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Good Stuff… Chef Spike Mendelsohn, DC Metro Moms Bloggers and Quaker

Chef Spike with the DC Metro Mom Bloggers.

Chef Spike with the DC Metro Mom Bloggers.

Good Stuff Eatery  is the name of the restaurant Chef Spike Mendelsohn, of Bravo’s reality show Top Chef, launched in Washington DC last year, and it was the setting of the realization of my own good “stuff” — I have been invited to be a part of the DC Metro Moms Blog.  (More on that in a minute…)

The concept behind Good Stuff Eatery (303 Pennsylvania Ave, SE) is a place to get a good burger and shake — Chef Spike wanted to develop a restaurant that had a menu he could eventually replicate into a chain of restaurants.  The burgers include a portobello burger and a turkey burger and bunless versions as well, and there is a salad menu (called “wedges”).  But the real highlight of the menu are the “hand-spun shakes” which are based on a custard that is made each morning with a fancy $30,000 machine.  With names like “Toasted Marshmallow” and “Milky Way Malt” how could a girl resist?  She couldn’t!  So this is what a Milky Way Malt looks like:

Yummmm

Yummmm

If you order nothing else, order a shake!  Warning — they are so rich and so thick,  you may not be able to finish it.  They are THAT good! 

Apparently expansion plans first include more DC spots and then other metropolitan areas… so when I asked him if he’d consider NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Chef Spike said, “Tell me a good spot and I’ll consider it!”  So listen up Northern Virginians… start posting here if you want to see a Good Stuff Eatery near us — I’ll make sure he sees it!

Yeah, yeah, enough about the FOOD, what about SPIKE?!  He was so frenetic on Top Chef that I was expecting him to be even MORE so at his own restaurant.  Quite the opposite.  He was very laid back, almost blending into the walls in his black Vans t-shirt and his quiet demeanor.  Several of us weren’t even sure at first it was him — we all (JavaDad, cover your ears/eyes) thought he was actually much cuter in person than on TV (or as one blogger remarked, “he looked scruffier on TV”).  He’s brash on his TV appearances, and yet, surrounded by 25 female bloggers in his own restaurant, he was soft-spoken, very polite, quietly asking each of us if we were enjoying our meals.  He very patiently indulged us in our requests for photos.  I approached him with a request to help out the Junior League with our Kids in the Kitchen initiative, by possibly appearing as a celebrity chef and teaching kids (and their parents) how to cook delicious food in a healthy way, and he immediately lit up.  Chef Spike, you see, is spokesperson for Quaker, who sponsored our dinner for the evening, gave us swag bags with Life cereal and granola bars (one of which JavaGirl has already greedily consumed) AND generously made a donation to the Capital Area Food Bank in honor of the DC Metro Moms Blog group.  In my journalism days, I never could’ve accepted such generosity — as a blogger, this is a first.  All I can say is THANK YOU! 

And just who ARE these DC Metro Mom Blog women (okay, there are actually a few MEN in the group, too, but only the women showed up)?  Well — this is a group I’ve had my eye on since I began this blog — actually I first new about their parent organization, the Silicon Valley Moms Blog thanks to one of the first bloggers (besides my brother-in-law) who I first started following, Plain Jane Mom (she has no idea who I am — probably thinks I’m a stalker who emails her every few months with blog questions, but she’s been immensely helpful to me, for which I am eternally grateful).  There are about 50 of them in the DC group and they have blogs on a variety of topics – parenting, entertainment, technology, law, and  more – and they range in experience from new bloggers to blogging before blogging was called blogging.  When I launched Caffeine and a Prayer, one of my goals was to one day build this site up enough to be worthy of contributing to their site — and I’m honored that they’ve allowed me to join their group.  I’ll be contributing twice a month (or more, if they let me!), so please hop on over there to read my stuff as well as the terrific writing these women (and men) have.   Monday night was the first time I got to meet them in person and I can tell you, well, okay, first they are LOUD (LOL!) but they are warm and wonderful and lively and fantastic!  I have never been welcomed so quickly and so warmly by a group as I have by this one.   Please be sure to visit their sites — all listed in the DC Metro Moms About Us section.