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Dec 4, 2006 03:27 PM

Any really good roast beef sandwich joint in Cam/Som/Med.

Ever since the demise of Giant Roast Beef in Teele Sq. (sometime in the early 90's) I've been in need of a very good local roast beef shop. I've been to Kelly's many times and while I like them in general they are not as good as Giant used to be. Perhaps I'm just being nostalgic?

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  1. I can't really think of any. Most of the good roast beef joints are further north of Boston (every town from Woburn, Stoneham, and Wakefield on have "roast beef and seafood" joints wherever you look).

    The All Star Sandwich Bar has beef on weck, but this might not be what you're looking for. Other than that, it's Kelly's in Medford and a few local sub shops in the area that have mostly average roast beef sanwiches.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hiddenboston

      y'know, I tried this last week... and the juicy beef leaked through the "weck" pretty quickly, leaving me with a pretty soggy sandwich, that I ended up finishing with a knife and fork...

      not really that great of an experience.

    2. If you are willing to make the trek to Salem, MA, check out King's roast beef on North street - excellent roast beef sandwiches with the proper ratio of sauce and a fabulous roll.

      1 Reply
      1. re: amamba

        Billy's rocks. A true underrated gem. Their carmelized onion topped rolls put their beefs over the top.

      2. I'd rather go to Billy's Roast Beef on Main Street in Wakefield rather than Kelly's Roast Beef. Billy's roast beef sandwich is bigger, tastier and cheaper than Kelly's. Liberty Bell on Main Street in Melrose also makes a good roast beef sandwich. In my opinion Kelly's roast beef sandwich is okay but nothing special.

        10 Replies
        1. re: buffet king

          Thanks for the rec on Liberty Bell. I'll be in the area tonight so I'll try to talk my SO into giving it a whirl.

          1. re: Sal Monella

            There is also a Liberty Bell on Main Street in Stoneham. It's near Stoneham Ford and Walgreen's. Liberty Bell also has some good onion rings.

            1. re: buffet king

              is there any relation to the liberty bell diner in southie? i love their roast beef on a onion roll with just the sauce and cheese. though, the last time i ordered from there the beef was a bit dry. hopefully just an off night.

              1. re: buffet king

                If you go to the website for the Stoneham location (, there are some coupons available to print. Looks like the offer is for the SToneham location only.

                1. re: buffet king

                  I checked out the Stoneham Liberty Bell on Sat. and it was okay but not great. Nice counter guy and certainly a good amount of food for a good price, but not so flavorful. Went with the big beef plate which included fries, rings and cole slaw ($7.50). Onion rings were nicely done but weren't hot enough, same for the fries. Cole slaw was more than a thimble full and not full of mayo, but not a ton of flavor. And while the sandwich was huge and the beef was rare, meat had no taste it seemed. I got the horseradish sauce on it which obviously gave it a kick but I like Mike's in Everett better.

                2. re: Sal Monella

                  I like Liberty Bell but think Billy's is better. I like them both better than Kelly's.

                3. re: buffet king

                  Hey B.K. Gave Liberty Bell in Melrose a try last night. It hit the spot. Very good roast beef (Big beef with sauce and mustard) and a side of onion rings. Liked all of it. My wife had the roast beef plate (she had the beef well done). Very clean restaurant, ample free parking, huge menu and very good service. It also appeared that a lot of locals enjoy going there as well. We will put this place down as a good option anytime we're in the area or if I'm dying for a roast beef sandwich. Thanks for the advice and the tip.

                  1. re: Sal Monella

                    Sal, I'm glad you liked the roast beef at Liberty Bell. I usually get a super roast beef with sauce and cheese. Give Billy's in Wakefield a try too. Billy's is on the same street about 10 minutes from Liberty Bell.

                    1. re: buffet king

                      Thanks BK. I'll give them a try too at some point. And I'll try the super beef too.

                  2. re: buffet king

                    I prefer billy's to Kelly's as well.

                  3. I find Mike's Roast Beef on Rt 99 in Everett (2 minutes outside of Sullivan Sq) to be a bit inconsistent, but it does hit the spot and is open late.

                    You could also give Skampa in East Cambridge a try. Its a bit different than the seafood & roast beef model, but is pretty good overall and I think a bit fresher than Mike's.

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: itaunas

                      I like Mike's too, esp. the toasted bun.

                      1. re: itaunas

                        I like Mike's too - and aside from the roat beef, their fish sandwich is great.

                        1. re: itaunas

                          I was a huge fan of Giant Roast Beef. Skampa does a good job without having to travel too far.

                          1. re: hondo883

                            Is Skampa the one on Cambridge St? Near Lechmere?

                            1. re: Sal Monella

                              Yes -- its on Cambridge St probably at the corner of 5th st, across from Ciampa Apothecary. Their "super beef" is pretty large, on a onion bun, quite rare. Sauce is a bit sweet, but not overly, little bite (vaguely recall a bit of horseradish). Usually they toast the bun, but I have had it untoasted. Fries are pretty forgettable and their haddock sub looks tasty, but with Courthouse a block away I have never tried. I do like their pastrami, but its not a complete replacement for Maria's. Overall its pretty solid, but not my favorite for the area.

                            2. re: hondo883

                              If you were a fan of Giant then Mike's is the place to go. They were in the same family.

                            3. re: itaunas

                              Mike's jumbo roast beef, with sauce and cheese on a toasted onion roll, a giant coke, and the spicy waffle cut fries with the nuclear orange cheese sauce. If I am ever a condemned woman, this would be my last meal.

                              1. re: Notorious EMDB

                                I keep forgetting to try those fries you recommend - thanks for reminding me! We hit Mike's today to pick up our usual - two large roast beefs with extra sauce, mayo and lettuce with a side of fried shrimp. Great as always. Love that place. Just wish I had remembered to order those waffle fries ;)

                                1. re: Rubee

                                  I always try to arrange it so I visit my Dad in Everett AFTER lunch-- and that I leave the house with a good paperback so I can stand at the counter (or sit in my car) with my book, my sandwich, and my fries. However, it's not the same now that you can't polish the whole thing off with one of Mike's Donut's excellent powdered-sugar covered jelly filled crullers. They had the best donuts, ever. : (

                                  1. re: Rubee

                                    I swear the steak and cheese rolls are the same exact ones served at Davio's for about 1/4 of the price.

                                    1. re: phatchris

                                      Davio's has those trademarked nationally, now. They also sell them to other restaurants through a distributor.

                                      1. re: almansa

                                        Well they sure taste similiar and for 1.50 a roll.

                              2. I liked Nick's in Davis Sqyare a lot, but have not been there in a long time. I heard that it had changed ownership.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Gabatta

                                  I used to eat there a lot while I was in grad school as it was on my way home from the subway and was open late at night. It was really good for awhile then I thought it went a little downhill. I drove by there the other day and it looked like a more general kind of place had replaced it.

                                  1. re: bee

                                    There have been a few posts recently about the "new" Nicks in Davis. They used to have great steak and cheese, but no longer. Sounds like they are trying to do fancy sandwiches instead, but I've not tried them lately.

                                    1. re: yumyum

                                      Yes, they are now known as Deli-licious. There's a thread on them from today.

                                  2. re: Gabatta

                                    For a moment I thought you meant Nick's Beef & Beer in Cambridge. Anyone remember that place?

                                    1. re: jajjguy

                                      I do. Although their sign lights were dodgy so it was always "ick's eef and Beer Ho " to me. Ah, youth.