28 Comment

  • I know ill catch flack for this but just a couple points. Why call this a philly cheesesteak place. First of all I’ve had most of the cheesesteaks philly has had to offer and have to say i’ve had better outside of PA all together.
    But my point has nothing to do with this. Just that this ISNT philly. And anyone from philly is just gonna be like “yo dog this shit ain’t no philly cheesteak”. So why not just open a place that makes quality steak and cheeses and have it pay homage to where its located. DC. Then we have a nice local joint we can all go to and not have to listen to douche bags talk about how it aint no philly cheesesteak

  • It’s like when that place on M Street in Gtown. Bagel Cafe I think it was called. They had pizza that was really pretty good. But then they changed their pizza and name to New York Style Pizza and Bagels. and as such quickly went out of business. cause nobody likes NY pizza outside of new yorkers (who are only pretending as a point of pride). But hey its all for the better because its where tackle box moved.

  • For what it’s worth, it appears the name is just “JJ’s Cheesesteaks” – without reference to Philly. In fact, several of the items on the menu are named after places in and around DC – like “the Capitol” and “the Potomac.” While it also has things like “the Liberty Bell” and “the Balboa,” it seems fair to at least pay some homage to the home of the cheesesteak when opening up a cheesesteak place anywhere.

    At $5.75 for a sandwich, I will definitely check this place out.

  • I’m going after I finish up here at the office. Glad to see a sub shop for the masses. Sometimes you don’t want to spend $20.00 dollars on dinner. Good luck to the owners of this place. I’ll take this place over a sex shop/wine bar any day.

  • I stumbled in on my way home on Tuesday. They were doing a soft opening and waved me in to order. I had the All American that was beef, chicken and american cheese, but immediately regretted my choice when I saw that the Ben Franklin came with the crappy/delicious melted cheese on it. It was good, and will only get better after the people cooking cook about 7,000 between 2 and 3 am.

    One piece of news, the people who own/run the place mentioned that for their grand opening on Saturday, they will have sandwiches for $1.99 each from noon to midnight. That is so serious snacking for very very little money. I may have to go back more than a few times!

  • Yup, JJ’s Cheesesteaks, no overt mention of Philly….not that people still won’t comment. Anyway, looking forward to it (maybe tonight after the lincoln theater!). Also, fries with cheese AND bacon! Nice.

  • Anons should not be able to besmirch Philly Cheesesteaks! Give yourself a name that I can shame sir or ma’am! And people from Philly don’t go around calling each other “dog,” that went out after the first season of American Idol. The fact that you got to have the first word on this thread is a travesty. Please be advised- DC has no special food culture outside of half smokes, or am I missing something?

    The key to a good steak is the bread- you need a solid roll that doesn’t disintegrate upon contact with greasy goodness. If this place brings down its rolls from Philly or Jersey, I think the steaks will work.

    I wish this place the best of luck- I hope that Philly food culture completes its colonization of D.C. ASAP- bring on the BYOBS!

  • i am very much in agreement with “the centzon totochtin” on all points. anyone who says they only had good cheesesteaks outside of philly is only trying to be contrary. and until i get proof that the bread here is good and not the soft “sub roll” crap that passes for hoagie and steak rolls in dc, i will steer clear . . . unless i’m really drunk.

  • haha, I love the defensiveness in the philly cheesesteak loving poster. I get it too because if someone opened up a chicago style hot dog joint that wasn’t up to snuff I would be all over them too. Anyways I love cheesesteaks but never been to Philly nor had a cheesesteak there. Am I crazy for only wanting it to be some quality sliced roast beef, peppers and onions and provolone on a soft sub roll? The cheez whiz style is grotesque! Why would anyone eat that sober? And if it’s something you only eat when drunk, that means its garbage, like jumbo slice.

  • We shouldn’t rename the place.

    There’s no philly or Philadelphia in the name.

    So our comments here and even the title of this post seem erroneous.

    It’s just, “JJ’s Cheesesteaks” on the web site. That’s all.

    Seems like a good alternative for lunch and sandwiches at a very fair price when at 14th and U.

  • Weird question: are there veggie options? I know, I know, it’s a cheesesteak place, but even burger places usually have veggie options. And, well, The Greek Spot’s veggie gyro is as good as a meat one.

  • Popped in to pick up a menu. Guys running it seem genuinely nice. I saw who I thought were the Taylor Deli dudes eating there. Scoping out potential competition? Would love a Taylor outpost on U.

  • The Philly-vs-Everywhere-Else’s-Cheesesteak has been done to death, just like NY slice versus WTF-ever, and it’s just as pointless. Some like Wiz, some don’t. Some like provo, some don’t. Fact is, DC has a long history (going back to the 1950s) of serving the “steak & cheese” with thin ribeye, American, and lettuce/tomato/mayo and, before anyone gets bent out of shape, you can get the same thing in Philly and it’s called a “cheeseteak hoagie.” The best around here are at Mario’s and The Broiler in Arlington. Now, for a more authentic Philly version, you go to Philadelphia Water Ice Company where they use Sarcone’s bread.

    My experience has been that many Korean-run Chinese carryouts do a pretty respectable steak & cheese because they tend to use bulgogi meat which is just thin-sliced ribeye. But for some inexplicable reason, they always cut the sub into four bite-sized segments. Bewildering.

  • They didn’t seem open last night when I drunkenly stumbled out of the Dirty Projectors show to fill my arteries with fat and salt.

  • It was bad! Really Really bad they use steak-um no name ketsup and cheese wiz I hope well for all new business but I give this place under 6months to fold up shop

  • LJ – looks like they have some veggie options (or at least a veggie patty of some sort). this makes me happy! i don’t need a lot of menu choices, but it’s nice to have at least one.

  • I just had lunch there. The basic steak with onions and wiz. It’s solid. Not the greatest I’ve ever had, but better than anything I’ve had recently in DC. Nice chewy roll that soaks up lots of tasty grease and cheese. Good size sandwich for $5.75. I’d go again. They’re a little slow, but they’re working out the kinks of their service I’m sure.

    One problem I see is that their grill is tiny. They’ll need to add a second grill if they ever want to make the big bucks on a busy Saturday night. Live and die on volume.

  • I’m a cheesesteak connoisseur. I grew up eating several cheesesteaks a week in Philadelphia. Anyone who thinks there’s nothing special about an authentic Philly steak doesn’t know what they are talking about. I’ve lived in DC for 11 years and have only had one steak that comes close and it’s from a place on Georgia Ave across the street from Howard. There are two main keys to a Philly steak. One is the roll. It must be Amoroso which ain’t available in these parts. Then the steak itself is not frozen steak-um. If you go to Philly you will see a huge slab of fresh meat in the corner simmering on the grill which will be sliced for each steak. You can get a good steak in philly at a sidewalk vendor, through a bullet proof glass convenience liquor store or in one of the much publicized places I won’t name because they get WAY too much hype.

    Every now and again I go to bar in DC or MD and am pleasantly surprised by a good “steak n cheese” and they say here.

  • Just went for lunch, thought it was pretty good! Going back tomorrow for the $1.99 cheesesteak specials!

  • This place is terrible! We ordered relatively quickly, which was nice, but it took them 30 minutes to get us two, way overcooked, regular cheesesteaks. Definitely not worth the 40 minutes of being there. No one could eat here during a lunch hour. Start the countdown to them closing up shop!

  • Anon 3:29 – you’re being to hard on them – today was their first full day of being open and they were swamped – so the delays, while unfortunate, are part of the experience. I’m sure they will get better.

    I stopped by today and it was actually pretty tasty. The steak was peppery and the fries were crispy and properly seasoned. Not the best cheesesteak i’ve ever had, but much better then most of the impostors here in DC. Overall – i’d give it a B on taste alone.

    As far as the service goes – well its clear they need to work on their ordering system and definitely need another grill if they are going to be able to handle the volume.

    I plan on going back again in a few weeks, when hopefully they will have the kinks worked out.

  • @KC–Amoroso rolls are available here, at South Street Steaks in Bethesda (also in Gaithersburg, formerly of College Park). It’s the only real Philly steak available in DC area.

  • @monkey and everyone else trying to sort out the question of who gets which bread where… Both this place (where I have not yet been) and Philadelphia Water Ice on H St. use Amoroso rolls. Taylor uses Sarcones.

  • I hit the grand opening at JJ’s Cheesesteak and I was impressed with the quality being a Philly native I was impressed with the Amoroso rolls and the Wiz. When I came back at 2 am for round 2 I realized they ran out of Amoroso rolls but used a bready substitute. I talked to the manager and he apologized since they had no idea they would have sold over 700 sandwiches on their grand opening. Seems like they also have a wait issue but he mentioned they are still in training and it’s hard to simulate a rush. They are expanding the grill next week to improve work flow. JJs is going to be my spot for a quality affordable sandwich. BTW all the staff was very pleasant to talk to, very young and energetic.

  • Went for grand opening and had the “Ben Franklin”, traditional cheesesteak. Although staff was friendly, I can’t say I was too impressed. Too much pepper in the meat and I did have one bite of grissel (sp); which makes me question the quality of the meat. Smaller size than I expected too. I’d give it another try down the road though. I support the local communitiy over a chain restaurant any day!!

  • Just grabbed a fifty bus to JJs for what I thought was to be an authentic Philly steak sandwich. They had run out of the advertised rolls and were using generic hoagie rolls. Why did they open their doors if all they want to be is a run of the mill steak place. Needless to say I left without ordering and came back to Jonathans at 14th and NY to get a good cheesesteak sandwich.

  • Drove down there yesterday afternoon and they didn’t have ANY rolls. You only need three things to make a cheesesteak, people. I will not be making that mistake again.

  • After reading mixed reviews I decided to try it for myself. Same theory I use when I watch movies. So I stopped by for an early dinner today, seems like they are back on track after a flop of an opening. I guess not everyone can predict the rush of a grand opening that takes place on Howard Homecoming. But today they had their Amoroso rolls and the Wiz and the sandwich was off the hook. Hope they can keep stuff in stock, cause if they do I am definitely coming back since its one of the better tasting spots on U street.

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