Giorgiana’s: South End

Last week, I ventured to the South End for some shopping and good times [thanks Groupon & StyleFixx]. I was running around all day so I decided I might as well get there a bit early and explore the dining options in the area.

Tremont St. and the South End/Back Bay area is simply beautiful. It just looks so classy! &Historic. Truly delightful. Yet since it is so fancy, the dining options were a bit limited as far as cheap dining goes. [Confession–I walked several blocks specifically looking a for fast food joint, but alas.]

So I stumbled upon Giorgiana’s–a typical Boston meat/cheese shop. I figured that’d be the cheapest thing I’d find on this street, so I came in not expecting much. So glad I did!

I was pretty overwhelmed by their 12+ delicious sounding soups, so I opted for a soup/sandwich combo. NOMNOM. I got their roast beef on multigrain bread (I originally asked for ciabatta, but they were out–so she recommended the multigrain), with the standard tomato/lettuce/mayo combo on top.

My overall impression of the sandwich: delish. And fresh! The roast beef was pretty pink in color, almost a pale-ish tan. It was a little dry, but I think that actually made it taste better [who knew?]. Not chewy & generally a nice texture. Towards the end, there was a hint of pepper on the meat–so good, nice touch. (I wish it was evenly seasoned so I could’ve had more of that nomness!)

Yet again the bread issue came up–the multigrain taste at first seemed to completely mask everything else, but eventually I began to taste the rest of the sandwich. Oh and the soup was pretty tasty too [chicken+lemon+egg, like avgolemono!]. I would love to go back and try a different soup. The more I think about it, the more I might go back today! It was under ten bucks total and included a drink.

Overall, I was impressed not only with the sandwich/soup but with the environment! Everyone that came in seemed like a regular, and George (perhaps the store owner?, it would make sense) was super friendly and cordial to everyone. Definitely a happy lil shop.

My rating: 8/10

J

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Tufts Catering: Medford/Somerville

The last time I posted a review, the place went out of business. While there is the very strong liklihood that I had absolutely nothing to do with that, it does place a little reluctance on publishing anything more.

Fortunately, to break the potential curse, I’m continuing on with a business that will likely never fade out–Tufts’ Catering. This is the standard catering at Tufts University. My employer ordered roast beef at our last luncheon specifically for my enjoyment, so I thought ‘Why not review it?’.

I also thought to myself: this is a generic catering service–so go a little crazy with the toppings. And by crazy I mean I added red peppers [note: I will be exploring the grand question of roast beef + toppings in a later post more in-depthly!].

So what was on it: Red peppers, arugala, some cooked onion [I don’t enjoy onion–I removed what I could], and tomato. There was no mayo[!?], but I think it probably would’ve tasted better without it anyway. Good call on their part.

The meat was your pretty standard ‘deli-style’ [as in, bought prepackaged and presliced in the grocery store] fare–darker, unspiced, cold, nestled inside an italian bread roll. Pairing the beef with red peppers was a wise choice, considering I enjoy a little spice in my RB. The meat itself had a good texture, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. A fine, make-it-yourself-at-home, store-bought kind of sandwich.

My current struggle with roast beef continues to be the choice of bread, where this roll was simple too thick–there was too much bread to completely enjoy the flavors. &Of course, the carmelized onion also ‘tainted’ the sandwich despite me removing the actual onion.

Overall, I learned more about what I like and dislike in a sandwich, and it was the usual sub fare. Oh and because it was free and Tufts affiliated, it gets a bonus point: 6/10.

J

Update: I brought some home for a housemate, &she later told me that with some fancy mustard it was ‘amazing’. Maybe I should jump on the mustard train. Or not.

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I’m Baaaaack

So, who knew grad school would be so demanding as to prevent me from regularly updating this thing? [A: Everyone]

With that said, it’s SUMMER!! Which means I’m going to hopefully create a nice little habit of updating this baby every so often. Starting now! Check back soon (and by soon I mean, later today!) for two quick reviews–Giorgiana’s in Back Bay, and Tufts’ Catering!

J

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Espresso’s Pizza: Medford, MA

For this review I decided to trek two blocks from my house to Espresso’s Pizza, a Tufts and Medford staple. The staff is super friendly, and I’ve heard the pizza is great. My friend opted for some delicious looking steak and cheese sub, and seemed satisfied. I, of course, ordered the roast beef with tomato and mayo.

Unfortunately, my notes from this review got lost along with my old cell phone [RIP]. But here is what I do remember:

The portion was hefty, pretty standard for the roast beef joints around here. Way more meat than bread, which is always a plus. Bonus points for the thick tomato slices. But let’s face it: the most important part of the sandwich here is the meat itself. And well, it was slightly on the too-chewy side, not to mention the flavor of the meat was slightly concerning. For starters, it wasn’t particularly juicy, but overall it tasted old. Like it would have been thrown out the next day (or maybe should have been thrown out the day before). I’m not a pro on roast beef, but I know the smell and taste of coldcuts that are approaching their expiration date.

Overall, I give it 4/10 stars.

J

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RBB: Hot or Cold?

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the idea of roast beef sandwiches being hot or cold. Some people have a preference, some seem surprised either way, but I’ve never really thought about it much.

Doing some thinking, it seems there is no uniform method for presenting this meal. When making it at home, it seems the dish is always served cold. Which makes sense, considering it is often a ‘leftover’, pull-it-out-of-the-fridge-and-put-it-in-between-some-bread-call-it-a-sandwich kinda deal. Yet most restaurants tend to serve it hot. Delis—maybe either/or? I’m trying to even recall if the places I frequent are even consistent with the temperature of their sandwiches….??? I honestly have no idea.

My favorite presentation of roast beef to date was served warm (Rosa’s Roast Beef & Subs, Medford Square). There was the warm (delish) meat, coupled with cool tomatoes and mayo, on a just toasted roll. Just thinking about it is making my stomach grumble!

So yes, I’m learning things all the time in this roast beef journey. It’s hot or its cold (Chime in Katy Perry!). Either way, good to me.

J

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Roast Beef 101

I left Boston for the holiday, back home to a rather rainy and flooded San Diego. I figured during this time I could do some recreational reading on roast beef—what I should be looking for, ways to assess the quality… general ways to review roast beef other than whether or not it reaches my personal seal of approval. As much as I think my personal taste buds and enthusiasm are credentials enough, I will say part of this experience is also to just learn more about it.

Pretty sure I know the answer to this question, but I’m going to ask anyway: Have you ever googled “roast beef”? Try googling it and seeing what comes up. You won’t find much in regards to reviews or appreciation. The lack of resources is ridiculously limited—it is almost like I’ve discovered an information gap on the internet!

Amazingly enough, this meat seems to be pretty under the radar. The wiki page is WEAK.

While the term ‘roast beef’ usually brings to mind mashed potatoes and carrots and a cozy fireplace, maybe a nice stout on the side.. I’m not really focusing on that kind of roast beef. Rather, in this context I’m talking about the straight-up cold-cut form. Nomnom.

With that said, I have so far learned little to nothing about its origins or what makes a good roast beef. I have a feeling this adventure is going to take me beyond the computer screen, perhaps maybe even actual human interaction! Woah.

All I know so far is that in the context of these reviews, roast beef is very overlooked—it is merely considered a plain, unexciting leftover food item. Even historically they have given the roast beef sandwich a lack of significance, describing the item not even by any particular name, just as random meat in between toast (insulting, I know).

Currently I’m en route to the lovely but snowy midwest… they have good meat products there, right? We’ll see.

J

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Mmmm Roast Beef

Welcome to Roast Beef Boston!

This blog is exactly what it sounds like: A blog dedicated to all the roast beef Boston has to offer. I hope to have a few posts a month of food reviews, and maybe a post or two that further explores the art of this delicious meat.

So who am I to judge? Good question. I’m just a twentysomething that’s enthusiastic about many a thing, one of which is roast beef. I moved to Boston in mid-August. While I was fully aware of the seafood and sports that well-occupied this town, I was completely surprised by the amount of sub shops and delis. Even more so, the shops that proudly boast about their roast beef.

But yeah, I effing love roast beef. So the fact that Boston has presented me with the opportunity to explore dozens of roast beef shops around town has led me to the creation of this blog. I’m no food critic nor food snob, just spirited about the product. Enjoy!

J

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