Saturday, May 2, 2009

good stuff eatery, washington dc, april 30

forgive me, blogger. but it has been seven weeks since my last post. whoops.

so, in the pantheon of former top chef contestants, spike ranks as one who is in my top, oh, let's say, 30 favorites. in that there have been about 60 so far, you do the math. i thought he was ok, but i was never really impressed with his personality or ability. he seemed to get in his own way a lot. but he didn't seem actively evil, and on that show, that puts you in the 50th percentile.

anyway, he has a burger joint here. my pals melanie and josh who live here have been a couple of times and assured me it was worth trying. that coupled with the fact that on tuesday i will be in atlanta and will be going to another burger joint run by a top chef alum, one who is probably in my top 5 favorite top chef contestants, i thought it would be fun to compare and contrast.

good stuff eatery is on pennsylvania avenue, about 13 blocks away from that other place on pennsylvania avenue. you walk in and order downstairs and can eat upstairs or outside.

pam and i went for lunch and each had a burger, split some fries and i got a shake.

the cliff's notes version: the burgers were unattractive and greasy, yet pretty tasty.

pam got the colletti's smokehouse burger, which has applewood bacon, a fried vidalia onion "ring," (more on the quotes later), cheddar and chipotle bbq sauce. the menu makes a big deal of the sweet, buttery soft freshly baked pennsylvania dutch roll, but by the time you get it, it is saturated in grease, so any nuance is kinda lost. shrug. it is also not large for the price, but that's not really a knock. because it's big enough. the good news is the burger tasted really good. and that is not small good news. the bad news was two things. first, the onion "ring" was a large chunk of fried onion. no ring going on in there. basically, it was onion butt. second, the chipotle bbq sauce was applied pretty stingy.

i got the good stuff melt, which is cheddar and muenster melted on the burger, which is topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms. very, very good. it was presumably topped with something called good stuff sauce, but, um, i have nothing to report on that. if there was a sauce on there, i totally missed it.

one oddity about the burgers: we were not asked how we like them cooked, which usually means they only do well done. which is sad. but mine was a perfect medium, and when i saw that, i was stunned. but pam's was well done. still good, just cooked more than you would hope good meat would be cooked. but the discrepancy made it worth wondering if i just got lucky with a properly cooked burger, and if the rule is well done. don't know.

you have a choice of regular fries or herby ones, and we went herby. thyme, rosemary, sea salt and black pepper. when you poured them out of the bag, it was like perfume. they smelled awesome. they tasted good, too, tho they weren't really hot or crisp. tasted like they had been cooked awhile earlier and sat somewhere for awhile. which actually makes it amazing that they were as good as they were.

on the condiment bar, they had four kinds of mayo. old bay, sriracha (a garlic-chili sauce), mango and chipotle. i tried the old bay and the chipotle. i liked them both, but the flavor wasn't distinctive enough that i could tell them apart. i ate more of the one that i THINK was old bay. if that means anything.

i got the milky way malt milk shake, and i am willing to declare, until at least tuesday, it is the best milkshake i have ever had. very, very rich malted vanilla shake with strata of caramel and fudge, then crumbled malt balls on top. loved it. it was large. i should not have finished it. but i did. oh well.

i'm really looking forward to going to flip on tuesday. i had modest expectations of good stuff. for flip, they are pretty high, actually. which is usually not a good scenario for me, but we'll see. i have faith.


Alan said...

I KNEW there was a reason I kept visiting this blog. Welcome back. I actually almost volunteered to guest-blog about my last trip to New York just to keep this thing active, only the dropoff in quality would've been pretty jarring.

jim webster said...

ha! i wish you'd guest blog. i have oyamel, central and 2 bbq joints written and will post tomorrow when i upload photos. then i need to write watershed and flip, both of which were amazing.

jkgf said...

Another great spot for onion rings in the District is Z Burger, they have just the right sweetness and crispy appeal.