February 10, 2017
Not so fast: Roxy’s arrives at MarketStreet Lynnfield
The Hub’s guru of grilled cheese has chosen another, tougher testing ground.
Last month, James DiSabatino, owner and operator of Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, took the comfort food formula that fueled his popular food truck business and launched it into a third brick-and-mortar location, this one in Lynnfield.
Roxy’s still runs food trucks, but its home kitchen is now located at its Allston outlet. (There’s another in South Boston, and Cambridge just became No. 4.) The Allston kitchen sets the menu for the various outlets, and DiSabatino continues to play with new sandwich variations.
THE LOCALE By opening a sit-down restaurant in the expansive MarketStreet Lynnfield shopping center, DiSabatino is not only testing the suburban market, but he’s going toe-to-toe with the big guys.
Roxy’s is operating alongside behemoth chains such as Panera, Starbucks, and Boloco common to the American mall. However, DiSabatino really was jonesing for that Lynnfield location. He had grown up on the North Shore, and the MarketStreet site had once encompassed a club (the Colonial) that hosted his junior high school prom.
“It seems like the right place,” said DiSabatino, who launched the Roxy’s Grilled Cheese food truck in 2011 as a recent Emerson College graduate. “It puts us against much bigger competition. We’re taking our first steps of being more than a little food truck company.”
The Lynnfield site features an expanded menu of new sandwiches, salads, hot dogs, and desserts. The décor still has a street-wise kick – there’s wall-size version of the tattoo that graced the shoulder of the cute but devilish girl in the original Roxy’s logo: a stylized skull with a fork and knife standing in for the crossbones. That tattoo, DiSabatino said, was originally aimed at putting a counterculture spin on a more traditional fast-food logo.
There are seats for 30 and there will be more when warm weather allows for patio dining.
ON THE MENU The Lynnfield spot has, of course, Roxy’s basic Classic Melt ($4.50) or Rookie Melt ($5) with Vermont cheddar and tomato, which you can match with roasted tomato soup ($3.50) for baby boomer nostalgia.
Vary your grilled cheese fix with the thoroughly gooey Three Cheese Melt ($5) or Green Muenster ($5), in which cheese, bacon, and guacamole make for a satisfying blend of tastes.
Veggies can get down with the nicely made Caprese ($7.50) with mozzarella, roasted tomato, and kale pesto; there are vegan options as well.
Lots of sides to choose from: The hand-cut truffle tater tots ($4) were crisp and divine. You can go all out with Loaded Fries ($5.30/$6.30) or the West Coast fries, ($8), which came smothered with smoked gouda sauce, pickles, and caramelized onions. (These were a bit too loaded for us in terms of grease overkill.)
Hot dogs include plain, ($4.20) and cheese dog, ($4.80), loaded with smoked gouda cheese and barbeque sauce and crispy onions ($5.20). We sampled the cheese dog; the juicy, flavorful meat was almost drowned by the bland cheese.
Burger choices include the newly introduced Lucy ($7), a veggie patty with Muenster that makes for a nice meat substitute. For double-dipping into the deep fryer, there’s the Double Fried chicken sandwich ($7.30), in which the chicken somehow managed to be juicy despite the really crisped exterior.
Diet food, this ain’t. You can, however, get a turkey Caesar ($8.15) and house salad ($6.80). Both families and suburban hipsters will dig Roxy’s reasonable prices, and everyone can use some comfort food in these trying times.
Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, 1205 Market St., Lynnfield. 781-304-4880
By: Stephanie Schorow