Nice ’N’ Greasy Steak ’N’ Cheesy
By Nevin Martell
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
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.
Either way, you can request a few free extras, such as mayonnaise, tomato, lettuce and Groove Grease. (No explanation for the latter was forthcoming from the woman working the counter, so I declined to clog my arteries further). It’s worth spending 50 cents on the slightly spicy charred jalapenos or the griddled peppers.
Stray from the namesake dishes by opting for the Southern-style chicken sandwich ($7.99). My dining companion referred to it as a glorified Chick-fil-A, but in a good way, because this one is apolitical. The crisped fillet is presented on a potato bun with a swipe of mayonnaise, iceberg lettuce, a tomato round and a few pickles.
The lobster, crab and shrimp sandwich has a crunchy panko crust and a garlic-lemon aioli that works well with the shellfish patty. Complement your sandwich with an order of the onion fries ($2.50), tempura-battered bracelets that are crackly on the outside with a saute-soft interior.
If you hang around to eat, wash it all down with a frosty beer -- maybe a Port City Pale Ale ($4) or a blond Belgian Lucifer ($6). There’s also a modest selection of sodas and three wines. The place is cash-only, but there’s an ATM onsite with a 25-cent surcharge.