Downhill Alert: Hap's Roast Beef, Rte 1 Portsmouth

Having lived just north of Boston for a while, I was trained into conosourship of roast beef, specifically Super Beefs. So after some searching, I was happy to find Hap's, especially due to its very good sides. Specifically, their caesar salad. Perfectly dressed, with good cheese, great croutons, and sublime proportions, without being overly fussy or fancy pants.

Now there is an "under new management" sign out front and our recent experience with said new management was a disaster. The Super Beefs were ok. Over sauced, but that's forgivable. Not at all rare roast beef, but it happens (though it never happened before). A couple favorites taken off the menu altogether, nothing redeeming added on. Unforgivable, though, was the caesar salad.

"Is that a cucumber?" I yelled at B as I looked over his shoulder through the lid of the plastic take out container. Yes indeed, accompanied by tomatoes and onions (lots and lots of red onions). Nary a strand of parmesan to be found. The dressing came in a packet - crappy Ken's, not creamy white but creamy brown. I am ok with non creamy caesar. But if it is creamy, it should be white. And the most disgusting croutons ever. This was as much a caesar salad as I am a circus acrobat. That is, we'd both like to be something we can't even pretend to be.

Sigh. It is very sad to lose a quick and close take-out place. It's like breaking up with a friend. You remember why you were friends, you have that history. But so much has changed between you. You're different people. It doesn't make it any easier. I know we'll give it another try. Like calling up that friend and meeting for coffee, just dragging the whole thing out. It'd be better just to never call her again, pretend you never got her messages, but there's the guilt. There's also the hope the relationship can be saved. Sigh.


Anonymous said…
Ummm. I'm sorry but you have questionable taste in my opinion. First off, the new managment at Hap's makes the old crew look like the keystone cops. Before: wait forever to place your order, wait forever for them to figure it out and get it started, wait forever to get it. We used to call them "Slow's" instead of Hap's it was so bad. Now: 2 registers, fast ordering, fast make-up of your order, and it's right - wow! Is it the best roast beef - no. But this ain't Bill & Bob's or Kelly's. It is good, and it beats the grocery store deli roast beef you get everywhere else around here.

Further evidence of your skills (or lack thereof) as a culinary critic is your favorable review of Barones Steack Shack elsewhere on this site. COME ON!!!!! 6 or 7 bucks for the "steak" sandwich you get there is a laugh. WAAAAAAY overpriced for what I got, which I strongly suspect was made with Steak-Ummm frozen shaved steak with some Cheez Whiz drizzled over it. Absolutely awful. It was the first and last time I will ever get a steak there - and there are so many places in the area that spank the crap out of Barone's it is hilarious to me to see their claim to be voted "best steak in the area" - NOT!

Now rather than just pick on you, I offer a suggestion of where to go for a truly great sandwich. Lena's in Hampton is THE best sub shop in the area, hands-down. Why? Your first clue is the fact that the line is usually 5 deep. the second clue is the ability of the staff to remember and get right dozens of orders at a time. Third, take a look behind the counter - you could eat off most of the surfaces in the place, no matter what time of day it is or how busy they are. Fourth, pay your 6 or 7 bucks that you spent at Barone's, and you will get a sandwich that could feed 2 or 3 people. We usually order the regular or large sandwich and save half for later.

I will kepp checking the site, and maybe you need some other reviewers? Good Luck,

the Foodmeister
plentyo'moxie said…
Wow, Foodmeister - first let me thank you for leaving some sort of way for me to contact you and address your points. Oh wait, you didn't.

Secondly, let me offer my condolences on whatever it is that makes you so angry when it comes to something so silly as roast beef and cheese steaks. Maybe your mom locked you into a closet as a child and wouldn't let you eat or something.

In other words, if you want to attack my "skills (or lack thereof)", you'd better have something decent to lay on the table - which you don't. We can disagree about roast beef and cheese steak - it's ok. It's food. But jeezum, it's just a blog. A really small, non-famous blog at that. And lots of people can appreciate that all this is just opinion. Like I can appreciate what you say is your personal opinion, and not one I happen to agree with. I'm not going to attack you. But I am going to pick on you - grow up.

Anonymous said…
Wow, that left me with a really good vibe right there. Granted it is just beef that we are disagreeing about, but the negative energy is just overwhelming.

Popular Posts