Just got back from a food-based road trip, this time to the North Shore. We went searching for some good cheap eats between Boston and Rockport, and indeed found some standouts. Here are some notes on the places we went to:
-- Top Dog, Rockport (juicy dogs with a snap; the golden retriever dog includes mac and cheese on dogs--very decadent; feels like a shanty inside, with low ceiling, wood beams, swinging lights; friendly people, good prices)
-- Supreme Roast Beef, Gloucester (located in a diner car on Main Street; very good roast beef, outstanding sauce with a bit of a kick, nicely grilled rolls; dirt cheap prices; rather dark, glum atmosphere inside)
-- Nick's Famous Roast Beef, North Beverly (zero atmosphere; lousy location at insanely busy intersection; perhaps the best, most tender roast beef I've had; very good sauce, again, with some heat; very lightly toasted rolls; good prices; slightly rushed but friendly counter service)
-- Red's Sandwich Shop, Salem (located in a 1700s-era building; roomy, with counter stools, booths, many nooks and crannies; sassy and somewhat gruff service, but efficient; outstanding griddled burger, decent monte christo sandwich, terrible fries; very cheap prices)
-- Kelley Square Pub, East Boston (basic neighborhood pub on Bennington Street near Central Square; old-school atmosphere, friendly service; pretty good pizza that is not quite bar pie, not quite traditional Italian)
I'd probably say that Top Dog and Nick's Famous were my favorites for food, though Supreme Roast Beef impressed me, too, especially considering that there is zero info on this place on the Internet. One final note: We also tried to eat at the Riverview Restaurant in Ipswich, but it was closed...