Boston Restaurant Blog -- June, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
It has been said more than a few times that the North Shore of Boston is to roast beef sandwiches as the South Shore is to bar pizza. But bar pizza can be found north and west of Boston as well, and roast beef sandwiches, of course, can be found anywhere, though the North Shore spots seem to be the best at what they do. Perhaps reinforcing this point was a recent lunch trip we took to a new-ish roast beef and seafood joint in the northwest suburbs of Boston called Prime Roast Beef and Seafood, which is located in Lexington about midway between Route 2 and the center of town. The roast beef was very good, but not quite to the levels of greatness that places such as Nick's in Beverly or John's in Lynn seem to reach.
Prime Roast Beef and Seafood is located in a strip of shops in Marrett Square, where Route 2A and Waltham Street meet. The spaces here are small and the parking is tight, which doesn't make for an ideal spot for a full-service restaurant, and Prime Roast Beef and Seafood is definitely not that, being more of a basic sandwich shop with counter service. The folks behind the eatery have done a nice job with the space, though, making it a bit more appealing than your typical sub shop or pizza joint, with lights that aren't glaring or overly harsh, well-spaced seating with nicer tables and chairs than those that you might find in similar places, and a modern, clean overall feel.
On our weekend visit to Prime Roast Beef and Seafood, we placed our order at the counter, going with a large roast beef, a super roast beef (done three-way--with sauce, cheese, and mayo), chips, and drinks. Our food was ready in about five minutes or so, and we started digging in, noting how big both sandwiches were (the large and super were about the same size). The super beef came with a soft and fresh-tasting onion roll and was overflowing with slightly warm beef and toppings, making it rather messy to eat, which isn't necessarily a bad thing when it comes to roast beef sandwiches. The beef itself was very good, though not quite as tender and lean as what I've had at such places as the aforementioned Nick's and John's. But these were impressive sandwiches, especially for a place that isn't on the North Shore. Prices leaned just a tad on the high side, but not terribly so, and service was neither friendly nor unfriendly, with the workers taking a mostly businesslike approach to things.
So does Prime Roast Beef and Seafood have the best roast beef in the Boston area? Probably not. The best in Lexington? Maybe, though with the likes of Nick's Place in East Lexington, that may be a pretty tough call. But for a place not on the North Shore, Prime puts out a very satisfying roast beef sandwich, and one that I would certainly consider getting again when I'm in the area.
If you would like the address for Prime Roast Beef and Seafood, here it is: Prime Roast Beef and Seafood, 321 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA, 02421. The phone number is (781) 538-5903.
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