Roast beef is big north of Boston. You can hardly drive a mile without passing a restaurant that advertises beef sandwiches. Some are chains, many are mediocre. Nick’s, where the motto is “We’re The Only One,” is in the top tier of excellence.
Like all the local roast beef houses, it is a self-service joint where you place your order and wait for a number to be called, then carry your own tray to a table somewhere in the small strip-mall storefront eatery. The choices include a large beef sandwich, a junior beef sandwich, and a super beef sandwich on an onion roll. (There are also many other kinds of sandwiches available.) Super beef is the one we recommend. It is a well-stacked pile of soft pink beef inside a giant rectangular roll that is egg-yellow and studded with squiggles of onion. Many condiments and add-ins are available, including horseradish, cheese, mayo, and mustard, but the people’s choice is barbecue sauce, which has a spicy sweetness that makes it beef’s good companion. And speaking of companions, you definitely want onion rings. Nick’s are beautiful – golden brown and wickedly crunchy – requiring only a hail of salt to attain perfection.
Decoration at Nick’s consists of hundreds of snapshots taken of roast beef fans all over America and the world that show them standing in front of famous places holding up a Nick’s Beef bumper sticker.