Cheap Eats 2010: Ray's the Steaks at East River
100 places that offer great food at low prices.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published June 16, 2010
Cheap Eats 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2011) Cheap Eats 2010 Cheap Eats 2011

Ray's the Steaks at East River (Closed)
Address: 3905 Dix St., Washington, DC 20019
Phone: 202-396-7297
Cuisines: Seafood, Steaks, American
Opening Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday 11:30 to 9:30, Sunday noon to 9.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Minnesota Ave., Benning Road
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Beer-battered shrimp; cold-smoked fried chicken; crab royale; crabcake sandwich; crab bisque; New York strip; baby back ribs; Key-lime pie; chocolate mousse; cobbler of the day.
Price Details: Sandwiches $6.95 to $11.95, entrées $9.95 to $21.95.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly

Why go: This break-the-model enterprise—a sit-down restaurant on the neglected eastern side of the Anacostia River from restaurateur Michael Landrum—is a fascinating study in contrasts, not to mention a bold sociological experiment. And guess what—the food’s good, too. From gratis salads of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers to trencherman-style selections of meat to wedges of great pie, a meal here harks back to a no-fuss kind of dining that has all but vanished. You can even find a $5 glass of wine.

What to get: Beer-battered jumbo shrimp, ten to an order; a neat twist on skillet-fried chicken, the bird cold-smoked before hitting the oil; the Presidential burger, the same one served at Ray’s Hell-Burger and the lounge at Ray’s the Classics; crab royale, a ten-ounce mound of lightly bound jumbo lump that’s thrust under the broiler until golden; stellar Key-lime pie; silken milk-chocolate mousse.

Best for: Simply prepared American cooking at a great price.

Insider tip: Landrum fans unaccustomed to life east of the Anacostia—and apprehensive about making the trip out there—might be reassured to know that the owner has hired greeters to man the door and watch over the block.

>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here 

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 06/16/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews