Kelly's Roast Beef
I've lived in the Boston area my entire life, and at the age of 42, I finally went to Kelly's (Natick) last Friday.
Maybe I was really hungry, but I thought it was great. I had a small roast beef sandwich, which was HUGE. The meat was extremely lean. I also had onion rings, which were very greasy, but delicious.
It's really one of the best sandwiches I've had in a long time. Get it with horseradish if you can take it!
Can't wait to go back!
You've got to check out the original Revere Beach location. It's take-out only. The atmosphere is indescribable -- particularly late on a hot summer night when all the crazies are out (they're a late-night operation -- open at least into the wee hours, maybe even 24/7).
A very weird scene -- but fun in an ultra-kitsch way. Lots of bikers and people with Camaros revving their engines up and down the strip.
The lobster roll isn't bad, and the fried clams are respectable (though they're no competition for Woodman's). I am a fan, though, of the simple roast beef & horseradish sandwich, the fries, and a root beer.
Big beef, cheese, sauce, light mayo...
How many times I've uttered those words drunk at 2:30 a.m. at Kelly's in Revere.
Three things to remember when going to Kelly's:
1. The Revere location is 20 deg colder than anywhere else in metro Boston
2. The amount of fries you get is about 3x what you expect (true of all Kelly's locations) and
3. The predatory sea gulls on Revere beach have been brought up on Kelly's food and are as big as turkeys - beware!
Kelly's was blasted (unfairly, I think) on these pages some time ago, but I've always been impressed with the quality of the beef, lobster and fries. Stay away from the shrimp salad.
Last Friday I went back to Kelly's in Natick for dinner. I wasn't as ravenously hungry as I was the week before, so I thought this would allow me to make a more rational assessment of Kelly's cuisine.
The verdict: It was just as good if not better than my first impression! I requested well-done beef, which was lean and delicious. This time I got it with horseradish and barbecue sauce.
The onion rings were absolutely sensational - better than my first visit! They were hot, plump, and perfectly battered. In fact, I told my friend that I believed I had just eaten the quintessential onion ring. It was actually the entire top of a smallish onion - no hole in the middle - about 2" diameter, 1" wide. I can't even describe how great it was.
I think Kelly's should hire me to do their commercials.
I have not had Kelly's roast beef. A friend likes it well enough that we meet at Kelly's in Revere before we head over to Suffolk Downs (I must admit, ANY food is better than the "food" at Suffolk Downs).
I have tried Kelly's fish and chips, as well as their shrimp salad. The fish and chips were way on the greasy side and I would not get them again. The shrimp salad was acceptable, though entirely unremarkable.
I cannot imagine why anyone would go out of their way to go to this place. Still, there is a long, flat beach to walk on when the tide is out.
I've been going to Kelly's since I was a kid. I'm 42 now and still haven't lost my love for the food they serve up there. The portions, with the exception of the chicken finger plate, which incidentally is big enough for me but not for more man-size appetites, are enormous. Sometimes the quality can be erratic--I've had roast beef sandwiches at the Revere location that were all fat and gristle and virtually inedible--but for the most part there's nothing like their food. Best hot dogs ever--you can't beat the toasted buttered buns. I think the quality of food deteriorates at the Revere Beach location during busy times during the summer months, but overall you can't beat it. Nothing like sitting in your car by the beach on a cold February day, heating hot onion rings and chicken fingers. My husband and I fell in love over their fish plate--maybe it'll do the same for you!