Wednesday, July 20, 2011

North Shore Roast Beef: Sammy's

We all have a little bit of loyalty to a place where we first tried a local favorite. And so I also find myself again and again giving a little bit of love to the first place where I learned of the two way and the three way super beef. It's not as renowned as Nick's Famous Roast Beef in Beverly, which we've also recently covered here at Soused Blueberries, but Sammy's is my favorite. They're always quick, the service is the right mix of rowdy and warm, and you just gotta love a family place where a kid or two is running about, and the local high school softball team are all regulars.
You'll instantly recognize Sammy's as you drive down Washington Street in Salem, either on your way in or out of downtown. The sign on the roof is a favorite landmark of locals, one of my standby marks to watch out for when guiding friends from out of town on how to get to my little place in the middle of the city. There are about seven little tables, and a long counter, behind which you'll see the action happening.
Sammy's is not limited to the super beef, or junior beef if you're not all that hungry but need a little somethin' somethin at 1 AM on a Friday night/Saturday morning. You can also order different wraps, club sandwiches, fried clams, a steaktip dinner, a pizza, etc, etc. But let's be honest, the best thing here is the super beef sandwich. The roast beef that is prepared on premise is cooked to a perfect pink in the middle, a medium to medium rare. It's juicy, and in the past, having only had deli roast beef, one bite of Sammy's has put me off the former for all time. The thin-sliced beef, stacked quite thickly onto a tangy, soft onion roll is just perfect: a righteous chew, and that rich beefy satisfaction that can really only be achieved when you have a beef sans preservatives and plastic packaging. And as with other North Shore roast beef institutions, you can go with mayo, sauce, cheese or all of the above. I almost always stick with mayo and sauce. The sauce at Sammy's is a tangy, slightly spicy at the back end type of barbecue sauce. With the mayo, it provides a rich coating to complement the succulent beef and the chewy onion roll. It's really the perfect "order out" meal, beating out other kinds of takeout almost any day of the week. A fantastic sandwich.

P.S. - The onion rings are kind of like a beacon of light on a dark night, if you know what I mean.

Sammy's Roast Beef
17 Canal Street
Salem, MA 01970

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