Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 3:43 p.m.
Attending the official inaugural balls in Washington, D.C. Tuesday night required you to be well connected or totally loaded. Not to mention that pricey gown you had to buy just to look acceptable with the big wigs.
So when I heard Top Chef season four loser Spike Mendelsohn was hosting a cheaper "Burger Ball" on Capitol Hill at his new restaurant Good Stuff Eatery
, I couldn't be happier to partake. A ball where jeans are encouraged? Count me in.
Besides, I wanted to see what a crowd of poor Obama supporters looked like. Well, too poor or unimportant for the official balls, but still wanting to spend enough to feel like they matter. I found them.
I even scored an interview with Spike. Check out the video below.
For $99, partygoers could taste eight handcrafted mini burgers, mini hand-cut French fries, mini milkshakes, and salads. Our favorite benefit: beer and wine was included.
Spike planned to turn Good Stuff Eatery into "a candlelit farmhouse chic atmosphere" where "people can jam to some awesome music... For the hip crowd that doesn't want to buy a ball gown or rent a tux, but wants wants to celebrate Obama."
"We're going to light the room with candles, set up cocktail tables, have really amazing music and probably the coolest people in D.C. on the best night in the country's history," he told People
The crowd seemed more like a wedding reception than a hip Obama party with a crowd of people mainly over the age of 30 (old!) The DJ was spinning all the wedding classics: Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, etc. The only people really rocking it on the dance floor were Good Stuff employees. I still enjoyed myself, minus the supposed celeb sightings I never witnessed. Maybe I left too early?
The Obama burger was my personal favorite: a mini burger with bacon, blue cheese, onion marmalade, and horseradish mayo. Washed it down with a toasted marshmallow shake and a glass of white wine. Delicious.
Does that change the fact that we were hanging at the party of a former reality TV star? Not really. I went on a mission to find the chef to ask him a couple questions about his Burger Ball, the restaurant and the future of Top Chef. I finally found him.
Unfortunately he had never been to Minneapolis, so I couldn't ask him about our food scene. I still asked him some questions only after a pretty hilarious cock block. Don't worry kids, I don't want sloppy seconds (or Top Chef fifths).
Here is the video: