The hardest part about picking the best steakhouse is deciding between Michael Landrum’s two places, Ray’s the Steaks and Ray’s the Classics, either of which could hold the title with nary a protest from meat eaters. In the end, I prefer RTC in Silver Spring for reasons that have little to do with quality—and everything to do with location. RTC is closer to my house. Sure, I also like the muted, old Hollywood feel of RTC, but both of Landrum’s places serve the best steaks around, these thick, meticulously trimmed, bred-specific slabs that come with family-style servings of creamed spinach and mashed potatoes. Ray’s does well with a number of cuts, but I typically favor the New York strip, which is wet-aged for weeks, cooked to perfection, and, for an extra buck, paired with a decadent brandy-mushroom cream sauce. The price is right at RTC, too—generally about a third less than those at the dark-wood power palaces downtown. Yep, Ray’s delivers high-quality meat without demanding a pound of flesh in return.