Last Night's Taylor Charles Steak & Ice Preview
Steak and Ice is the new Philly cheesesteak/Philadelphia water ice venture from the guys behind Taylor Gourmet. This is their first non-Taylor Gourmet effort to open, and it's clear that they've put no less effort into creating something really unique here. I had heard prior to my to my visit last night (they open to the public tomorrow 12/12) that the owners sought to reference the experience of ordering a cheesesteak outside from a street stand, while still offering an indoor dining experience. They accomplished this in several ways. When you first walk in you see an internally illuminated ordering sign laying out all of your menu options.
Next up is the graffiti mural that decorates the ceiling, and parts of walls.
The final three touches are the streetlights hanging from ceiling over the tables you would normally only find outdoors, and the manhole covers embedded in the floor. It works, mostly. The one downside to using actual streetlights is that the glare can be a little bit blinding from the wrong angle, but it didn't bother me once I actually sat down.
Of course, the main attraction is the food. Aside from the cheesesteaks, main offerings include large hotdogs (which seemed more like sausages to me), a couple of salads, a veggie sandwich, two chicken cutlet sandwiches, and a sloppy joe. Cheesesteak primary fillings include beef rib-eye, chicken breast, as well as portabello mushroom caps.
Sides include the predictable fries (original, bay, cheese, "sloppy," and pizza), plus Taylor's Balls, Charles' Balls, truffled cheesesteak eggrolls, and crispy chicken fingers. The Taylor's Balls are cheese fritters, and the Charles' Balls are zucchini.
The condiments are out and ready for your to fix your meal up as you see fit.
Wash it all down with a Penn Pop fountain drink, or a glass of Kool-Aid (they sell bottled water too, but c'mon, you're already eating a cheesesteak).
They also offer a kids menu drawn from the adult selections, except that kids can order the grilled cheese. For dessert: rotating flavors of water ice, custard, gelati, and ice cream sandwiches.
Check out the full menu here. I haven't been able to pull up their website, but you can follow them on Twitter @SteakandIce
1320 H Street
See my full set of photos of Steak and Ice here.