Somehow, we hadn’t done a Food Snob since the end of September. This is a tragedy that hopefully never happens again.
There’s one place in town that has always been on the Food Snob to-try list, but for one reason or another we had never gotten there – until last week.
Beefside, the place on Manchester Street with the big cartoon steer on the sign, is pretty popular with elite athletes. NBA champion Matt Bonner once famously ordered 45 roast beef sandwiches for his San Antonio Spurs teammates (and presumably other team personnel as well) when he had a game against the Celtics at the Garden in Boston. Former MLB All Star Bob Tewksbury also used to go for breakfast almost every other Saturday after he retired from playing. So, naturally, it was time for me, the Food Snob, to join that elite company – maybe it will help me finally turn pro.
Despite being the Food Snob, I actually hadn’t had a roast beef sandwich since taking this job. I kind of went in to Beefside assuming I’d get a roast beef sandwich, but there’s a surprisingly huge menu for a roast beef place, so it did take me a little while to finally decide that yes, I will get a roast beef sandwich.
Beefside offers a variety of sizes and options for these sandwiches – in fact, there’s a whole section of the menu dedicated to strictly roast beef sandwiches. Since I was pretty hungry, I opted for the biggest one they had, fittingly called The Giant.
The Giant features 6 ounces of roast beef, served warm on a lightly grilled bulkie roll. On this particular occasion, I ordered just The Giant, as opposed to The Super Giant, which comes with lettuce, tomato, mayo and cheese. I did, however, add a slice of cheddar to the sandwich, as well as a little side of horseradish sauce and a small side of regular fries.
My first impression was that this was definitely a loaded sandwich – no cheaping out here. The thing was bursting with tender roast beef, which wasn’t entirely rare – some pieces were redder than others, which I liked. The first bite was big and packed with juicy, tender, beefy flavor. I almost decided not to use the horseradish, or the barbecue sauce I was brought, since it was so tasty all by itself, but ultimately I did add some of each near the end.
The cheese was a little less noticeable than I expected, but that was fine since it allowed the roast beef to really be the star – as it should be. Adding the horseradish really “kicked it up a notch,” to steal a dated reference, as did the barbecue, which is actually made with a bit of horseradish itself.
This was a fascinatingly neat sandwich – it never got soggy, nothing ever dripped from it, and it never even attempted to fall apart, even when I added liberal helpings of sauce. It made for a very pleasant eating experience, as I wasn’t doing any cleanup throughout the process.
Finally, I got around to eating the fries. I ordered regular fries, as opposed to beer-battered or house fries. These were pretty standard – certainly not bad, but nothing too crazy.
I’ll definitely be back to Beefside in short order. Maybe I’ll try the house fries or The Super Giant – or both.