Eating · Enjoying DC

Where I Ate: The Good Stuff Eatery

There’s very little, if anything at all, not to like about this hamburger restaurant. Oh, yes, I did find one thing – nothing brings out a craving for red wine in me like the prospect of some delicious red meat, and diet Coke, even bottomless, didn’t quite scratch that itch. On the other hand, even that is a good thing, because it keeps costs down – we sat and chatted over great food for a good couple of hours for about $12.50 each. (The non-tipping ethos of the place also keeps costs down: you order your own food from the bar, and are handed a buzzer, which goes off when your food is ready. No need for table numbers or complicated systems. It’s ingenious.)

But the best thing good about these kinds of restaurants in DC, those without table service, is that you don’t feel rushed. On a warm summer’s evening like today, it’s great to be able to sip your Coke and watch the world go by as you wait for your perennially late friend (ahem, that’ll be me) and then to linger there together. And what a great place to linger: minutes away from the Capitol, potentially within eavesdropping range of all kinds of nerdy political conversation, or – as we were – of typical DC families in which the toddler is expected to be reasonable, the mother works for a non-profit and the father for a law firm, and who welcome you to the US when they learn you’ve just moved there.

The photo is from a seriouseats.com review

Anyway, yes, the food. I feel as if this eatery is named in a very British, understated way. You might expect it to be called “Totally Awesome”, instead of “Good”. I had a Colletti’s Smokehouse burger, with applewood bacon and Vermont cheddar (quite how that’s different from UK cheddar I shall investigate another time), and half a portion of the delicious Spike’s Village Fries, topped with fresh thyme, rosemary and sea salt. And if you’re wondering why only half a portion, it was because my friend wanted to share one – I’d happily have eaten a few more of them. And then a few more again. The portions even come in two sizes, the other being “snack size”, so I can see myself inventing reasons why I really need to pop in for a few fries on my way to church or the DNC headquarters. When I first took a bite, I was disappointed they weren’t crunchy, but the non-crunchiness grew on me. Perhaps it’s the Belgian in me, but I’m fussy with my chips. Not that easy to please. And these pleased me no end. The burger was enjoyable and satisfying too.

I daresay I’ve found another new favourite place.

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