Growing up in St. Louis, we had two options for roast beef sandwiches. The first was Arby’s, the nationwide chain that you probably know. The second was only slightly better choice, Lion’s Choice, with heavily seasoned meat that I somewhat fondly remember. Moving out to Boston, my perception on the roast beef sandwich changed dramatically.
The north shore roast beef sandwich might be the best of Boston’s regional cuisine. It doesn’t have the fame that clam chowder, baked beans, or Boston cream pie do, but I eat it more often and enjoy it a lot when I do. The sandwich is freshly sliced thin roast beef topped a variety of ways. It is usually offered in three sizes, junior, large, and super, and super often comes on an onion roll.
There are lots of roast beef shops throughout the area, and the one closest to Concord is Bedford House of Roast Beef. They have a pretty big menu, but in the hundred or so times I’ve been there, it’s only been once or twice that I didn’t get roast beef. Recently my order, which I share with my wife, has been two jr. beefs three-way, (That means with mayonnaise, bbq sauce, and American cheese.), a large fries, a small mozzarella sticks, and a side of horseradish.
The beef is perfectly rare, and the sandwich is sloppy. Unlike the supper beef, the jr. comes on a small plain bun. The fries, which I always add extra salt to, are crispy shoestring style. They are really good, and the creamy side of horseradish is for dipping them into. The mozzarella sticks are battered, not breaded, with ooey-gooey cheese that you can get a footlong pull from before it snaps. I love every bite of this meal.
Bedford House of Beef is in a little run down strip mall on The Great Road in Bedford, in-between a hair salon and fitness studio that goes our of business every other year. The interior is dated. It doesn’t look like much, but trust me the food more than makes up for it. I’ve been to a lot of roast beef shops over the past 20 years and Bedford House of Roast Beef remains one of my favorites.