Cheap Eats 2016: MGM Roast Beef

Photograph of MGM Roast Beef burger by Scott Suchman

About MGM Roast Beef

905 Brentwood Rd NE
Washington, DC 20018
NE Northeast Dr
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Best for Carryout Extra Cheap

This glorified lunch counter in industrial Northeast serves sandwiches with no pretensions of being “gourmet.” And that’s a great thing in a city where too many people equate “upscale” with “quality.” This is an order-at-the-counter operation, but unlike the chain sandwich shops, the meats (baked ham, roast beef, smoked turkey, and brisket) are not presliced but showcased, glisteningly, under heat lamps. It’s hard not to ogle them as you stand in line, filling out your order slip to customize your creation. The accessories are no-frills and decidedly unfashionable (no Peppa-dew peppers or fancy mayos), and the sandwiches are the better for it. Roast beef is the titular item, but we gravitate to the brisket and ham, with the excellent onion rolls our bread of choice.

Also good: Roast beef with cheddar; brisket with coleslaw and barbecue sauce on an onion roll.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.