My first visit to a Kelly’s Roast Beef in Florida Download

14:54 Download January 16th

Kelly’s Roast Beef is a landmark in the Boston area just as much as the Freedom Trail and Boston Tea Party ship. Boston isn’t known for its beaches. And for good reason. They’re nothing like ours. First of all, there are about 3 months of actual beach weather in New England if you’re lucky. The quality of them is quite low too. BUT Kelly’s on Revere Beach is iconic, serving up roast beef sandwiches and seafood for over 70 years now. There are now a bunch of Kelly’s locations in the Boston area. There’s even one in New Hampshire. But when they opened in Florida, I was shocked.

It must be going well for Kelly’s Roast Beef because now they have as many restaurants in Florida as they do in Massachusetts and New Hampshire combined. They are at the Gateway Shoppes in Naples, Creekside Commons in Parrish, Cypress Woods in Fort Myers and University Park in Sarasota. I’d been meaning to visit one, but I don’t visit any of those areas often. So when I heard their newest location in St. Pete opened, I finally made a trip.

According to the Kelly’s Roast Beef website, everything on the menu is made fresh. It may appear to be another fast food joint. They even have a drive thru. But Kelly’s is definitely a step up in quality, but also in price. The roast beef sandwiches are what made them famous. But what I think will set them apart in Florida is their New England seafood. There aren’t many places in the Tampa area where you can get a legit New England lobster roll.

So how does a Florida Kelly’s location measure up against the original? I’ll do my best to compare the experience. Truth be told, I didn’t go to Kelly’s often when I lived up north. Roast beef isn’t one of the foods I often crave. And while I do like a lobster roll in the summer when I visit family in Maine, I usually pass on them otherwise. They’re expensive and really don’t fill you up much. So my plan when I got to the Kelly’s in St. Pete was to stick with their traditional roast beef sandwich.

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