D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty sports his signature fedora around town, but he'll have to share the look with city newcomer Spike Mendelsohn, the former Top Chef contestant opening Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill this week. According to this video interview with Washingtonian, "Spike," whose real name is Evangelis, doesn't have to buy his hats anymore. Fans just send them as gifts.
Mendelsohn likes his straw fedora most, which he couldn't wear while working at Le Cirque in New York. Following a strict "brigade" dress code, the French kitchen also prohibited Mendelsohn's scruffy beard. But fedoras and facial hair are all good at Good Stuff Eatery, his new fast-casual burgers-and-shakes joint. Other things that are "good," according to a wall hanging here: food, times, people, and stuff.
Mendelsohn thanks buddy Tom Colicchio for his advice: "Go for simple, and don't mess it up." Simple food is also key when the economic dip doesn't favor fine dining, even if that's his "dream somewhere down the line." For now, he has his eponymous "Spike's 5 Napkin," which includes cheese, bacon, a fried egg, Good Stuff sauce, and like all the burgers, farm-fresh beef from Maryland-based Capital Meats.
Next week, the Top Chef gang including Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, and a bunch of Mendelsohn's New York buds, will visit the nation's capital for the burger joint's opening bash.
If given the chance, would you eat at a restaurant opened by a former Top Cheffer?
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.