I’m a Philly girl, so when I heard that Taylor Gourmet had added cheesesteaks to its menu, I had to hone in on my hometown specialty. The upscale hoagie shop, opened downtown in 2008 by two Philly guys—Casey Patten and David Mazza—has grown into a nine-location chainlet, and I’ve always really liked their offerings, even though I grew up in a different decade (the era of iceberg, not arugula).
In any event, after two cheesesteak forays to the Bethesda location, I can’t say I’m feeling the brotherly love. In fact, I’m not exactly sure how Taylor Gourmet’s rendition is supposed to taste, since it seems like the shop is having quality control problems (not an uncommon occurrence, I’ve noticed, when fast casual places expand).
On the first try, the shaved rib eye on all three cheesesteak varieties was salty enough to give the entire 8th Congressional District high blood pressure. It was clearly a glitch, and there were other errors, too. The #2 cheesesteak was supposed to come with bacon, but there was none, and in the #3 version, the marinara sauce was missing but the sandwich was so overloaded with spicy peperoncini that it was impossible to eat without a fire extinguisher.
Concluding it must have been an off night, I returned for lunch, and ordered the basic cheesesteak (#1), which isn’t dolled up with extraneous ingredients. The salty situation had been alleviated, and the roll had a nice chew, but this time only half of the sandwich had any discernible cheese (melted American; no Cheez Whiz available).
Yet like Philly’s famous (albeit touristy) Geno’s and Pat’s, it was plenty greasy. They got that right.
Cheesesteaks cost $9.99.
Taylor Gourmet – 7280 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301-951-9001, www.taylorgourmet.com
Left, Cheesesteak No. 3 with pepporcini. Middle, No. 2 Cheesesteak. Right, No. 1 Cheesesteak