Adams Morgan may have to wait — as in forever — for a Ray’s Hell Burger, but Northeast D.C. will have to drum their fingers only ’til this fall for the debut of Ray’s the Steaks at East River, says owner Michael Landrum.
When WaPo first announced RTS@ER, it was known as Ray’s the Heat, but Landrum decided to change the name as a sort of official notice to the neighborhood, which restaurateurs have historically neglected like an ugly stepchild. The name-change, Landrum says, is “a signal to that community that they’re getting my A property.”
This Ray’s the Steaks, however, will be more family-oriented than either the original location in Arlington or Ray’s the Classics in Silver Spring, both of which cater to an adult crowd. East River will feature a kids’ menu, Landrum says, including a burger and hot dog.
Adults will be able to choose from the usual line of RTS steaks as well as two different kinds of chicken (a spicy Memphis version and the classic Maryland skillet-style) as well as that Hell Burger that everyone seems to crave, including the president. “The burger will be a mainstay of the restaurant,” Landrum says, an acknowledgment of President Obama’s stature in the neighborhood.
Landrum also plans to honor his original vision for Ray’s the Heat, which means he’ll sell an entree and three sides for a fixed, affordable price. It is Landrum’s version of the classic Southern combo known as the “Meat ‘N’ Three.”
Ray’s the Steaks at East River should open this fall, the owner says, likely before October, if the final permits are secured.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery