Man Food: Meaty Heaven at Roast Beast
Photo by Katie Barszcz
Submerged in the depths of Packard’s Corner in Allston sits Roast Beast, a relative newcomer on the sandwich scene. At first glance, the concept appears to be a college-friendly schtick, complete with a silly name and an over-the-top logo of a cow holding a roast beef sandwich. But once inside the basement-level spot, you’ll find that the marginally awkward space is both cozy and welcoming, with a few chairs are lined up at the counter for dining in (the main focus here is takeout). The staff is friendly and engaging; they genuinely care about their product and it shows—and honestly, they’d better, since the menu is pretty limited to the featured roast beef as well as turkey.
Thankfully, the aforementioned beef is divine—it’s succulent, moderately beefy, impeccably fresh tasting, and carefully sliced to ensure that you don’t get a thick slab of chewy beef. It’s nestled inside a lightly griddled onion roll, and the kiss of the griddle is the perfect counterpoint to the chilled meat. As for the toppings? There’s practically every condiment available to please your craving, ranging from the norm (barbecue sauce) to the not-so-norm (ginger wasabi mayo). If you want an extra kick in the pants, try the Thermonuclear sauce—even a sprinkling of this fiery topper will make you yearn for one of the Dumdum lollipops sitting at the counter to cool you off. After much deliberation and complimentary sampling, I opted for the “secret beast” sauce, a smoky, barbecue-laced concoction that is a far improvement from the generic supermarket variety. Finishing it all off is a thick slice of cheese, and I chose a chili-spiced Colby.
The large-sized sandwich ($8; there’s also “regular,” $6, and “mega,” $10) contains a hefty portion of meat. It lies flat, with the beef packed properly to avoid any slippage, and each bite is large but still manageable. All in all, Roast Beast is definitely a one-trick pony; if they didn’t do roast beef well, they’d be in trouble. Fortunately, however, they do one hell of a job.
(Roast Beast, 1080 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston, 617-877-8690, roastbeast.com)
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