Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Opening: Taylor Charles Steak and Ice

Authentic Philadelphia Cheesesteaks are now available on H Street, courtesy of the folks that brought us hoagies via Taylor Gourmet. 

Located at 1320 H St. NE, just a block away from the original Taylor Gourmet location, the space is designed to give the feeling of "bringing the streets inside," complete with floors resembling asphalt, manhole covers, street lights, large picnic tables, and original street art. This design is so well executed that if I wasn't tasked with photographing the space, I'm sure I'd still be discovering new details about the space on my fifth or sixth visit (yes, I already know I will be visiting this space at least five or six times over the next few months).

A collection of the many design elements that help Steak and Ice "bring the streets inside."

I was able to sample a few different items during a pre-opening party on Monday night. I started with the Buffalo Cheesesteak, which is one of six specialty cheesesteaks offered on the menu (the other five are pepperoni, spinach, pizza, broccoli rabe and green chili). Covered in Frank's Red Hot sauce and Mazza's blue cheese dressing, the Buffalo Cheesesteak provided enough heat for me to want to track down the nearest drink, which happened to be Kool-Aid. Yes, Kool-Aid. Not Hi-C, but Kool Aid! (It comes in Cherry and Grape).

Next I tried the Sloppy Sloppy Big Dog, which is made up of 1/2 pound of all beef hotdog, sexy sloppy joe, and white whiz. I just want to start by pointing out that the only time I eat hotdogs is when I'm at a BBQ, and there are no more hamburgers left. I'm pretty sure I've never bought a hot dog on my own. Basically, I hate hot dogs. I didn't hate the Sloppy Sloppy. In fact, I loved it. As much as I would not want to order a hot dog at a cheesesteak shop, I'm sure I'll be ordering this item plenty of times during my many visits to come. 

After a taste of one of Taylor's Balls (cheese fritters w/ dijon horseradish sauce), I tried the classic beef cheesesteak. Somehow I didn't take note of the taste of the bread until I tried the classic beef cheesesteak, but it was nice and chewy and simply delicious.

Last, but definitely not least, I tried the Italian Water Ice. I admit that when I first learned about Steak and Ice, I was way more excited by the Ice than the Steak. Flavored Ice is one of my favorite treats. When I went up to the counter to grab a cup of the Ice, I was asked what flavor I wanted, and I shamelessly requested all of them.  

Each of the four flavors (wild berry, mango, strawberry and banana, and lemon) had a different texture, which is clear proof that this isn't just ice with flavored syrup thrown on top, but it's ice mixed with real fruit. The lemon flavor was my favorite, and not surprisingly, it had the softest texture of the four flavors.  The mango had the thickest texture of the bunch, and it really did taste like I was simply eating a chunk of mango, which is definitely not a bad thing. The wildberry flavor was just a tad bit thicker than the lemon, and the strawberry and banana had the consistency of a smoothie. They were the perfect way to end my Steak and Ice tasting. I can only eat so many cheesesteaks and hot dogs in one week, but I can never have too much Italian Water Ice, which means I will definitely be a regular here.

Steak and Ice is open Sunday - Thursday 11am - 9pm and Friday & Saturday 11am - 3:30am. The full menu is found below.
Taylor Charles Steak & Ice on Urbanspoon

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