For his next trick, Spike Mendelsohn would like to take the guilt out of eating nachos.
The celebrity chef and restaurateur opens his new venture, Vim & Victor, tomorrow at the St. James sports and wellness complex in Springfield, Virginia. To meet the wide-ranging caloric demands of power lifters, soccer moms, and their offspring, Vim & Victor has an all-day menu stuffed with health foods alongside traditionally junky items that Mendelsohn wants to make a little less junky.
So, instead of processed tortilla chips weighed down by canned cheese, ground beef, and beans, Vim & Victor will make nachos that turn roasted cauliflower into the life of the party. Turmeric and spicy harissa will add character to the vegetable. Pomegranate seeds and cotija cheese will help lighten it up. Corn chips, cheddar cheese sauce, and pickled jalapenos will all be made in-house.
“That dish is a very great example of things we’re looking to do more of, taking a traditional dish that everyone really knows ... and we’re just tweaking it to make it a little healthier but keeping it hearty,” Mendelsohn tells Eater.
“Healthy, hearty, and hydration” were Mendelsohn’s buzzwords for Vim & Victor. So there are five salads on the all-day menu — including a kale Caesar, naturally — and all of them come with an option to add a kebab of chicken, steak, salmon, shrimp, or tofu. A range of lattes, juices, smoothies, and acai bowls make up the “wellness” options available at the sit-down restaurant or the adjacent grab-and-go counter.
Mendelsohn says he wanted to “ride the toast wave” that’s trending right now, but wild mushrooms and and lobster salad may help Vim & Victor stand apart from crunchy coffee shops. For refueling athletes, there’s an all-protein section that includes a bone-in ribeye and a whole roasted branzino served Vietnamese-style with nuoc cham sauce, turmeric, and dill.
After opening Good Stuff Eatery in D.C., Chicago, and Cairo, Mendelsohn admits it’s hard to come up with new burgers. So he’s put a “Vic Mac” style Vic burger on the menu using quality ingredients to replicate the trusted recipe from the Golden Arches: two flat beef patties, cheese, lettuce, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun. His special sauce, though, has molasses and rice wine vinegar in it.
The fries — dusted with lemon pepper, Parmesan, and herbs — replicate the recipe he says customers loved at his steak frites restaurant, Bearnaise, before he closed it and turned it into a taqueria.
Take a first look at the menu below:
Vim & Victor All-Day Menu by on Scribd