Lunch 6/7/22

Roast beef sandwich

The roast beef sandwich is a true Massachusetts culinary experience. The meat is sliced very thin and piled extremely high. Toppings run the gamut, but the quintessential version is the “3-Way” with barbecue sauce (generally a fairly spicy one), horseradish sauce or horseradish mayo, and American cheese. There are some variations on that depending on where you get your sandwich, but just as you can walk into any Dunkin’ Donuts in Massachusetts and ask for a “regular” coffee and get one with milk and 3 sugars, you can walk into any Massachusetts roast beef place and order a 3-Way and get something very much like this one.

This style of roast beef sandwich originated at Kelly’s on Revere Beach in the 1950s. They are now a chain with 4 locations around the North Shore, including the original one still right on the beach. They spawned a ton of imitators, some of which became institutions of their own, such as Bill And Bob’s. These days, it’s fairly common to find most pizza/sub shops also serving roast beef. and the sandwich has spread beyond the North Shore. I bought this one from a sub shop near my office, in Lowell. This is actually their medium-sized version (called a Large Beef), and the Super Beef is simply enormous.