Roast Beef Sandwiches vs. Bar Pizza

Whose eats top the regional food pantheon?
north shore south shore food

From left: Photographs by Ruby Wallace-Ewing (Sandwich); Bruce Peterson (Pizza); Courtesy of Dave Andelman and Jordan Rich (Portraits)

north shore south shore food headshots

FOR THE NORTH SHORE:
Phantom Gourmet CEO Dave Andelman, a Lynnfield native, wakes up to views of Kelly’s Roast Beef from his Revere Beach balcony.

FOR THE SOUTH SHORE:
WBZ NewsRadio 1030 host Jordan Rich grew up in the shadow of the famed Lynwood Café, in Randolph.

DA: The roast beef sandwich, when you get it right, it’s better than a steak at Del Frisco’s—and it’s $8 as opposed to $41. They’ve gotta slice it off the machine in front of you, thin-sliced. Preferably on an onion roll with cheese and barbecue sauce. When people like my dad grew up and they didn’t have a ton of money, everybody went to Kelly’s Roast Beef because it was on the first public beach in the country. Nick’s Famous Roast Beef [pictured]in Beverly, they’re famous for theirs, too.

JR: Bar pizzas are served on metal trays that are 9,000 years old by waitresses that have been there forever. They’re crispy, with not a lot of crust on the end. And they’re piping, piping hot. You’ll never, ever leave without burning your mouth. Lynwood Café [pictured], in Randolph, is about as old-school South Shore as you can get. But the place for me, my place, is Town Spa Pizza, in Stoughton. When I was in school at Curry College, we used to drive up 138 and head there, like, three times a week.

DA: If you’re from the North Shore, nobody’s ever heard of bar pie. I mean, look, you can get really good pizza north of Boston. It’s a different kind of pizza, but it’s really good. But the roast beef sandwich, it’s a meal. It’s got all the food groups: roast beef, cheese, bread, and sauce. It’s so distinctive to the region. And so satisfying.

JR: As delicious as the roast beef sandwich is, it’s clogging your arteries. So is the pizza, but the lycopene in the tomatoes makes it a little healthier. And it goes better with beer.

DA: The North Shore dominates two things, and I mean worldwide: roast beef sandwiches and sweatsuits. No one can touch it.

JR: I’d stake our fried clams and pizza up against anyone, anywhere, anytime.

—As told to Brittany Jasnoff

*** WINNER***

South Shore—extra cheese, please.


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Brittany Jasnoff
Brittany Jasnoff Executive Editor at Boston Magazine bjasnoff@bostonmagazine.com