Washington Post’s Good to Go: Taylor Charles Steak & Ice

A cheesesteak seems like an uncomplicated sandwich: a roll filled with griddled beef and cheese. Wit grilled onions or wit-out. But that simplicity makes the Philly favorite difficult to perfect. There’s little room for error.

The stakes are even higher when you’ve already found success as the hoagie kings of the District.

Taylor Gourmet owners and Philadelphia natives Casey Patten, 32, and David Mazza, 35, knew they had to get it absolutely right when they opened Taylor Charles Steak & Ice in the Atlas District in mid-December.

“There’s a fear factor when you take on something iconic and regional,” says Patten. “Everyone has an opinion on it.”

As reported in these pages, the duo took multiple trips back to their hometown to research, tried dozens of provolone cheeses and had long discussions about the perfect roll, which they ultimately sourced from Gold Crust Baking in Landover. They even developed their own house-made whiz, a sauce that tastes a little like aged white cheddar mixed with provolone and has the consistency of runny nacho cheese.

Finish reading this review on the Washington Post website now.

Share

Washington Post’s Good To Go: Nice ’N’ Greasy Steak ’N’ Cheesy

The name is so over-the-top that it’s hard not to smile when you see it plastered on the banner that hangs over the restaurant’s front door.

Nice ’N’ Greasy Steak ’N’ Cheesy in Arlington doesn’t make a Pat’s- or Geno’s-style version of the cheesesteak, but it is a loving, belly-warming interpretation nonetheless.

The restaurant, from the owner of Ray’s Hell Burger and sharing a spot with Ray’s Hell Burger Too, has a stripped-down feel. The walls are unadorned. Rolls of paper towels and collections of condiments sit on every table.

And that’s okay. You don’t go to a Michael Landrum restaurant for the ambiance. You go for the food and the reasonable prices.

The Shock G ($7.99) is built on a slightly toasted soft sub roll from Lyon Bakery, which is loaded with a third of a pound of thinly sliced strips of rib-eye and ribbons of sweet grilled white onions. Don’t ask for “Whiz”; sharp provolone and American cheeses are used here. If that doesn’t sound like enough heft for you, you can double the meat by ordering the Biggie ($11.99) instead.

Finish reading this review on the Washington Post website now.

Share

Steak a Claim: Local Eateries Reinvent the Cheesesteak

20110602-cheesesteak-450

Hamburgers, pizza and cupcakes have all gone gourmet in recent years. Now the Philly cheesesteak is getting a gastro makeover as area chefs turn the street-food standard into an epicure’s delight while keeping its broad appeal. “Everybody’s in the comfort zone with a cheesesteak,” says Proof’s executive chef, Haidar Karoum. “It’s not too fussy, it’s very accessible, and it’s delicious.” These four reinterpretations of Philadelphia’s most famous export (sorry, Tina Fey!) give you a taste of the classic sandwich without the 2 1/2-hour drive.

Proof
This Wagyu beef cheesesteak ($15) isn’t meant to rival Pat’s or Geno’s famous creations. “We’re not trying to be true to the formula,” Karoum says. “We’re taking the building blocks to make as good a sandwich as we can.” The construction begins by shaving eye of round roast paper-thin and sauteing it with yellow onions, green peppers and Hen of the Woods mushrooms. A thick slice of sharp provolone is melted on top. Everything is deftly shoveled into a homemade sesame seed-speckled sub roll that is slightly sweet and prepped with a thin layer of jalapeno mayo. This substantial, lunch-only option comes with an arugula salad lightly coated with vinaigrette and tarted up with thin circles of radish and slender carrot shavings. “It takes a little bit of the guilt out of it,” Karoum says.

» Proof, 775 G St. NW; 202-737-7663, Proofdc.com.

Find out my other three cheesesteak picks by reading the rest of the article on the Express website now.

Share