Italian beef in Brooklyn?
This past year I was introduced to the Saturday special roast beef sandwich at Fiore's in Hoboken - thinly sliced roast beef topped with their fresh mozzarella and soaked in gravy. I know this is not an "authentic" Chicago style beef, but having never tried one of those, I have to say this was one of the finest sandwiches I've ever had. A few weeks ago I tried a similar combination at Defonte's in Red Hook, which was very satisfying, but left me wondering if there are other places I should be looking into that are closer to home (Carroll Gardens/Red Hook area). Does anyone have any recommendations?
Catene Deli on Ninth St near Fourth Ave also does a pretty good Brooklyn-style roast beef sandwich. You can ask for them to soak it pretty well in jus (comparable to DeFonte's, but the times I've been to Catene, they've poured it on a little more freely). At either of these places, leaving off the mozzarella and adding hot peppers and/or spicy giardiniera can *approximate* Chicago-style. Down in the Sheepshead Bay area, Brennan & Carr makes a version which doesn't have any of the spice, but gets things nice and sopping, and Roll-N-Roaster is its own thing--kind of like a great alternate-universe version of Arby's. John's Deli (mentioned by Abbylovi) on Stillwell (they also opened a Bay Ridge location, but I've never been there) uses a much thicker, dark gravy. I think all of these places have their virtues. They make Brooklyn-style beef sandwiches (and most will assume you want cheese with it, which is something I've never witnessed in Chicago). But none of them is trying to reproduce the amazingly juicy, flavorful, meaty, spicy mess that is a Chicago Italian beef. For that, unfortunately, we have to travel hundreds of miles (although I've been tempted to try to roast and assemble my own someday).
Monte's on Avenue O and East 5th Street is noted for the very same roast beef, mozzarella, gravy sandwich.
156 Ave O
Brooklyn, NY 11204
Take the N train to the Bay Parkway station and exit the Avenue O exit (from the front of the train). Take a left and it is two blocks on the right.
This roast beef w/ fresh mozzarella and gravy combo is something I'm a big fan of too. For those interested in this type of sandwich, here's a list of places that do it (or should). This list isn't complete, but hits most of the major places as wll as the ones I'd reccomend:
*La Torre Pork Store, Old Mill Basin: Great all around, roast beef could be rarer
Lioni's Heros, Bensonhurst: With their huge menu, they have to have it, haven't tried
Clementes, Gravesend: Haven't tried it, they definitely have it
John's Deli, Bensonhurst: Good but overrated
*Classic Heros, Coney Island: Great, similair gravy to John's, homemade brisket and gravy too
*Sonny's, Canarsie: Never had, they run out of homemade roast beef/fresh mozzarella fairly quickly, unsure whether they do the gravy but they should, great sandwiches otherwise, owner make every single one himself
*Fiore Deli, Hoboken: One of the best for this sandwich and others, ask for them to go light on the gravy or they'll drown it
Lisa's Deli, Hoboken: Good shop, good version but I'd rank it behind Fiore and Vito's
*Vito's Delicatessen, Hoboken: Haven't tried it but my friends have, the roast beef itself is great, pricey and polished but a great shop
Fran's Deli, Hoboken: Haven't tried, pretty sure they have it
Luca Brasi's Deli, Hoboken: They have it, haven't tried
Parisi Bakery, Little Italy: Not sure about the gravu but they ahve the roast beef
*Brennan & Carr, Sheepshead Bay: They have roast beef w/ cheese and gravy, no mozzarella, roast beef is the main thing here, place has been around since the 30's
Rollin Roaster, Sheepshead Bay: They have a version like Brennen & Carr, fast food-y, my family is a B&C family so I've never been here
Monte's Deli, Bensonhurst: They have it, haven't tried it because they have weird hours when I've tried to go but friends tell me its great
Catene Deli, Park Slope: They have it, haven't been
Defonte's, Red Hook/Murray Hill: They have it, make it with fried eggplant too I believe, haven't been
Jimmys Famous Heros, Sheepshead Bay: Haven't been but used to walk by it frequently, seems like the place that would have it, confirmation anyone?
This Little Piggie Had Roast Beef, East Village: They have it, haven't tried yet b/c I'm not a fan of their other place (Artichoke Basile's)
Leo's Latticini, Corona: 90% sure they have it, never been to retail location
Rocky's Meat Market, Marine Park: They have it, haven't tried it myself
G Esposito & Sons, Carroll Gardens: They should have it, 80% sure just b/c of the gravy
Rosario's Deli, Astoria: Not sure about the gravy but they have everything else
M&S Heros, park Slope: They have it, its alright
Sorriso Italian Pork Store, Astoria: Should have the gravy, they have everything else
237 9th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Sorriso Italian Pork Store
44-16 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103
46-02 104th St, Queens, NY 11368
22-55 31st St, Queens, NY 11105
Rocky's Meat Market
2950 Ave R, Brooklyn, NY 11229
6801 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220
There are many places to get good RB in Bklyn. I have been to Chi town many times and the Chicago style is very different from what we serve here. I feel that Johns Deli is the best version around with DeFontes being second but you should try Brennan & Carrs in Sheepshead Bay the gravy there is very similar to Al's Beef in Chi Town.
Either way you will love them all. BTW Johns Deli has a location in Staten Island also I was just told.
Brennan & Carr
3432 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11229