Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Sandy's Lunch Box (CLOSED)

18 South Road, Pepperell, MA 01463
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Photo of Sandy's Lunch Box, Pepperell, MA Occasionally, a restaurant that we feature on this site is so unknown that it almost feels as if the place doesn't actually exist. Such is the case with Sandy's Lunch Box in rural Pepperell, MA, a roadside food stand so obscure that a call to 411 for the dining spot's phone number in the late spring of 2009 drew head scratches from not just one, but two phone operators. But don't let this scare you off from Sandy's, as it is a classic spot that road trips are made for, and since it isn't all that far from Boston, is a place that can easily be included in a short day trip from Beantown.

There really isn't much to Sandy's Lunch Box, as it is basically a tiny shack that is barely big enough to hold more than one person, let alone cooking equipment. A few picnic tables are off to the side (and partially shaded by trees, depending on the time of day and the season), while a pond sits behind the place. Sandy's is located at the intersection of two state roads (Routes 111 and 119), but while traffic can be a bit high around the dining spot, the views of open fields, water, and woods are a constant reminder that this is mostly undeveloped country, and the dusty farm stand next door only solidifies this fact.

Sandy's Lunch Box is owned by the same folks who run another mostly unknown Pepperell spot, namely the Scotch Pine Farm, a hard-to-find place that features breakfast and lunch. Like their sister restaurant, Sandy's also serves breakfast and lunch, though lunch seems to be the focus here, and the place feels in some ways more like a hot dog stand than anything else. Deep-fried dogs (or rippers, as they are called by some), steamed dogs, knockwursts, and kielbasa make up a fairly big chunk of the menu at Sandy's. And the deep-fried hot dogs are something special, mainly because they are wrapped in bacon before dropped into the oil. The result is a bacon-wrapped hot dog that is a delectable treat--crusty on the outside (especially with the spiral-wound bacon over the dog) and juicy on the inside. And if you dare, you can also order it with cheese. The steamed dogs are also tasty and come with options such as cheese and a slightly hot chili that is a mix of finely ground beef, beans, and spices. Other items on the menu include burgers, egg salad, a chicken melt, and fries.

So does Sandy's Lunch Box have the best hot dogs within, say, an hour of Boston? Probably not, with such gems as George's Coney Island in Worcester and Simco's in Mattapan in the general area. But neither of those places--both of which are right in the middle of congested urban areas--have the truly unique feel of a roadside snack shack out in the country. And wrapping a hot dog in bacon before deep frying it is something that you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere near Boston. It may be a bit out of the way for some, but Sandy's Lunch Box is surely a dining spot that would be a great place to go to at the beginning, middle, or end of a road trip through the hilly, scenic, and mostly unspoiled areas of north-central Massachusetts.