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jj's cheesesteaks

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my girlfriend and i tried this place out last night before hitting up a couple of bars on u street.

i had heard they have amoroso rolls and whiz, and had high hopes for an authentic cheesesteak.

i ordered the ben franklin - steak, fried onions, whiz, and provolone. immediately after ordering, my hopes faded quickly. as soon as i ordered, i noticed them taking a giant pan of cooked steak to the back to a holding bin or something. why would you cook your steaks in advance at a cheesesteak place? makes no sense. we also ordered the fries with cheese and bacon.

the steak meat was pretty bad. not seasoned well, and dry after being cooked on the grill twice. the onions werent fully cooked, and the steak didnt come with any provolone (i didnt really want provolone, i came for the whiz, but they should put on what they advertise). the roll may have been amoroso, but it was not chewy or crusty at all. just a soft hoagie roll. weak.

the fries were freshly cut, which i appreciate, but were undercooked, undersalted, and overpriced considering it was $3.25 for about a half potato worth of fries and a drizzle of whiz and maybe a half slice of cheap bacon crumbled on top.

i'd avoid this place unless they improve. might be acceptable for late-night drunk food, but don't come here looking for an authentic (or even good) cheesesteak.

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  1. I agree completely. We live around the corner from this place and had high hopes when they finally opened, but we were sorely disappointed after trying their "cheesesteak". The meat is overcooked and dry and seasoned with way too much black pepper. The fries are terrible, the oil is not hot enough, so the fries come out a limp soggy mess. As for the rolls they are not from Amoroso's Bakery, they are being supplied by Sysco, I know because I asked one of the owners where they were getting their bread. Another disappointment in the 14th St-U St area.

    5 Replies
    1. re: leonarjx

      i will never understand why DC gets things like this SO wrong all the time. its not that hard!

      1: source a decent roll (this is, admittedly, probably tough since bakeries are awful here)
      2: keep some fried onions on the grill
      3: slice up fresh rib steaks constantly
      4: grill with salt/pepper, add onions, pour on some whiz (or what have you) and slide into aforementioned roll.

      i'll continue to get my steaks from marios in arlington, which is not philly-authentic by any means, but at least they use good, fresh meat. too bad no whiz or decent rolls, though.

      1. re: kneelconqueso

        Have you ever tried the one at Jimmy's in Herndon? They give you the option of three different cheeses. It got a respectable nod from a Philly native coworker.

        I have yet to try South Street.

        1. re: Dennis S

          haven't tried either. both are pretty far away

          1. re: kneelconqueso

            That's been my issue with South Street...

        2. re: kneelconqueso

          Have you tried The Broiler in Arlington? I find their cheesesteak superior to Marios, although their homemade sausage sub is one of the best in the area.

          In DC, Philly Water Ice on H Street is about the best you'll find. They get their bread from Philly; either Sarcones or Amoroso, I forget which.