Taylor Charles Steak & Ice
Ever since the day that DC’s first Taylor Gourmet location opened, owners Casey Patten and David Mazza have been answering the same question: “Do you guys have cheesesteaks?” It kind of goes with the territory when you run a Philadelphia hoagie joint.
So, the casual, over-the-counter cheesesteak eatery from the two, Taylor Charles Steak & Ice at 1320 H Street NE, had been a long time coming when it opened its doors last night.
There’s no window out to the street from which to order the signature steak sandwiches, but it’s got everything else to remind diners of a classic Philly steak stand: street-style art, picnic tables, industrial street lights overhead and steam rising up from the flat tops.
The menu offers cheesesteak purists what they crave: ribeye or chicken on a Philly-made roll “wit” or “wit-out” onions, and of course, with Cheez Whiz as an option. (A sign on the wall outlines ordering procedure for newbies.) There’s also provolone, American and a homemade white molten cheese that improves on the processed whiz (if that’s possible), as well as specialty steaks including one with garlicky broccoli rabe, one with chili verde and a buffalo option with Frank’s red hot and blue cheese. Cheesesteaks traditionally go well with a side of fries, but Taylor’s Balls — cheese fritters with horseradish sauce — are hard to pass up. For dessert, choices range from water ice (without a spoon!) to custard to gelato or an ice cream sandwich.
A new take on the traditional cheesesteak.
Taylor Charles does offer a couple of non cheesesteak entrees — sandwiches that lean toward the company’s hoagie roots with options like chicken cutlet and eggplant — but don’t expect to see the cheesesteaks at Taylor Gourmet locations, at least for now. The way Patten explains it, in Philly, there are hoagie shops and cheesesteak places. Most that try to do both fail at one or the other.
“You either have great cheesesteaks and bad hoagies or great hoagies and bad cheese steaks,” he explains. There aren’t any more Taylor Charleses in the works at the moment either, he says, although given these guys’ growing empire, we won’t hold them to it.
Check out some more photos from last night’s soft opening:
Steaks on the flat top.
Steak & Ice Dogs
Condiments for your cheesesteak.
Art by Brandon Hill and Edwin “Che” Merino.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/first_look_at_taylor_charles_steak_ice/6425
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