An Early Look at Steak and Cheese

Just don't say "Philly" or "cheesesteak." Michael Landrum's new Rossyln beefwich joint relishes its inauthenticity.

Steak and Cheese opened suddenly on Wednesday. Photographs by Erik Uecke.

“WARNING: We absolutely do not serve ‘Philly’ or anything ‘cheesesteaks!!!’ We do not claim or attempt to be anyone’s idea of ‘authentic.'”

So reads a sign at Steak and Cheese, the new concept from Ray’s the Steaks restaurateur Michael Landrum. The restaurant opened suddenly on Wednesday in the Rosslyn space that formerly housed Landrum’s Hell-Burger Too.

So what’s in an inauthentic non-cheesesteak? Well, first there’s steak—thin-sliced (not shaved!) ribeye and sirloin direct from Ray’s the Steaks in Clarendon. And there’s melted cheese, a rogue blend of American and provolone. Beef and cheese are tucked inside a hoagie-like bun from Lyon Bakery. (Coincidentally, Lyon is also currently perfecting a Philly-style roll for Taylor Gourmet’s upcoming cheesesteak venture, Taylor Charles Steak & Ice.) 

If the whole thing still sounds suspiciously close to an authentic Philly cheesesteak, consider that the hefty $11 sandwich comes topped with grilled Spanish onions and the very unorthodox lettuce and tomato.  Extra toppings cost 50 cents each and include sautéed mushrooms, red and green peppers, and charred jalapeños.

Also on the menu: a basket of tater tots ($2), several sorts of soda, 185-ml bottles of Mondavi Woodbridge wines, and beers like Hofbrau, Chesapeake Ale, and good ol’ Bud Light. Landrum promises that a vegetarian option is forthcoming, but, true to form, the elusive entrepreneur is remaining mum about what that will be.

Steak and Cheese. 1713 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Open daily from roughly 11 AM until 10 PM.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.