Archive for the tag '2901 emmons ave'

Photo by Erica Sherman

Photo by Erica Sherman

It was just last week that Brennan & Carr was named one of New York City’s most iconic meat dishes by Eater NY. Was rival roast beef peddler Roll-N-Roaster (2901 Emmons Avenue) going to be ignored?

C’mon. Nobody puts Roll-N-Roaster in a corner. They put them on “Best of” lists. Specifically, CBS News “Best of” lists, which has to be among the best “Best of” lists because they once named us Best Local Affairs Website and obviously have good taste.

The news outlet calls Roll-N-Roaster one of eight best sandwiches in Brooklyn, describing it thusly:

While “You can have CHEEZ on anything you PLEEZ” would be enough to entice even the strongest will-powered man into Roll-n-Roaster, there are reasons galore to visit – though most do include said CHEEZ. First and foremost is the wonderful roast beef sandwich; thin slices of beef with a pink center arrive piled high on a soft bun, a sandwich that would put to shame that fast food sandwich chain that claims to make these.

One week, two local roast beef sandwiches on “Best of” lists, and never a consensus on which is better.

Congratulations to both of our meateries!

THE BITE: Roll n Roaster (2901 Emmons Avenue, just west of Nostrand Avenue) is well known for its roast beef sandwiches, late night crowds and its 1970s television commercials. But it also sells Cheez burgers, fries and “freshly squeezed orangeade,” all of which are prominently touted on their take-out bags. Talking with friends, it seems that most folks don’t stray far from the roast beef and fries when they hit the restaurant. Even the New York Times picked up on this, quoting a customer “You kind of have to get the roast beef,” he said. “They looked at you weird when you didn’t get it.”

We here at the Bite are used to being looked at weird.

So, today’s Bite brings you the “Western Cheez Burger.” It’s allegedly available rare, medium or well done and sells for $5.25. So what is a “Western cheez burger,” you ask? It’s a thin beef hamburger patty, topped with their ubiquitous cheese sauce, onion rings and barbecue sauce on one of RnR’s outstanding buns. How that makes it western I have no idea. And, don’t get me started on the cheese sauce – or “cheez sauce,” as they like to call it.

Frankly, I love that “cheez,” whatever it is. Is it real cheese or some sort of evil corporate concoction that is oddly addictive? Strangely, it’s nowhere to be found on RnR’s website menu. Some people claim that it is “Cheez Whiz” which is made by Kraft and available in your local supermarkets. Others claim it’s an invention of Roll n Roaster owner, Nick “Buddy” Lamonica. I really don’t care either way. The cheez sauce is one of my reasons for visiting RnR so frequently.

And it saves the Western burger. This thin burger patty arrives burned, dry and flavorless no matter how you order it, but is covered with the  cheez sauce that brings both flavor and much needed moisture. It is then topped with a very sweet Kansas City-style barbecue sauce and a couple of perfectly cooked, whole onion – not chopped – onion rings. While the actual burger patty itself is nothing special, the toppings and the bun make this a worthy meal.

Roll N Roaster, 2901 Emmons Avenue, just west of Nostrand Avenue, (718) 769-6000.

The Bite is 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, fishmongers  or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

“Bullet Points” is our format for Community Board 15 meeting coverage, providing takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant only to be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles.

Neighbors Demand Board Rescind Support For Drug Counseling Center: Residents of East 17th Street near Kings Highway rallied at last night’s Community Board 15 meeting, demanding the Board rescind a letter of support for a proposed drug treatment facility at 1670 East 17th Street.

Led by Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association President Ed Jaworski, a group of residents took to the podium, claiming that the Board failed to inform the community that the issue would be discussed and voted on in December.

“The City Charter and the Community Board bylaws say that the Community Board should serve the community, should communicate within the community, should act as a liaison agency, should review services, should develop plans for the community. None of this was done regarding the drug center being located on East 17th Street,” Jaworski said. “What took place at the November meeting was a shortcut. It was cutting the community’s input.”

The center, One World Counseling, received a letter of support from Community Board 15 in November with a 31-4 vote. Dmitri Oster, a rep for One World, told the Board then that they intended to target immigrants in the Sheepshead Bay area who have turned to drugs to cope with cultural integration. They would offer only counseling and would not distribute medication.

Keep reading about this story, and summaries of other actions from last night’s Community Board 15 meeting.

From the Bay Improvement Group:

We are having a meeting of block captains and those interested in being block captains at Roll & Roaster on Wednesday, 11/27, at 7pm.  Block captains will collect information at the meetings and bring them back to their blocks.  They will also collect information from neighbors about the status of their homes and needs, so that we can either get them supplies or request assistance from elected officials and agencies. (This is NOT a community meeting.  Only block captains and people who may want to be a block captain should attend.)

Also, Councilman Nelson secured a truckload of heaters for Sheepshead Bay residents with no heat.  We’ll distribute those nearby from a truck on the street prior to the meeting.  Exact time TBA.  People should bring ID, a utility bill, or some other way of showing they live in Sheepshead Bay, so that they get to the residents for which they are intended.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Here’s some happy news.

Roll ‘n Roaster proved to be one of the luckier establishments that faced Hurricane Sandy’s fury along Emmons Avenue, as the venerable cheez whiz paradise has rebounded quickly with minimal damage.

“We got lucky,” Roll ‘n Roaster General Manager Ayet Karce told Brooklyn Daily. “There was mud and sand so we had some heavy mopping to do, but that was about it.”

The restaurant was also lucky to be located between Bedford Avenue and Knapp Street, an area unaffected by power outages, so they were able to save perishable food products from a trip to the dump. This was good news in the face of sorrowful Twitter rumors, which reported the demise of the beloved fast food spot.

The timing couldn’t be better as tonight is the airing of Anthony Bourdain’s series finale of his hit Travel Channel show, “No Reservations,” in which he visits the venerable 40-year-old Southern Brooklyn institution.

As we previously reported, the globe-trotting Bourdain visited Roll ‘n Roaster in August to indulge in its onion rings and famous cheez whiz-slathered roast beef deliciousness before he kicks off his new show on CNN.

Correction (7:28 p.m.): Our apologies for incorrectly repeating Bay News’ / Brooklyn Daily’s erroneous information about there not being power outages on Emmons Avenue. We know that much of that stretch is without power, and apologize for the error.

Renowned chef, author, and Travel Channel superstar Anthony Bourdain is wrapping up his 50th tour of Planet Earth by landing in Sheepshead Bay.

The Travel Channel just released a preview of the hotly anticipated No Reservations series finale by showing Anthony ordering extra “cheez” for his roast beef sandwich at Roll-N-Roaster (2901 Emmons Avenue).

The clip captures the running gag of New Jersey-born and Manhattan-based Bourdain’s complete ignorance of Brooklyn cuisine, a theme visited many times in the series’ run.

As we reported this June, Bourdain filmed the last scene of the soon to be last episode of the show at Jay and Lloyds at 2718 Avenue U.

Bourdain is famous for visiting every obscure culinary hotspot, from Paris to Mozambique, so as a fan, I admit it’s always exciting to see Bourdain land at a restaurant you’ve actually been too. In fact, its a thrill I’ve personally only gotten to experience once before, during this last season, when Anthony hit Harry’s Cafe de Wheels Famous in Sydney, Australia, an excellent little hot dog and meat pie stand I frequented often in a recent trip.

A portion of the Gears 'n' Grub illustration of Roll-N-Roaster

The Village Voice chose Roll-N-Roaster (2901 Emmons Avenue)as the subject for the inaugural post of “Gears ‘n’Grub,” their new illustrated series about foodstuffs found while the author bikes through the city.

The writer, L. Nichols, took a ride over to “Bottle Beach” – the name hipsters have given to what we know better as Dead Horse Bay – before finding himself in front of a plate of roast beef and Cheez fries.

Nichols made a wise choice by going with the standard Express-Line order, except for one rookie mistake – ordering soda instead of home-made Lemonade.

Looks like he’ll have to get back on that bike and take another trip down here. You want to order soda at Brennan & Carr’s? Go right ahead. Order soda from Roll-N-Roaster? Consider your meal incomplete.