the kinks on its opening week.
When we arrived (a little after 7PM), there was a small line forming outside and one of the managers was holding people at the door, not allowing new people in until the line to order inside calmed down. He was friendly and talkative and in about 15 minutes we were inside.
When I got inside I was very surprised to see that Spike wasn't there. Personally, I didn't really come to see him, but he is the main draw for that restaurant, and on its opening week, it was shocking to me that he wasn't there during a dinner rush.
We waited inside for about 35 minutes before ordering and received a pager that was supposed to vibrate when our food was ready. This is where it got chaotic. The pager system went down, orders got mixed up, and about 40 people (myself included) ended up waiting nearly an hour for food. During the wait, there were three different workers tried to take charge and get everything in order. The problem was, they were all on different pages and it only made for more confusion and a longer wait. Workers were yelling at each other as the pressure was obviously getting to them.
Finally got our food (a bbq-type burger, a cheeseburger, an order of spike's fries and two milkshakes) and I found it to be pretty good. The burgers are definitely cooked well, and the toppings and ingredients were well prepared. I too thought the fries were cut too short. I also wasn't a huge fan of the texture of the inside of the fries. It almost tasted like a fried mashed potato. It was a little weird for me. Our milkshakes were also fairly disappointing. When I ordered the milkshakes they were given to me right away from a line of pre-prepared shakes that were on the counter. It was obvious that they had been sitting out for a long time because neither of the shakes were cold. In fact, my girlfriends was actually luke warm. It was gross.
I'm going to give GSE the benefit of the doubt. They had a computer malfunction during a huge rush on their third day of operation. In about a month I will return once they have worked out the computer issues because the burger was actually very good and if the shakes were cold, they would have been worth it too.
I still think that things would have gone a lot better last night if GSE had ONE person in charge. Unfortunately the one person who should have been there taking control (Spike), was nowhere to be found. I heard from a friend he showed up later that evening (around 8:45).
Why did you think Spike would be there? He's not the head chef in a place full of line cooks (which is essentially what it is).
He designed the concept, the menu, and that whole money thing. It's part of a larger restaurant group he has just started in order to open a few restaurants in the DC area.
When you go to Jaleo, do you expect to see Jose Andres?
Pretty amazing that the head guy would not be there during the first couple of weeks of operation. When could he possibly have had time to properly train folks if it had not yet opened? During a couple of days of mock service? You can bet your a$$ that Jose Andres was there during the start of Jaleo.
I was there at the exact same time last night. First off, there WAS one person in charge, Spike's mom, and I thought she did a pretty good job of handling the situation (with some help from Sam Adams and Red Stripe). They had a computer meltdown, even if Spike had been there how would he have helped? I highly doubt the dude's trained in IT. I was by no means satisfied with Good Stuff but give it some time, its been open for a couple days.
My wife and I checked out Good Stuff tonight. Spike was sitting outside and chatted up several of his customers.
I noticed he already had a handful of his early press framed and hung up on the walls. Patrons are also greeted by a humongous picture of Spike upon entering the restaurant.
I had a chili burger. I thought the sour cream on the burger was a nice touch, but the patty was relatively small.
I am also partial to thicker shakes, but I thought the Chocolate shake was very good.
My wife had the burger with the daikon, carrots, etc.--a sandwich that is a nice ode to the Bahn Mi. It was unlike any burger I've tasted. Spike scores points for the unique toppings. Her burger, however, was grisley. She actually bit into something hard--perhaps some cartilidge--that she had to spit out.
The wife had the toasted marshmellow shake--which was excellent.
We shared french fries. They were mealy and cold. We didn't show up until after 10 p.m., but there is no excuse for serving cold french fries.
As Tom C would have asked Spike, "Did you taste the food before sending it out?" By my experience, I would say not.
I really wanted to like this place, but I'm doubtful I'd go back.