A veteran who served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo, Kachadoorian, 42, learned the recipe for Good Company’s Aleppo lamb from a Lebanese interpreter. An Iraqi interpreter taught him how to make the cucumber and tomato salata that has appeared on the menu. Customers also can thank his time in the Middle East for the cafe’s steak pita.
Kachadoorian is joined in running Good Company by his wife, Melissa Kachadoorian; his sister Kate Murphy, who bakes the cafe’s handmade doughnuts; her husband, Air Force veteran James Murphy; and Navy veteran Tim Terry. Discussing how Good Company swiftly established itself as a Ballston neighborhood favorite since opening this past spring, Kachadoorian points to the group’s familial bonds and military mentality.
“I learned a lot from the military about community and brotherhood, so that’s our perspective,” he says. “The family is the core of this whole thing, and I think it shines through.”
True to his word, Kachadoorian is joined by the Good Company team for much of his ideal day in and around the District, which includes a tour of area restaurants and some well-earned rest and relaxation.
I’d start by coming into the shop and getting things opened up — get the coffee going, dial in the espresso machine, check in on how Kate’s doing with the baking. Then I’d shoot into D.C. and go to the Dupont Circle Farmers Market and see what’s fresh and what people are up to. There’s a little bakery there called Mastiha that does some really nice pita, and Call Your Mother has amazing bagels. There’s also a great floral shop there and a lot of fresh produce.
One of my big hobbies is high-performance driving, so then I’d get out to Summit Point Motorsports Park, get on a racetrack and do a couple [of] hours of driving. I’d also maybe do some teaching — as an instructor, I really do enjoy getting people out there. Whether a person is an experienced driver or a new driver, it’s fun to watch someone go through that.
For lunch, Kabob Bazaar in Clarendon is a nice little secret over there. I like the salmon kebab, and the zereshk polo is delicious, too. I also love the Royal in D.C. It’s an all-day cafe concept, and I obviously like those.
Then I’d get back to Good Company and get in the kitchen. I love to make pasta, so I’d make some ravioli fresh. But on my dream day, maybe we close early and get out to one of the really nice restaurants to get a taste of what some of the top chefs around are doing. The Inn at Little Washington comes to mind — I’ve had the tasting menu there, and anything they’re going to put in front of you, you’re going to enjoy. Another great place we love in D.C. is Komi, which has a goat dish that’s unique, and the service there is just out of this world. Sometimes we’ll go to Momo Sushi and Cafe in Alexandria — the fatty tuna is some of the best stuff you can get. Or since it’s my perfect day, Restaurant Eve and PX Lounge in Alexandria would still be open and we could go there.
In the evening, if it’s a nice day, Melissa and I would take our dog, Cooper, for a long walk and relax. He’s a 1-year-old labradoodle, and he’s a sweet boy, but he’s a little bit crazy — there’s a lot of spirit and spunk. Our neighborhood connects to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, so we like to get on the trail and just walk one way or the other. We also might go downtown and walk around the Mall. And to close out the night, we’d head home and watch some “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”