Saturday, June 13, 2009

Scene of the crime, fondly remembered

Most of us have a local restaurant that we grew up with and that made an indelible impression on our lives. We remember it for all the birthday lunches, the special one-on-one meals with fathers, and too many other occasions to keep track. Mine was a popular restaurant in Gaithersburg, MD by the name of Roy's Place. My dad practically lived there while he worked as a scientist for over 40 years (he had his retirement dinner there not too many years ago). My brother and sister both worked there.

Roys Place is an unmitigated disaster for people trying to follow Weight Watchers. It has a menu with over 200 sandwiches all designed with creativity unmatched. Some of my favorites (excerpts from their online menu):


THE DOUG LLEWELYN (Llanguidly Llounges Llizard-like on Lladies’ Llaps.)
Baked ham, shrimp salad, chicken bosom, lettuce, tomato & mayo

THE DRACULA (A bloody mess.)
Two Polish sausages wrapped in bacon, with broiled provolone cheese, buried in cole slaw & Russian dressing on French bread

THE WHICHIT (Son of Whatzit)
5 oz. Whatzit brisket, mother Roy’s very own homemade baked beans, cole slaw, crushed cherry peppers on choice of bread

LASSIE’S DOUBLE REVENGE (Flavor tested by Al Po.)
Two knockwurst, provolone cheese, bacon, fried onions, baked beans on a hard roll

The grand daddy of them all was delivered with a cacophony of cymbals and cheering...

THE BENDER SCHMENDER (The One and Only 5-Decker Club.)
Corn beef, turkey, roast pork, chicken liver pate & golden brisket with lettuce, tomato, golden sauce & a psychiatric appointment

Of course, one could go the other direction...

A GOOD COLD SANDWICH (Because of inflation the price was raised.)
Two stale heels of bread enclosing a freshly-made ice cube


But my standby growing up was the Dirty Tom Glenn (Ham, salami, provolone, chicken bosom, tomato, onion, hot crushed cherry peppers & garlic mayonnaise on French bread). No sandwich has ever tasted as good, and I suspect none ever will.

I was at Roy's Place last summer when I was in DC to help celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. I put my program in a safe place, and dove into a Dirty Tom Glenn (picture, again with daughter's face for size reference) with reckless abandon. Sometimes a healthy lifestyle needs to take a little vacation, and I quite enjoyed this little break.

Roy Passin first opened his eponymous restaurant in 1955. He passed away this past May. He was a good friend to my father and family, and he was a luminary to sandwich fiends everywhere. He will be missed.

Should you ever find yourself in Gaithersburg, MD and are looking for an opportunity to destroy your program for the day, look up the restaurant. If you are going to go off program, do it in style and with flare.


  1. Wow, those are some interesting sandwiches!

  2. We all have those places that when we are back in town we have to go to them -- I grew up in St. Louis, MO and loved Zia's and Rich and Charlies -- both Italian! Points wise -- most likely over the top! But I just balance out the choices.

    I love that you use your dsughter's head as a reference point for size.

  3. Al Po! Heehee! It's fun once in awhile when you're visiting. Imagine though if you lived there and fell into the habit of regular visits. There's a restaurant with kettle fish fry I never miss in my travels to Cape Ann (which is every year or so), but there are obese people with canes hobbling out of this establishment and stuffing themselves into SUVs.