Yeah, some of us are "Ray's out," but being a fan I had to give it a try, so I drove up to Wilson Blvd mid-afternoon to give it a shot.
The place was near deserted when I got there, something of an anomaly in the space formerly occupied by Ray's Hell Burger Too. I expected table service and then saw a couple of people ordering in the back. No menu. Nice. A manager cursing out staff. Nice. The haphazard chaos of a newly-opened dive, but not by seasoned professionals, but with a feeling of amateurishness. Not so nice.
Ah, but I'm here for the food. A cheeseste...er...."steak and cheese" as they not-so-quitely proclaim. Not a "Philly," nor anything "authentic," mind you, but a "steak and cheese."
Ordering was about as simple as it gets. When I requested my "steak and cheese," the cashier asked "Is that it?" I asked, "What else comes on it?" to which she replied, "mushrooms, jalapenos and grilled peppers." I went for the peppers.
When I got the sandwich, it didn't look very impressive. The roll seemed a bit too large since the fillings were jammed in the middle. It took me a good two bites of the impressive tasting roll to get to the good stuff – a fine combination of meats and cheeses. I could do without the lettuce, which seemed totally out of place. The tomato also was a near-miss, but could do, I suppose. The peppers were in there somewhere, but I couldn't taste them much. The star – the meat itself, however, was tasty, juicy and flavorful. It seemed of good quality, so bonus points there. All together though, it was just above average for me.
On the side, the tots were about as ordinary as it gets, but were a fair accompaniment. The thought of Ore-Idas flash-fried went through my mind, but they went down well enough.
All in all, a good lunch, but if you're seeking the holy grail of "steak and cheeses," cheesesteaks or even sandwiches, this only satisfies, but doesn't seem to command the respect of multiple visits. I might go back if a friend wanted to go, but I doubt I'd go out of my way for it again, like I do for the occasional Hell-Burger. I suppose for folks yearning for a decent sand, it'll work.
Anyone else have a go?