Roast Beef Sandwiches vs. Bar Pizza

Whose eats top the regional food pantheon?

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

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

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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