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Jun 17, 2007 02:19 PM


Where in the D.C. area can I find a really good cheesesteak?

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  1. You're going to have to go to philly- it's like pizza in this town- it just ain't here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jpschust

      I agree. Go to philly. I have been on 2 or 3 'tours' of cheesesteaks in Philadelphia. My preference by far is Steve's Prince of Steaks.

      1. re: Pool Boy

        co-worker (from philly) stated that the best he's had in the area was in Woodbridge, next door to the Shell gas station off of 123, before you cross the bridge that goes back into Fairfax. Has anyone tried this place or at least know the name of it?

    2. You seek South Street Steaks in College Park.

      1. In town, Philadelphia Water Ice Factory on H Street NE. Around the corner from Horace & Dickies. Amoroso rolls and everything.

        Outta town, you want Al's King of Steaks.

        I have yet to get to South Street because they're never open when I'm in College Park. There's a discussion here:

        7 Replies
        1. re: monkeyrotica

          Not even 10am and I'm craving one! How about in Baltimore- any good cheesesteaks? Any place actually use cheez wiz?

          1. re: dwbengals

            1204 H Street, NE - wit wiz. And don't skip the lemon water ice. It's going to be hot today. Carry-out only.

            1. re: dwbengals

              South Street Steaks also uses wiz.

              1. re: alopez

                South Street Steaks gives the option of whiz, provolone or american.

                I think the quality is inconsistent; but it can be good. On one crowded visit, the quality dropped noticably.

                For non-Philly style, I recommend Mama Lucia's in Fairfax, next to the Cinema Arts movie theater in Fair City Mall. There seems to be another local chain of the same name, but as far as I know, they're not related.

            2. re: monkeyrotica

              For the record, Al's Steaks is not very good. I hail from Philly and lived next to Al's for a year. So often the smell of steak would waft out of their tiny brick building and I was transported to days that I lived in Philly. Excited by the possibilities of a good cheese steak I hit it up with great expectations. Like so many other DC establishments I was disappointed.

              The worst problem I recall with Al's is that their bread is terrible! Whatever rolls they use do not hold up well for cheese steaks, it becomes far too moist and does not keep consistency.

              Problem number two is that they do not marinate their beef as it tastes generally bland and in need of help.

              Still looking for a good Philly steak best I have had thus far is Mario's, will have to check out the water-ice stand as I live close by. Mad props to a new Philly deli on H Street called Taylor, that shit is delicious!!

              1. re: jdk223

                Interesting. Why do you prefer Mario's? Is it any different from the cheeseteak served at Marino's on Route 1? Also, have you tried The Broiler?


                Definitely try Philly Water Ice. They get their rolls from Philly.

                3601 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  jdk223 has nailed the problems with the Al's Steaks cheese steaks. The beef is as bland as can be, and the rolls do tend to disintegrate, although that could be partly as a result of the large amount of steak that is stuffed into the sandwich. Copious amounts of pepper and even salt do little to bring this beef to life.

                  Mario's, while one of my favorites, does not strike me as being a Philly style cheese steak. (I have not had one in about 5 years, however). The steak slices used by Mario's are quite a bit thicker and tougher than I remember being used in Geno's and it is definitely not chopped up nearly to the degree of other of the Philly places (Jim's?). The "standard" way that a Mario's cheese steak is served also includes onions, mayo, mustard, slaw (dry) and sweet pickles. Nearly everyone orders at least these on the sandwich, some add hot peppers. I used to get this minus the onions, and it was always the toppings/dressings that had the most interesting flavor in the sandwich (but definitely an acquired taste). The rolls used to be a pretty high quality Ottenberg's sub roll.

                  I have not had a cheesesteak from Marino's on Rt. 1, but when that location and other locations opened many years ago as franchises of Mario's, I tried one from another franchise location, and they could not pull off the quality of the original. Most of the franchise locations (approx. 5, I think) did not last long, and the one on Rt. 1 (if it is even still a franchise location) may be the last one surviving.

                  The Broiler is not overwhelmingly better than what you can get at most decent pizza/sub places, in my opinion. Standard there is onion, LTM, also. I think they use the same Ottenberg sub roll as Mario's, but lightly toast it.

            3. I'm a big fan of George's King of Falafel and Cheesesteak right in Georgetown over the bridge from westend...Get the Super and ask for some of the homemade hotsauce they make....I'm a fan

              1. Just have to post on Jimmy's. Just went with a coworker from Philly who grades pretty tough. They have the right rolls and do things nearly right, but didn't knock it outta the park. He wasn't disappointed, but he wouldn't rush back. He did say South Street was the closest he's found in the area. He thought they were going to open a place in VA but hasn't heard of anything.