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Kay's Restaurant
1013 Cass Ave
Woonsocket, RI 02895
(401) 762-9675

Category: Sandwiches

Ah, Kay's. What am I going to say about you? I'm giving you three stars. But if I could, I would give you a split decision: two stars and four stars.

The place is, I'll admit, really cool: it's the antithesis of a chain restaurant. Step into Kay's, and you've stepped back in time. It's quiet, dim, and tastefully decorated, yet not overly formal. The atmosphere is incredible.

Ample parking is available in a free lot across the street, and on the street itself.

The menu is, as others have mentioned, on a napkin. A SMALL napkin. There aren't many choices; five or six sandwiches, and nachos as an appetizer. Most sandwiches can be ordered hot or cold, and all come with excellent wavy chips, sour dill pickle slices, and pepperoncini (spicy!).

There's a wide selection of drinks; the soft drinks used to come in tiny cups, but now are closer to standard restaurant-size. You may want to ask for water as well when you order a soft drink if you're the thirsty type, because there are no free refills.

The sandwiches are simply PILED with meat. I usually stick to their ham or (more often) roast beef, but they also have steak, pastrami, and (sometimes, at least) lobster. The usual add-ons such as cheese, mushrooms, and onions are available.

But here's the thing: sometimes the sandwiches are great, but sometimes they're awful. I'm specifically talking about the roast beef sandwiches in this case. I've had great ones, hot and juicy, a dauntingly high and aggressively meaty pile of beef. But I've also had roast beef sandwiches at Kay's that had a lot of gristle and were simply inedible - in fact, I had gristle-beef sandwiches on three visits in a row.

Three times in a row is too damned many. I refused to go back to Kay's for a year. Recently I agreed to give them another try (my wife loves their food) and was pleased and surprised to get a good roast beef sandwich. But I'm not sure I'll ever feel comfortable taking that first bite at Kay's again, because I can't know if they're having a good day or a bad one.
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