IN THE NEWS
We the Pizza: Order your pies by the slice or whole, just be sure to try the fresh buffalo mozzarella and oven roasted tomato pizza. For those seeking a more adventurous pizza, experience the flavors of The Big Easy with their cajun chicken, andouille sausage and caramelized onion pie. Quench your thirst with their homemade sodas too; traditional, fruity and bubbly (yum!).
Spike Mendelsohn’s smoke-filled pizza joint really is great pizza though.
It’s hard to go wrong with pizza, but it is a challenge to really do it right. Admittedly it isn’t a steep culinary hill to climb, working with ingredients like cheese and meat, the right amount of spice and a really hot oven—you are almost guaranteed to produce a winner everytime.
But, We the Pizza is different.
Mendelsohn’s offerings include a full range of options; while my favorite is the Spicy Mexican, the Sicilian and the Regal Pepper (St. Augustine, FL) pizza are also local favorites. I have not been as adventurous – nor health-minded enough – to go for the cauliflower gratin pizza yet; and in all honesty I don’t expect I ever will, but for the rest of the pie (conveniently served by the slice) they are a perfect blending of what many of us are looking for in a pizza joint. A great ambiance full of the flavorful smells you would expect at a NY pizzeria and the pie to back it up.
After your history lesson, whet your appetite at the appropriately named We, The Pizza, which offers, hands-down, the best pizza I have tried so far in the District. My prior D.C. experiences having been the average Fuel Pizza, Jumbo Slice and Pizza Movers, I almost gave up hope of finding a stellar pizza experience here.
We, The Pizza, a relaxed joint owned by former “Top Chef” contestant Spike Mendelsohn, proved me wrong. Its chewy, large slices will leave you wanting more. My mom and I tried the White Pie and the Fresh Buffalo Mozz & Roasted Tomato Pie, which was excellent.
Wash your slice down with one of the restaurant’s signature handmade sodas. I sampled the Ubet Manhattan Egg Cream, made with a layer of pure chocolate syrup under soda water and milky goodness. The restaurant doesn’t deliver to Foggy Bottom, but trust me, this pizza is worth the trip for take-out. Its smell alone will win you admirers on the Metro ride back.
WASHINGTON—While opinions on which restaurant offers the best pizza in the nation’s capital can differ wildly depending on the person you ask, it’s safe to say that Spike Mendelsohn’s We, The Pizza ranks in the top tier, especially if you change the criteria to best pizza by the slice.
If you narrow the geographic boundaries for best pizza to just Capitol Hill, Mendelsohn’s pizza place on Pennsylvania Avenue SE jumps even higher.
And in some good news for congressional staffers, We, the Pizza is offering a delivery special to the House and Senate office buildings.
HuffPost is partial to the Forest Shroomin’ Pie, which comes with wild forest mushrooms, truffles, mozzarella and fresh thyme. (Chef Spike, do you mind delivering to our bureau near the White House?)
So last night, I got home from the Power Up Awards and flipped on the TV and there was an Iron Chef competition and today’s Morning Man, Spike Mendelsohn, was on the verge of being eliminated.
But he made some kind of dish with a creative use of pineapple and staved will live to cook another day. Whew!
Spike first came to fame when he participated in Bravo’s Top Chef in 2008 then Top Chef All Stars two years later.
He owns the Capitol Hill restaurants Good Stuff Eatery and We The Pizza.
Growing up in St. Petersburg, FL and Montreal, Canada, where his parents owned and operated a restaurant, Spike knew he wanted a career in the culinary world at an early age and attended the Culinary Institute of America. He went on to train in classic French cuisine in restaurants around the world including Gerard Boyer at Les Crayeres, Thomas Keller at Bouchon, and The Maccioni Family at Le Cirque.
His first cookbook, The Good Stuff Cookbook, features American comfort food classics and favorites that are just right for the home cook.
The fine arts network Bravo has announced the officially official premiere date of Life After Top Chef: October 3. As previously announced, the show features former cheftestapants Richard Blais in Atlanta, Jen Carroll in Philadelphia (and, as noted by Eater operatives, in Charleston), Spike Mendelsohn in D.C., and Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles. It follows the chefs as they “[open] their own restaurants, [expand] franchises and [establish] themselves as culinary leaders in the food world.” Excellent.
So what has happened to these heroes since they were last on Bravo? The show follows Blais as he tries to balance family time with opening his new Atlanta restaurant, the Spence. Mendelsohn tries to expand his brand while “avoiding ruffling feathers with the Mendelsohn clan.” Carroll works on opening her “dream restaurant” Concrete Blonde — which, spoiler alert, has been put on hold while she eyes New York City spaces. Apparently Viviani has his eyes on becoming the “male Martha Stewart.” Here’s a very exciting video preview and the press release:
Washington D.C is trending in the food scene, so we rounded up the best places to eat and top restaurants and sites to visit, including Rachael Ray’s top 5 faves!
Former Top Chef contestant and D.C restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn helps Jennifer and Melanie make some pizza. He also talks about his latest TV venture and the new menu at We The Pizza.
The next time you eat at We, the Pizza, that might be D.C. Central Kitchen’s tomato sauce smudged on your cheeks, as the nonprofit organization has struck a deal with Spike Mendelsohn’s Capitol Hill pizzeria to provide 18 gallons of the stuff per day.
Back in March, Spike Mendelsohn, the former “Top Chef” competitor behind Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza, handed over his tomato sauce recipe to D.C. Central Kitchen. His goal? For the nonprofit organization to practice and perfect the sauce and then to produce the 18 gallons a day that the Capitol Hill pizzeria needs to satisfy its customers.
Bravo “Top Chef” Spike Mendelsohn; President Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng; and Professional Football Player Chris Draft will be reading to kids today at the Department of Education.
Famous 5: Chef Spike on Roll Call‘s Taste of America
Um, did anyone know Coconut was so popular with the DC Capitol Hill crowd? Well, that is exactly who was crowned champion this week at Roll Call’s Taste of America showdown at We, the Pizza, featuring Chef Spike Mendelsohn of We, the Pizza and Good Stuff Eatery.
We caught up with Chef Spike to get his take on how this all went down.
1. You just flooded We, the Pizza with overexcited Congressional Staff to crown a winner in Taste of America. How’d you pick the winning dish?
I’m not personally picking the winning dish, but if I did I would do it on taste, and originality. I would probably vote for the coconut. I’m not the biggest sweet guy, so coconut has the mixture of the savory and sweet. I’m kinda into that.
2. Was there a state or dish you’d been rooting for during the Taste of America voting?
Not really. I love Key Lime Pie, so I was excited to see that on there. Corn dogs remind me of growing up in Florida. Maple syrup from Vermont is always in my fridge. I think it’s really great to have a competition that highlights foods from everywhere - it brings people together in the best possible way – through their stomachs!
3. A hungry staffer only has $5 in his pocket and can only go to one of your restaurant spots for lunch–what should s/he order?
One of my restaurants with five bucks? [We, the Pizza] because you can get slice for under 5 (and cheese for $3). If you’re really into sweet you can get a shake for under $5 at Good Stuff Eatery.
4. Who’s the better tipper? Members of Congress or their staffers?
I’d say staffers, because it’s usually on Congress’ tab! No seriously, both restaurants are serve yourself so we don’t do tips. I like it that way, people don’t feel pressured to leave anything they come in, get some good grub and have a great time.
5. This place was packed to the gills for the Taste of America championship. Might there be plans to do it bigger next year?
You know for those type of decisions I sit around with the people involved, my PR. I probably think we will do it again. It will probably be an ongoing thing as we’ve had so much success this year and have a great relationship with Roll Call. Also, this contest and this idea is right up our alley – bringing the community together through food!
Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery had already been open on Capitol Hill for about two years the former Top Chef contestant opened We, The Pizza with a lot of buzz (and delays) last July. In the nearly a year that has passed, the chef has been busy building a brand for his pizza restaurant — as well as launching a Jewish deli food truck, making various media appearances and signing up for The Next Iron Chef. He also announced plans to franchise Good Stuff Eatery. So we chatted with Spike about We, The Pizza’s first year, and the road ahead.
On the GM’s most important night of the year, when he was choosing three players who might help alter the future of his franchise, Rizzo was fueled by food from We The Pizza, Spike Mendelsohn’s Capitol Hill joint. That’s serious drafting food.
Another tempting food truck is hitting the streets of D.C. This time, with a rabbinical bent. Historic synagogue Sixth & I is partnering with Good Stuff Eatery’s Spike Mendelsohn, among others, to launch a new mobile feed machine called Sixth & Rye. Scheduled to roll out on May 20, the new lunch truck will deliver corned beef, salty pickles, and other kosher deli fare, to various spots around town every Friday.
The White House Egg Roll has become a hot ticket since the Obamas began occupying the White House. This year’s event was the biggest ever, with some 200,000 people vying for 30,000 tickets. Jennifer Bartok was one of the lucky guests. She even got to meet the First Family, who appeared on the south balcony around 10:30. “It was amazing to see Michelle Obama,” Jennifer exclaimed. “She was lovely, and we got to meet her!” The trip was well worth it for this group of seven that traveled from New York City to attend.
What They Did
This year’s theme was “Get Up and Go!” Guests got to spend two hours shopping in the organic market, stretching in the “Yoga Garden,” participating in cooking demonstrations, and dancing to live musical performances.
What They Wore
The President was in his usual dress shirt and slacks. First Lady Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless grey and yellow frock covered in a sunflower print bursting with springtime sentiment.
Fans were atwitter over Willow Smith’s adorable pastel-plaid skort suit worn during her performance. Her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, also made quite the impression in Snake-print wedge sandles by Lavin. The Obama sisters–Malia in a faux halter top and Sasha in purple kicks–looked adorable.
Who Was There
It was a family affair for Reality TV star Kimora Lee Simmons, who along with her children, was joined by both her ex-husband, hip-hop producer Russell Simmons and current husband, actor Djimon Hounsou. Teen sensation, Colbie Caillat sang the national anthem, and the Harlem Globetrotters mesmerized the crowd with spinning basketballs. Al Roker and Kelly Ripa chatted up the crowd while Chefs Jacques Pepin and Spike Mendelsohn encouraged healthy eating. John Lithgow, Geena Davis, and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi also made appearances. Of course, the Easter Bunny was a big attraction.
There was one surprise for Jennifer. “I thought there would be food…” Perhaps next year.
In between stuffing our faces with tasty goodies, Team Glittarazzi got to catch up with some of the Nation’s Capital’s top culinary experts at Sweet Charity 2011 last night.
Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza—who is a contestant on the new season of The Next Iron Chef—says the Washington, D.C., food scene is on the brink.
“The Obamas have shown a real interest in food. They like to dine out and they’ve been able to showcase some great places here. That, along with Michelle’s initiative to improve school lunches has really boosted this previously underserved city,” Spike said.
Carlo Figarella, of the Art Institute of Washington, also credits reality television for boosting interest in local eateries and culinary delights.
“Shows like Top Chef and Top Chef Just Desserts have shone a positive light on the the talent we have here. We’re starting to have our own set of ‘celebrity chefs’ here like in larger cities because of these shows,” Carlo said.
Featuring both sweet and savory tastings from some of the area’s top chefs—along with a silent auction and candy couture fashion show—the annual event benefits The Heart of America Foundation’s Books From The Heart program.
Spike Mendelsohn is making the leap from Bravo’s “Top Chef” to Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef.” The Season 4 favorite joins nine other chefs, including Anne Burrell, Robert Irvine and Michael Chiarello in a battle for a permament perch in Kitchen Stadium.
The channel announced the celebrity-studded cast for “The Next Iron Chef” as shooting begins in Los Angeles and New York. The eight-episode series is set to return Oct. 30, with Alton Brown resuming hosting duties. Judges include the original “Next Iron Chef” winner, Michael Symon, as well as Simon Majumdar and British Iron Chef Judy Joo.
First burgers and shakes. Next stop…Iron Chef-dom?
Food Network announced the lineup of who will compete on this year’s season of “The Next Iron Chef” and among the names is Spike Mendelsohn. The chef operates We The Pizza and Good Stuff Eatery, and has competed twice on Bravo’s “Top Chef.”
In a somewhat surprising announcement, local celebrity chef and Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn will be among the competitors vying for the title of Next Iron Chef when the series kicks off its fourth season on October 30. Mendelsohn, chef/owner of DC hot spots Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza, will face off against some of the culinary scene’s top toques, including New York city heavyweights Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster), Anne Burrell (former sous chef for Mario Batali), Geoffrey Zakarian (Lambs Club and The National), and Alex Guarnaschelli (Butter and The Darby). The rest of the line-up includes Food Network/Cooking Channel stars Beau MacMilla (Elements), Chuck Hughes (Garde Manger), Michael Chiarello (Bottega and NapaStyle), and a former Iron Chef challenger, Elizabeth Faulkner (Citizen Cake).
The Food Network announced today the contestants on season four of The Next Iron Chef, and breaking with the tradition of seasons past, the competitors are mostly homegrown Food Network talent (winners of previous seasons who received the title of Iron Chef include Marc Forgione, Jose Garces, and Michael Symon).
The lineup for season four: Anne Burrell, Michael Chiarello, Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli, Chuck Hughes, Robert Irvine, Beau MacMillan, Geoffrey Zakarian, and hold on to your fedoras, Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef fame.
People are paying more attention to how their dinner gets to their plate these days, and a group of four DC top chefs weighed in on the subject Tuesday night at a George Washington University panel discussion on “Conscious Cooking.”
The panelists were José Andrés, chef and owner of several DC-based restaurants (Jaleo, Oyamel, and Cafe Atlantico, to name a few); Nora Pouillon, chef and owner of Restaurant Nora, the nation’s first certified organic restaurant; Todd Gray, chef and owner of Equinox Restaurant and Todd Gray’s Watershed; and Spike Mendelsohn, chef and owner of Good Stuff Eatery, and We, The Pizza.
Lead by moderator Jane Black, food blogger and former food writer at The Washington Post, the panel was comprised of José Andrés, chef and owner of Minibar by José Andrés and the popular tapas restaurant Jaleo in Chinatown; Todd Gray, chef and owner of Equinox Restaurant; Spike Mendelsohn (former “Top Chef: Chicago” contestant), chef and owner of Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza; and Nora Pouillon, chef and owner of Restaurant Nora.
The panel spoke on a wide range of topics including sustainability, promotion of healthy eating in schools and balancing ethical sourcing of food with the demands of business.
D.C. Chefs Dish About Creative Cooking, Healthy Eating and the Balance of Satisfying Customers at GW
Four acclaimed D.C. chefs and restaurateurs José Andrés, Todd Gray, Spike Mendelsohn and Nora Pouillon took the stage at the George Washington University Tuesday evening for a fast-paced and fun peek into their minds and personal philosophies. At “Big Night, Big Jobs,” an event hosted by the university’s Urban Food Task Force, the chefs spoke candidly about healthy eating, conscious and creative cooking and the challenge of balancing these issues with the desires and expectations of customers. Jane Black, food writer and former Washington Post food editor, moderated the discussion.
Balance was the theme of the evening, and the chefs kicked off the conversation with their insights on the importance of striking the right balance in sourcing food organically and locally with creating healthy dishes, satisfying customers and making profits.
Yesterday, we presented Part I of our interview with Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn. If you missed it, you can view it here. We continue with our interview.
Clean Plate Charlie: Do you have any plans for expanding Good Stuff Eatery outside of DC?
Spike Mendelsohn: As far as Good Stuff Eatery goes, we’re about to launch a huge expansion plan. Right now we have plans to expand the restaurant to three new locations - one in Philly, another in DC, one in Chicago and maybe one in Miami, which I’m really excited about. Shake Shack got here first, of course, but there’s room. I think I’ll do really well here because my restaurant is different than any burger place and I feel we do burgers the best.
Spike Mendelsohn, the tall-hat-wearing, red-bearded contestant on Top Chef Season Four and Top Chef All-Stars, happens to own two fast-casual restaurants in D.C., We the Pizza and Good Stuff Eatery. Both restaurants buck the “fast food as junk food” concept and offer healthy farm-to-table cuisine in a casual setting. He must be doing something right, because these eateries have become the darling of the Capitol Hill set—even the first lady is a regular.
Spike Mendelsohn was born with a love of food in his veins. His parents owned and operated a restaurant in St. Petersburg, Fla., and, by the time he was 13, he was helping out around the eatery.
The former Top Chef contestant had aspirations to be a marine biologist or an actor as a child, but growing up in the restaurant business, he couldn’t escape his passion for cooking.
“I’m 100 percent happy,” Mendelsohn said. “I never thought I’d open a burger and pizza place in D.C., but that’s the way the cards fell.”
He’s become well-known in the area as the owner “Good Stuff Eatery,” – a popular Capitol Hill burger joint that’s a favorite with the congressional lunch crowd.
With “Good Stuff”’s overwhelming success, Mendelsohn chose to launch “We, the Pizza,” a New York-style pizza place on July 23.
We the Pizza is that they’re planning for a Monday opening. They’ve been working ’round the clock to finish everything up and, in Mike Colletti’s words, “Everything’s great…but I’m tired!”
Better yet, Capitol Hill, break out your fat pants.
In just a few days, Spike Mendelsohn (along with his family and friends) will be opening We, the Pizza in the space that used to be Zack’s Taverna. Consider it the polar opposite to the new SweetGreen – the menu consists of pizzas, wings, sandwiches and gelati all washed down with ice-cold beers and hand-flavored Italian fountain sodas.
Move over, Jumbo Slice. There’s a new pizza place in the District, and its owner is no stranger to a little competition.
“Top Chef: Chicago” contestant Spike Mendelsohn is launching his second Capitol Hill restaurant, called We, The Pizza, at 303 Pennsylvania Ave, S.E. – right next to his Capitol Hill burger joint, the Good Stuff Eatery.
We, The Pizza and Good Stuff share a similar philosophy: use fresh local ingredients, charge reasonable prices and offer sophisticated but simple flavor combinations. Cheeses for the pizzas come from around the D.C. area, and tomatoes for the sauce are brought in from a farm in Virginia.
Next time you’re headed to DC, swing by We, The Pizza, opening July 19th.
Check out our five minute video about the food, the specialty brews, and an interview with Chef Mike Colletti.
Wooden trays of wild mushroom pizza glide through the thick crowd that’s assembled at 305 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s Wednesday night and a red carpet stretches from the front door of Capitol Hill’s newest restaurant. The servers, a team of cute twenty-somethings wearing white Peroni, Italy T-Shirts, do their best to navigate the two-floor pizzeria as they carry fresh, out-of-the-oven slices to hungry patrons. Hands swoop in to grab the servings as the throng of guests clamors toward each new pan sent out.
The pizzeria emphasizes regional, farm fresh ingredients. We loved the mushroom pie—chefs Spike and Mike takes a béchamel base, add roasted mushrooms, truffle juice, and fresh truffles to make a hearty pie. The Buffalo chicken pizza’s toppings include chicken from spicy boneless chicken wings, creamy blue cheese, shredded mozzarella, and “Miguel’s” special hot sauce that lends a real kick. The crust is the star here—after six months of research, chef Spike has come up with one that is thick and puffy on the edges, thin and chewy in the center. They have just the right mix of sweetness and saltiness and are slightly blackened underneath.
Your needs this time of year are simple: Burger. Pizza. Ice cream. Repeat.
So when you run across a chef who specializes in all three…
Welcome to We, the Pizza, soft-opening next week on Capitol Hill as the pizza half of Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn’s burgeoning burger-and-pizza empire.
The biggest surprise for me reading your cookbook is how entrenched the Mendelsohns are in the restaurant industry. Yeah I think that’s going to be the biggest surprise for everyone; I come from a long line
of restaurateurs. It goes way back from Montreal; my whole (Greek) family has been in it for centuries. I grew up in kitchens, worked all the time. My mother was a chef. My grandfather was a butcher and chef and a famous restaurateur in Montreal and he had some really high-class restaurants. When I was young, I tried everything but going into the business. I studied a little bit of Marine Biology, I was way into it. I took a 6 months hiatus to the Caribbean, lived on a sailboat, studied and learned shit and all that kind of stuff.
“Honestly, I was begging for them to come,” said Season 4 alum Spike Mendelsohn, who owns Good Stuff Eatery and will soon open We the Pizza. “When I moved down here, I realized that there was an amazing food scene that just wasn’t recognized. I think this might be the best season yet.”
“Not better than mine, though,” he joked with POLITICO.
What Obama burger? Former “Top Chef” contestant Spike Mendelsohn is set to open a new endeavor in mid-April, and this one will have little to do with savory layers of beef, cheese and bacon. Don’t get too sad, though, ‘cause it’s something just as good. The upcoming We, the Pizza will be located at 305 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E., next door to his Good Stuff Eatery. The chef Spike brought from New York, Mike Colletti, will be moving next door to tend to it.
We, the Pizza will operate as a sit-down restaurant and later take on deliveries. It will sell slices and whole pies that range from the classics, topped with cheese and pepperoni, to the more creative: with creamed spinach; potato and pancetta; or mushrooms with truffle shavings and Bechamel sauce.
Remember when Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn came to New York on a pizza-eating odyssey and told us he was planning to open a Napolean [sic] pizza joint? Well, NBC Washington reports that We the Pizza will begin selling thin-crust slices next to his burger joint, Good Stuff Eatery, at 305 Pennsylvania Avenue S.E. in mid-April.
Out of all the cheftestants on the fourth season of Top Chef ho would’ve thought Spike Mendelsohn would be the one winning food festival contests and building an empire in the nation’s capital? Fresh off his big Burger Bash victory at the weekend’s NYC Wine & Food Fest, Spike shares an update on the state of his upcoming Capital Hill pizza joint. Due in December or January, the (slightly-unfortunate) name of the place will be We, The Pizza, will offer New York-style pizzas, and like Spike’s runaway hit Good Stuff Eatery’s homemade milkshakes, We, The Pizza will feature homemade gelato and “old school” sodas.
IT can, as they say, get hot in the kitchen. Spike Mendelsohn, better known as Spike from season four of “Top Chef,” was checking out pizzerias in New York because he is planning to open one in Washington next to Good Stuff Eatery, the year-old hamburger restaurant he owns with his family.
After falafel I had a little bit of a siesta, and then dinner at Grimaldi’s. I love my pizza. I’m opening a pizzeria in D.C. in the next three or four months. I just took over the building the other day. I’m researching pizza, so I’m trying to hit up all the spots. They do a great coal-fire pizza. I had pepperoni and green peppers on it and a pitcher of beer. I love watching the owner give everybody attitude in the restaurant; it’s part of the ambiance. I don’t think I want to have coal fire. I want to have American-Napolean [sic] pizza. But not a true Napolean [sic] pizza; it needs to be Americanized a little bit. The true pizza from Napoli is really soggy in the middle, and you have to eat it with a knife and fork. I don’t think it’ll take well to the American palate. I mean, most pizzas in the States that are called Napolean pizzas are crispier. That was the night.
Not that it’ll be that hard. Jumbo Slice-bashing aside, former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn is planning to branch out from his signature Good Stuff Eatery’s burgers into another facet of the upscale fast food trend: pizza. He’s been eating his way through New York’s pizza in order to “research” the new establishment, which will open in the next three to four months, according to a journal he kept last week for New York Magazine.
Y&H has had Spike Mendelsohn on speed dial today, but so far no calls
back from the former Top Chef-er turned burger man. But Mendelsohn
himself, according to a food diary he kept for New York magazine, says
that he plans to open a yet-unnamed pizzeria in D.C. in the “next three or