There’s no walk-up window at Taylor Charles Steak & Ice, the long-awaited cheesesteak joint from D.C.’s hoagie magnates. But owners Casey Patten and David Mazza try to bring the Philly street-eating experience to D.C. with an outside-in shop on H Street NE. That means the decor includes manhole covers, grates and street art by Brandon Hill and Edwin “Che” Merino across walls and the ceiling; it also means streetlights provide the lighting — and they’re so bright, they may make hungover people reconsider cheesesteaks as way to soak up the previous night’s excesses.
Your potential need for sunglasses aside, the steak and cheese (“wit” or “wit-out” onions) will satiate those who have long been asking the owners of the Philly-inspired Taylor Gourmet for their city’s famous food. Since I’m from the other side of the Keystone State, I’ll leave the authenticity question up to readers.
Patten and Mazza certainly aren’t trying to hew precisely to the Philly cheesesteak shop formula, though: The menu offers buffalo chicken, broccoli rabe, green chili and pepperoni cheesesteaks, among other varities, along with zucchini fritters (named “Charles’ Balls”) and sloppy fries (“sexy sloppy joe, white whiz”) that the shop’s ”Cheesesteak Commandments” order you to add to your bucket list.
The water ice (which, if spelled phonetically, is actually “wooder ice,” or is it “wooter ice”?) with its tart flecks of lemon rind, isn’t overly sweet.
Taylor Charles Steak & Ice, 1320 H St. NE. 202-388-6880. @steakandice. Opening Dec. 12.