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Ray's the Steaks at East River - Report

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Steve Aug 6, 2010 08:31 AM

NE DC, across the river, the latest outpost of Ray's the Steaks is a surprise, to find such quality and low prices in an unlikely setting. In addition to steaks, the menu features a southern slant more typical of a meat-and-two. I shared platters of fried chicken and bbq baby back ribs.

The chicken is smoked then fried. The result is unique but does not stray from its southern heritage. I normally avoid baby back ribs, but these were a breed unto themselves. Surprisingly meaty with a thick bark. They had a nice wood smoke bite and the tender meat kept its structure.

Sides are of mixed success, with sweet potato fries and ratatouille besting the cole slaw and collard greens. Cornbread muffins are a real treat. The portions here are large.

As an experiment in trying to bring together DC using a touch of entrepreneurial spirit and a ton of goodwill, this location of Rays is important and delicious.

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    sekelmaan RE: Steve Aug 6, 2010 11:18 AM

    I read the washingtonian article yesterday and was wondering if anyone tried it. Thanks for the report. I want to go there as soon as I can. Meat and three. Best kinda food!

    1. Trip Klaus RE: Steve Aug 6, 2010 11:25 AM

      This Sunday's Post review (1.5 star)is mixed at best.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Trip Klaus
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        sharonc RE: Trip Klaus Aug 7, 2010 08:18 PM

        I just read the review. When he discussed the food, it was positive.
        I like the zen like atmosphere. The walls are not bare, but maybe you have to like the music to know that. The staff is usually very attentive, and I don't see it as a problem that they aren't heavily scripted robots.

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        Soup RE: Steve Aug 6, 2010 01:54 PM

        where is this wonderful place?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Soup
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          sharonc RE: Soup Aug 7, 2010 07:51 AM

          Its on Dix Street, off of Minnesota Av.NE
          I have eaten there six or seven times, and I've enjoyed every single bite. The chicken is very tasty without a heavy batter, and burgers are excellent. I do like my burger medium well, so I have been happy. However, a dining companion that likes a rare burger wasn't so pleased. I think that they have the tastiest cooked greens that I've ever had in my life. The portion size is very generous. The service is usually quite attentive.

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          xena1441 RE: Steve Aug 8, 2010 08:36 PM

          Thanks for the review...I have been wondering about the fried chicken. Would you recommend over steak though?

          2 Replies
          1. re: xena1441
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            Steve RE: xena1441 Aug 8, 2010 09:04 PM

            I got the fried chicken because I know I can get the steak at other Rays locations - but, yes I probably would.

            1. re: xena1441
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              MakingSense RE: xena1441 Aug 8, 2010 09:36 PM

              I wasn't really happy about the smoked flavor in the fried chicken when I first tasted it, but then I'm very traditional about some stuff. But we had leftovers and it was great the second day which is an acid test for fried chicken in my book.
              Not battered, simply flour coated.
              Also, they use the traditional Delta cut for portioning the chicken. Makes for a much better dish. And you get 2 drumsticks with the 1/2 chicken. Nice bonus.
              The greens are terrific. Really, really good.
              My burger was perfectly medium-rare and one of the best I've had in a long time.
              Great place and super addition to Ward 7. Really easy to get to, big parking lot at the shopping center across the street.

            2. alkapal RE: Steve Aug 10, 2010 03:57 PM

              why in the heck doesn't he do ribs here in arlington?!

              1 Reply
              1. re: alkapal
                DanielK RE: alkapal Aug 10, 2010 08:48 PM

                No smoker, I think.

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