It’s not often that I bite into some favorite food from my past and find it’s better than I remember.

But that’s what happened when I sat down to a Super Beef sandwich at George + Leon’s Famous Roast Beef in Westbrook, which opened this summer. The owner has been running a food truck, George’s North Shore, for several years but I somehow never tried its fare. Now that the roast beef sandwiches have a permanent home – a spacious restaurant with a bar and a bigger menu – I decided to give them a try.

I worked and lived on Boston’s North Shore – in Beverly, Salem and Peabody – more than 30 years ago and was a huge fan of the area’s signature roast beef sandwiches, from places like Bill & Bob’s and the original Kelly’s on Revere Beach. In the years since, I’ve been sorely disappointed by most other roast beef sandwiches I’ve tried. They usually taste to me like the meat was purchased at a convenience store a week or two ago.

The outdoor dining area at George + Leon’s on Cumberland Street in Westbrook. Photo by Ray Routhier

So I was excited to walk into George + Leon’s and see a man slicing very pink roast beef on a big slicing machine. The Super Beef ($16) I ordered had barbecue sauce, mayo and white American cheese on a griddled onion roll.

The beef was incredibly tender with a great pink color. It also had big flavor that stood up well to all the toppings. The barbecue sauce was a little spicy (to me) but worked well with the beef and everything else. It made for a very messy but delicious sandwich, more delicious than I remember from my days on the North Shore.

Though the sandwich was $16, it was really big enough for two people. So I ate half for lunch and brought the other half home to my daughter, Dinah, who also gave it high marks.


George + Leon’s opened this summer in the former home of the Brea Lu Cafe, at the edge of downtown Westbrook. Owner Logan Abbey named the restaurant for his dog, George, and son, Leon.

The Super Beef sandwich at George + Leon’s with a side of onion rings. Photo by Ray Routhier

The new restaurant has a funky casual vibe, with a bar and seats about 45 inside and 25 outside. I was delighted with the eclectic decor, including napkin holders designed to look like shark mouths. Outside, there’s a giant green-and-white mural of a dog, presumably George.

Besides the roast beef sandwiches from the truck, the new restaurant has a vegetarian option, the Brown Buttah Shroom Sub, with chopped mushrooms (a rotating variety) on a sub roll with mayo, Swiss cheese and arugula for $17. There’s also a steak and cheese, a chicken finger sub with buttermilk maple bourbon fried chicken, and big salad. You can also get a smaller Jr. Beef sandwich with the same fixings as the Super Beef but on a hamburger roll. There’s also a sandwich that blends beef with mac and cheese.

There are also several snacks or sides, including bacon broccoli bites, chicken tenders, “three-way” fries with beef, sauce, mayo and cheese, onion rings with siracha ranch and pizza rolls.

I tried some of the onion rings ($10), which were incredibly crispy, almost like tempura, with a peppery batter. Again, it was a pretty big portion, and I brought half home to Dinah.

The interior dining room at George + Leon’s in Westbrook. Photo by Ray Routhier

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