Thursday, August 06, 2009

Does The First Lady Have a Fave Burger Joint? Another Visit to Good Stuff Eatery...

Second Helpings
First Lady Michelle Obama visited Spike Mendelsohn's
Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill today, with daughters Malia and Sasha, and White House staffers. Spike's now officially the founding member of the Obama Second Helpings Club, because the First Lady and a gang of staff visited Spike's joint back in May. It was the premiere visit for the Obama daughters, however. (In pic: Good Stuff)

On the menu today:
Natch, the President Obama Burger, which has horseradish mayo, red onion marmalade, crumbled blue cheese and bacon. Cheeseburgers were also ordered, as were some of Good Stuff's legendary milkshakes, including vanilla, chocolate, toasted marshmallow and the Milky Way malt (butterscotch, hot fudge, malt balls, custard and whipped cream).

As Ob Fo noted during Mrs. Obama's last Good Stuff visit, Spike is no stranger to the White House. He was one of the guest chefs who demonstrated healthy cooking in the Kids Kitchen at the 2009 Easter Egg Roll. He also told Ob Fo that he's been making "secret burgers" for President Obama since Janauary; the President has been known to send Secret Service dudes over for a cheeseburger when he can't get out of the (Oval) office. Spike said he always keeps a fresh head of broccoli in his cooler, because it's not regularly on the menu, and President Obama likes his burger with a side of steamed broccoli. (in pic: Spike with White House assitant chef and Food Initiative Coordinator Sam Kass)

Spike's transformed what is often regarded as unhealthy food--burgers and fries--into much healthier versions at Good Stuff, and it's become a very popular hangout for Hill staffers in its first year of operation. It's also a family-run operation; his parents and sister work there. Spike's philosophy:

"'Junk food' doesn't have to be unhealthy," Spike said. "I use seasonal produce, and I'm into sustainable agriculture as much as I can practice. We use multi grain buns, there's vegetables even in the meat burgers...we have fresh fruit salsas...." The recipe Spike demonstrated for the Kids Kitchen is indicative of this; read it here. Spike rose to fame as one of the chefs on Top Chef during Season 4, but that claim to fame might be replaced by the Obama association....

Good Stuff Eatery is at 303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington Dc, 20003. Phone: 202-543-8222. Email: Spike has a blog about Good Stuff stuff here.

*Cartographies of Chowbama:
An interactive Google map of where the Obamas have eaten is here.

*Related: Tim Carman of Washington City Paper chats with Spike about his next restaurant project, Zack's Taverna, here.