If you’ve been craving a real Philadelphia cheesesteak like me, but can’t make it to the City of Brotherly Love, you’re in luck. The 14th & U corridor welcomes JJ’s Cheesesteaks, whose signature sandwich, The Ben Franklin, boasts extra-lean, thinly sliced rib-eye steak, sautéed onions, provolone cheese and lots of Cheez Wiz.
I’m just thrilled I don’t have to drive two hours for a sandwich, even though I would. I’d say I’m a connoisseur, but they don’t take kindly to upper-crusty, Grey Poupon types. I don’t like to brag, but I’ve eaten enough cheesesteaks in Philadelphia to be the mayor.
You can have any kind of cheese you want, but if you want the real thing, Cheez Wiz is the way to go. And the bread. You gotta pay attention to the bread. Is it fresh? Is it soft with a bit of a spring to it? Does it have just the slightest hint of sweetest to complement the savoriness of the steak it embraces?
Yes, yes, and yes. JJ’s Cheesesteaks does not disappoint. Hot off the grill, I received a fresh hoagie piled high with tender, juicy ribbons of beef,
smoky slices of onions, and warm, melted cheese to fill every nook and cranny. That’s what I’m talking about. Cheesy crannies. Did J.J.’s Cheesesteaks read my mind? Being just over three weeks old, they sure know how to woo a girl.
Add your favorite condiments at the self-serve bar–ketchup, mustard, mayo, hot sauce–and you’ve got a fine Philly cheesesteak. Ben would be so proud.
1939 14th Street
Washington, DC 20009
Metro: Green/Yellow lines to U Street. Just steps from the station.
Mary was born and raised in New York City where her family owned restaurants. Instead of eating dirt on the playground, she ate duck blood, beef tripe and pork belly. She cut her teeth at The Mandarin Oriental and The Ritz-Carlton hotels, working with Barbra Streisand, Vanessa Williams, Michael Stipe, LeVar Burton, Jane Krakowski and others. Mary founded Girl Meets Food in 2009 as a cover for her debilitating addiction to fried chicken and was named Washington Post’s “Favorite Local Foodie.” After 13 years in hospitality, she started freelance writing for USA Today, The Washington Post, Eater, Washington City Paper, and more. Today, she provides digital marketing for hospitality clients as a content creator who’s contently creating content.