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Author: Quamé A. Hamlin

D.C. hero, Captain Cookie, serves locals

When operating in a major city, no one can blame a business for catering to visiting tourists.  However, in Washington, D.C., there is one dessert destination that prides itself on recognizing the importance of local business. “We’re local [and] we’re very small,” said Kirk Francis, owner of Captain Cookie and the Milk Man!  “We are a homegrown D.C., cookie biz and I think people here care about that.” Captain Cookie has become a favorite among locals since the company began operating from a single food truck in 2012.  What began with Francis selling cookies to a few coffee shops, transformed into a booming business. “There’s no secret to it,” said Francis about the success of his business.  “It’s just working really hard. You have to have a good product [and] you have to be sincere about it.” With a second food truck on the road and a brick and mortar store up and running, Francis feels that Captain Cookie’s products are being taken more seriously. “We get a lot more credibility.  I think that a lot of people still don’t take food trucks very seriously.  [Now,] people perceive us as being more successful [because] in a way, the store is much more predictable than the truck.” The store, located near George Washington University in northwest D.C., is certainly more predictable now than it was when it first opened its...

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‘Good Stuff’ is key ingredient in eatery’s expansion

Think of all of the things that you do when you are bored.  I am sure that scrolling through Instagram, or starting a Netflix marathon are at the top of your list, but not for Catherine Mendelsohn, a veteran restauranteur. “She moved up to D.C., to be closer to her daughter, got bored and started Good Stuff Eatery,” said Good Stuff’s Executive Chef, Max Albano in a phone interview.  “Originally, they were going to open a kitchen store, kind of like a Williams-Sonoma type thing,” Albano continued. Almost seven years after Catherine and her son, Chef Spike Mendelsohn, started Good Stuff Eatery, the budding chain has five locations and it’s clear that deciding against selling high-end kitchen supplies was a positive decision. “I definitely feel like it’s the quality of the food and we’re very creative with the menu options that we have,” said Albano about the business’ success. Good Stuff Eatery has seen the most growth in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, where they currently have three locations.  Albano credits that success to the Good Stuff corporate team’s ability to, “put all of our culinary knowledge into something that people have been eating forever.” That consistency and the restaurant’s ability to personalize American classics has awarded Good Stuff Eatery the opportunity to expand beyond the United States. “We like to serve the nostalgic American.  I’ve actually been to...

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BGR: The Burger Joint

BGR: The Burger Joint is a fast casual burger chain that is in its sixth year of operation.  In our search of all things that you gotta eat, we ran across BGR in a number of notable publications and personal blogs.  Needless to say, we decided to try them out.  We sampled three menu options at their Tysons Corner restaurant, located just outside of Washington, D.C.  Click below to see our thoughts on each! Triple D The Triple D burger is topped with an over easy egg, applewood bacon, grilled jalapeno and cheddar cheese.  Initially, a limited run, (and...

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Doughnut destination takes a quack at competition

“[They have the] best doughnuts from here to Richmond,” said 27-year-old Roberto Bejoc when asked about the buzz that motivated him to try Duck Donuts in Virginia Beach, Va. Duck Donuts, a small chain of stores founded in North Carolina, has been gaining fans in Virginia Beach since a franchise location opened in the resort city earlier this year.  Custom doughnuts with homemade icings, unusual toppings and atypical flavor combinations is what Duck Donuts has to offer — setting them apart from their doughnut-selling competition. “Unlike a lot of the other guys out in the doughnut industry, we make...

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