Nichole Goes to Good Stuff Eatery. For Now, Perhaps It Should Be Called Okay Stuff


With all of my newfound spare time, I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of afternoons out and about in the neighborhood with Ramona (my dog). There’s no better time of year for it and it’s great to not have to cram everything in just two days at the end of each week.

Last Friday I finally got around to hitting Good Stuff Eatery on Pennsylvania Ave. It opened earlier in the summer to much fanfare as part of the city’s burger craze, and every time I’d been past, it had lines out the door. I hate waiting in lines more than I love a good burger (which is to say, a lot) so I never made it in.

Now, I feel I should mention that I am not a fan of the Bravo Network’s Top Chef. I watched one or two episodes of whichever season had the guy with wacky hair who was always making foams from things. I love cooking shows of all sorts, but I just don’t like Top Chef. So that Good Stuff is the brainchild of “Chef Spike” means nothing to me, but people seem to have opinions on this subject, mostly of the ilk, “Wow, that guy was an ass.” But I have no idea, I was just psyched for a good burger. Story continues after the jump.

I went with a friend of mine who was kind enough to do the line waiting for us while I held a table outside with the pooch. In honor of the election, Good Stuff is featuring an Obama Burger and a McCain Burger. We both opted for the Obama Burger, which was topped with bleu cheese, horseradish mayo, onion marmalade and bacon. (Politics aside, bacon and bleu cheese will win me over every time – the candidates should remember this in November.) Its companion, the McCain burger, was certainly tempting (chipotle mayo, corn roasted red pepper salsa and jack cheese) but I had to go with the bacon. In addition to our Obama Burgers, we split an order of fries, and each got a milkshake. Toasted Marshmallow for me and Black & White for my friend.

The wait wasn’t terribly long around 1:30pm on a Friday. My friend first brought out a variety of dipping sauces from the Sauce Bar for our fries. My favorite was the sriracha, and I could take or leave the Old Bay and Chipotle. The fries themselves were okay – not great (we got Sunny’s Handcut Fries, not Spike’s Village Fries which are seasoned) but adequate. My biggest issue was that I felt that perhaps we got the bottom of the fry basket, because they were all like fry nuggets. Not one fry in our bag was longer than 2 inches. I know that’s a weird thing to complain about, but when you’re going to have dipping sauces as a feature, please don’t make me have to work hard to keep my fingers out of the sauce. My friend did say that the onion rings looked delicious, though we didn’t try them.



The main attraction is supposed to the burgers. I love a lot of toppings; the messier the better. So the burger looked good, but previous reviews had warned me to keep my expectations low. I was glad I did. The toppings were indeed delicious. The burger could have been from Five Guys – which isn’t an insult, but for the price at Good Stuff I’d have preferred to select how my burger was cooked (a sentiment crystallized by my dining companion, who doesn’t even order her burgers “as rare as you will cook it” like I do). It wasn’t bad at all – it just wasn’t spectacular and without the toppings it would have merely rated an “eh.”



Redeeming the entire meal were the milkshakes. My friend’s Black and White looked amazing, and I don’t even like chocolate. She said it was amazing. My Toasted Marshmallow was a cup of heaven, and even if I don’t go back to try the burgers again (which, in fairness, I probably will) I will absolutely stop in for a shake.


So overall, Good Stuff was okay. Definitely not worth the lines and as seems to be the case with most of the city’s new burger joints, doesn’t quite live up the hype. I’ve heard good things about Ray’s Hellburger across the river (including that you can choose how your burger is done), but I’m hoping that in time I won’t have to make that trip for a good burger.

13 Comment

  • Everything I’ve heard and or read about this place seems to fall into what I might call New York Yankees-style assessments. Folks either love it madly, or don’t like it at all. All the more reason for me to get my arse over there and decide for myself.

  • I was underwhelmed @ Good Stuff. Still a good burger, but it wasn’t worth the wait.
    I would have been happier @ 5 Guys.

    As for Ray’s, i’ve been 2wice

    1)When it first opened – great – great burger + corn and watermelon

    2) Last Saturday – great burger + slice of orange and slice of tomato
    I think I liked the burger better, but a big part of the appeal was the melon and corn. Tomato and Orange = cheap.

  • The burgers at Ray’s are great! I had no interest in the Watermelon and would chuck it but I did like the corn. Too bad they downgraded to an orange – WTF?

  • The reasons I like Good Stuff are more selfish than anything:

    1. I am allergic to peanut oil (scratch 5 Guys) and sesame (scratch most anyone with a sesame seed bun, including 5 Guys), and it’s WAY better than a McDonalds burger

    2. My S.O. is gluten intolerant, and a TON of their foods are made from scratch and with excellent practices that are good for preventing cross-contamination, so he can eat the special sauce, the fries (fried in separate oil than the onion rings) and the burgers (without the bun)

    3. As Nichole mentioned, the freaking milkshakes are fantastic.

    4. As are the Village Fries

  • i was very happy with the burger i had there. i went on a saturday night and there was no line – just very happy customers.

  • I have only been once but I love the Village Fries (need to try a shake obviously).

    My problem was that the music was way, way too loud (might have changed). The first time I tried to go at roughly 4 on a Saturday they were closed and all I could think of WTF? I think the also had weird hours on the weekday but I think that may have changed.

  • This place is as close as us California transplants can come to the inimitable In & Out. Its delicious, and the veggie burgers arent nasty and soggy like everywhere else in the city. Oh, and five guys might have been good a few years ago, but let’s face it, they have taken a turn for the worse.

  • Tried to grab a post-golf burger on a Sunday in August and…GSE wasn’t open. Pretty unusual for a Capitol Hill burger joint to be closed on a Sunday. And I’ve heard it’s good.

    Urban Burger in Rockville is well worth the drive. Best non-restaurant burger in the area, even allowing for the highly unpleasant drive.

  • i agree..the milkshakes are the true stars…xoxo

  • saf

    Those of you liking the Hellburger – I note that they are serving the burger in the bar at Ray’s the Classics in Silver Spring.

  • They have great options for non-meat eaters and the toasted marshmallow milkshake alone is worth the trip. And the mayo bar…mmm..

  • Wasn’t this place cited for health code violations, including leaving raw meat in the alley, only like one month ago?

  • I was actually Nichole’s dining companion, and she captured my sentiments nicely–I loved the shakes, and I’m sure I’ll be back, but I’m not exactly worried about GSE becoming a health-wrecking habit. The best of the new-ish burger joints I’ve visited recently in the DC area is BGR in Bethesda. Although I was not able to order my burger as I like it (my usual choice is medium rare), it wasn’t the usual dried out shell of a patty. And they have sweet-potato fries–heaven in my book. It’s across the street from where I get my haircut, which luckily happens only every 6 weeks or so, because otherwise BGR would be a health-wrecking habit.

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