Review: Kelly’s Roast Beef

Kelly's in MedfordSince 1951, Kelly’s Roast Beef has been slicing up tender pieces of beef and piling it high on soft buns from their original Revere Beach location to their five other suburban Boston locations. Each year, about 1 million roast beef sandwiches are sold and that’s why they say they’re the “Creator of the Original Roast Beef Sandwich.”

Of course you can get that famous roast beef sandwich, but they also serve up fish and chips, lobster rolls and even soups and salads.

A few weeks ago, we stopped at the Medford, Mass. location that is at Station Landing near the T’s Orange Line. Just after noon, the restaurant was packed with families, couples and individuals. A line snaked around the building for the drive-thru.

But, it was well worth it for that sandwich.

The menu at Kelly's in MedfordKelly’s menu is huge. Roast beef, pastrami, burgers, wraps, clam or scallop rolls, Greek salads and more. I opted for the small roast beef meal served with fries and medium drink.

Roast beef at Kelly'sThe bun was nicely toasted. The mustard was spicy and the cheese was, well, cheese. It was a nice and filling sandwich even if it is their smaller version. The fries were nothing special, but that’s OK. The real star is the beef. Thin slices of juicy, tender meat with the right amount of seasoning. Wash it down with some fountain Coke, and it makes for a pretty darn good Boston meal.

Kelly's Fish SandwichBrett, while wanting a roast beef the entire drive to the restaurant, ordered the fish sandwich. White fish is fried and perched atop a grilled bun with tartar sauce and the trimmings. He ordered a side of onion rings, that like their French fry cousins, were nothing too special. He commented that the portion was definitely large enough and the sandwich was full of good flavors. It also wasn’t too greasy and the breading-to-fish ratio was just right.

Inside, the restaurants are decorated with old photos and nostalgia of Revere Beach. There are fish tanks and carousel horses scattered through the dining areas of the different locations.

Kelly’s remains a Boston area institution for its tender beef and seafood dishes. I still remember Casey Affleck wanting to go in “Good Will Hunting.” Unfortunately, no video for that reference.

So instead, you get this commercial from a few years ago. Love the wicked Boston accent of the guy on the right. Enjoy!

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