Henry VIII (Henry VIII Carvery)

Today’s sandwich is the “Henry VIII” from the Henry VIII Carvery in Monument Square. It combines fresh, hand-carved roast beef and horseradish sauce on an herbed, buttered, grilled hero roll.

Location: 15 Monument Square
Price: $6.75 (small)
Notes: On this, my third go-round with Henry VIII’s namesake sandwich, my number one question still remains: “How is it that the meat is in little chunks?” We’ve seen it carved off the roast right in front of us, and we’ve seen the pictures on the website which clearly depict long slices of beef. And yet, on my assembled sandwich, I always end up with little chunks of beef.

Don’t misunderstand: this isn’t really an issue when it comes to flavor, just a bit of a textural oddity. The bread, mopped in herbed butter and allowed to char on the grill ever so slightly, is crunchy on the outside, and warm and chewy in the middle. There’s no other accompaniment, no vegetables, no nothing. Just you, some beef, some horseradish, and some bread. It’s simple, and it’s delicious. The beef is slightly rare, tender and flavorful, and when it mixes with the other ingredients (in this case, a house-made, unusually creamy and thick horseradish cream sauce, dotted with scallions), the overall effect is almost like a chopped meat salad.

Oh, I’m sorry. Is the term “meat salad” not whetting your appetite? It’s the best I could do.

Update! Since this post, Henry VIII Carvery has permanently closed its doors.

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed “Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road,” as well as the taco-centric blog “Eat More Tacos,” and the junk food-centric “Spork & Barrel.” His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, “‘Wich, Please,” was named “Hottest Restaurant in Maine” for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.


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