Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to rumble! In this corner, Wheeler’s roast beef “all the way” hero.

The Bite expands the battle for the roast beef crown of Sheepshead Bay. With Roll-n-Roaster, Brennan & Carr, Bassett’s and John’s Meat Market all offering superlative roast beef sandwiches, is the neighborhood ready for another? The Bite says, “Hell, yes!”

Wheeler’s (1705 Sheepshead Bay Road) roast beef sandwich offering takes a different tack than the competitors by going a bit upscale. The roast beef “all the way” hero ($8.95, includes french fries) serves up “prime” top round roasted until it’s well done, adds au jus, melts mozzarella cheese on top of that and sends it into battle on a garlic bread hero.

Unlike its competitors, Wheeler’s uses “prime” roast beef in its sandwich, which ensures tender and flavorful meat. Beef is graded by the USDA into five primary categories, “utility, cutter or canner,” “standard or commercial,” “select,” “choice” and “prime.”

“Utility, cutter or canner,” grade is the lowest quality and is not usually sold as is for retail consumption. This grade of meat is usually used to make animal feed and ground meat products. Do I hear someone saying, “Yo quiero Taco Bell!”?

“Standard or commercial,” which is often sold ungraded or sold as “store” brand meats. “Select” is lean and very uniform, but fairly tasteless. “Choice,” is marbled with fat somewhere between select and prime and is probably the meat you’re used to eating. It’s flavorful and stands up to most cooking styles. “Prime,” is the top rating of beef issued by the USDA. Prime comes from young and well-fed animals, is very well marbled with fat and is usually only found in restaurants and some top-quality butchers and markets.

In its simplest terms, this grading system rates the meat by the amount of fat marbled throughout the muscles. I know this is heresy to many, but this is a basic rule of dining – FAT EQUALS FLAVOR. Embrace that fact and you’ll appreciate your food more.

Wheeler’s roast beef sandwich is “prime,” and I don’t just mean the grade of the meat. To this eater, it has won the “Sheepshead Bay Roast Beef Crown.” There’s a few reasons for this and first up is that the sandwich is served hot. Cold roast beef has its place, but if I have my druthers, I always prefer a warm meal, which knocks Basssett’s and John’s out of the game from the get go. Next is the price. At $8.95 Wheeler’s includes fries and this makes it the most expensive hot roast beef sandwich combo compared against either Brennan & Carr or Roll-n-Roaster. But Wheeler’s is the better value. At both Brennan & Carr and Roll-n-Roaster, it usually takes two sandwiches to satiate my hunger.

And finally, it’s the taste. The flavor is always the ultimate challenge in any meal. While I enjoy all three, Wheeler’s just tastes better. The secret here is the garlic bread. I’ve never had a meal where I didn’t enjoy toasted garlic bread. Garlic makes just about everything better.

Ladies and gentlemen, winner and new Sheepshead Bay champion: Wheeler’s roast beef “all the way” hero.

Wheeler’s, 1705 Sheepshead Bay Road, (718) 646-9320.

Wheeler's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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  • SUPERHERO

    As long as i been reading sheepsheadbaybites and the reading this segment of the bites i always wanted you guys to go to a Russian restaurant such as Paradise, Passage, or even XO. In the near future can you ask your boss man to stop being cheap and share some money so you guys could enjoy a nice russian resturant.  

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the laugh Superhero! I haven’t laughed that hard in a long, long time!

      • SUPERHERO

         Also why don’t you guys try nothing from El Greco? or as i like to call it El Greasy. This fine establishment has been around for as long as i remember. Please visit this fine diner and try one of their many dishes.

    • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

      The boss is a cheap prick.

      However, we have done Glechik and Cherry Hill. We haven’t done the banquet halls – this is true. Perhaps you can take us out to eat one day, Superhero?

      • SUPERHERO

        Next time i throw a fancy party at Rusptin we could all party w/ Michael and Marina

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      just don’t set me up with anyone who needs a green card.

    • James Beam

      People go to Wheelers to avoid Russians. Hint hint.

  • Andrew Kent

    OMG!  So tantalizingly scrumptious looking!
    Be still my heart!  No, wait, poor choice of words…..

  • Anonymous

    Wheelers =)

  • maddy

    wheelers has the best food in brooklyn his roast beef is out of this world.

  • NSF

    Do they do take out?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, they do. The sandwich in the picture is take out.

  • Emmons Owl

    As a restaurant manager for 20+ years i can tell you that there is no way they are serving “prime” meat at Wheelers. I’ve had this sandwich many times and it is delicious, but the price alone dictates that there is no way this is prime beef; unless they are losing money on every sandwich.

    • Anonymous

      According to the owner, Mike, it is indeed prime top round. 

      • Anonymous

        it’s called a marketing lie,  Offcourse they are gonna tell you it’s Prime Beef, the more people think it’s the BEST the more people will buy it… The more money Wheelers will make. You need to remember how many people can actually “TASTE” the difference between Prime and Typical..

        however i agree with that dude.

    • SUPERHERO

      Excuse me. Are you calling our beloved Wheelers liars? How dare you say such horrible things. Which restaurant do you work for?

    • matt

      he has very good food there are you joking .the best food in brooklyn and el greco is a rip off .wheelers is an all american and his kitchen is open late .no bar around serves food till 2am. i never had anything in there i did not like..his food is number he has a dam good chef in there.

  • nolastname

    Do we get a discount if this article is mentioned? A free beer to go with? 
    From the description I recall a remarkably similar sandwich 30 or so years ago.
    When I remember where I devoured the scrumptious hero (if I remember) I will write back.

    • nolastname

      My friends told me it was Wheelers. Imagine that.

  • Cabbie

    I never had the roast beef at Wheelers, but my favorite thing about that joint is the “NO SUSHI” sign in the window.

    Effin’ brilliant!

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    Wheelers has great food. I’ve been going there since 1979. Great food and atmosphere. my personal favorite is the Fisherman’s Platter. Washed down with some SoCo if i’ve had a fight with someone on the SheepsheadBayBites blog….

     

  • Andrew Kent

    After ogling that tantalizing photo, I just had to check out the real thing as I’ve lived in the neighborhood for more than 25 years, have never been to Wheeler’s, and never knew they served real food. So Saturday night, following an awesome Lorna Luft concert at Kingsborough, a friend and I cabbed over to Wheeler’s to check out the Brighton Beach Baths Reunion and ended up staying for a late night snack.  I asked the waitress for the Roast Beef hero that was featured in Sheepshead Bites, and what she brought me was every bit as good as it looked in the picture, and even better, and the accompanying French fries were just as impressive.  Can’t wait to try the full dinner entrees.  Did someone say they served breakfast, too?  Damn, there goes my friggin’ diet!

  • Anonymous

    mmmmmmmmmm   . . . . making me very , very hungry

  • Ranger_Andy

    I worked in brennan and Carr for 8 years. They also use prime meat.

  • Ranger_Andy

    Well, a mix of prime and choice on each sandwich. The other guy is right. If it was all prime, just by looking at the picture it should be a $10-$12 plate. Now, it’s a bar, and they make most of their money on drinks, so it could be that they are just breaking even. Next time I’m in town, I’m going to Wheelers…as if I needed an excuse.