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Pork sandwich Canarsie style?

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Evan B. Druce Jul 5, 2003 12:36 AM

My father grew up in Canarsie (Brooklyn) during the Fifties and Sixties, and loves to wax nostalgic about the food he remembers from the area; Chinese take-out, corned-beef sandwiches, Italian ices, celery soda. Lately, however, he has been trying to re-create an interesting sort of sandwich he claims was only available at a couple of little places in Canarsie when he grew up. It consists of sliced marinated roast pork, topped with duck sauce and placed between two slices of garlic bread. The combination seems rather offbeat, but somehow, it works to create a unique taste that resembles nothing I have ever tried before. So, anyway, does anyone else know of this sandwich? Does it still exist in the New York area? Does it have an actual name? My dad couldn't remember it either, and suggested the oh-so-creative "roast pork sandwich." I think a sandwich so unique should have a name to match; any suggestions, if you don't know the sandwich's real name?

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  1. t
    thesteiner Jul 5, 2003 03:13 AM

    Having grown up in Bklyn myself, i do remember those roast pork sandwiches just as you described. The best bet for finding them would be in a diner. Perhaps The Floridian on Flatbush & Utica aves. Ask your dad if he remembers Chowmein sandwiches at Nathan's?

    3 Replies
    1. re: thesteiner
      k
      kiwi Jul 5, 2003 04:38 PM

      We had the same in every diner in Queens - ate it all the time. I just saw it again on a diner menu, and I'm pretty sure it's not that uncommon in diners in general. Usually called Chinese Roast Pork on the menu.

      1. re: kiwi
        e
        Evan B. Druce Jul 6, 2003 01:30 AM

        Yep, sounds like diner food... "Chinese Roast Pork," on Italian garlic bread. God, I love this city...

        1. re: Evan B. Druce
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          Dina Jul 9, 2003 05:24 PM

          The sandwich you're talking about unquestionably came from a long-gone (and very strange) restaurant called Herbie's International on Flatlands Ave. I've had the sandwich in other places - the Kings Plaza Diner included - but nothing has come even close to the masterpiece my friends and I used to refer to as the "HRP" (Herbie's Roast Pork). Part of the secret, I think, was the garlic bread, which was dripping with garlic butter, even on top. And they wouldn't have dreamed of serving it (as so many places do these days) with duck sauce from a cellphane packet.

    2. m
      MissToodles Jul 6, 2003 10:21 AM

      I've had these in diners all over new york, I remember they had it at the kings plaza diner and it was pretty darn tasty!

      here is the address
      4124 Avenue U
      brooklyn

      2 Replies
      1. re: MissToodles
        c
        chuck Jul 7, 2003 04:14 AM

        Absolutely, The King's Diner! Hey, do you remember the Sanpan?

        1. re: chuck
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          MissToodles Jul 9, 2003 04:47 PM

          I'm 22 years old, so the sanpan might not be in my frame of reference, details are always welcomed of course!

      2. c
        Chuck Jul 7, 2003 04:11 AM

        I ripped off the idea when I opened a restaurant in Pittsburgh and the people loved it. I never actually had it in Brooklyn but my ex-wife was from there and had told me all about it. I knew how to make the authentic Chinese Roast Pork; we marinated the fresh pork in a combination of sugar, hoisin, garlic, ginger, soy and red food coloring, cut it in strips and hung them over a water bath in the oven to retain the moisture.

        We doctored up the commercial duck sauce with extra garlic, sugar/vinegar solution and pimentos for color just like the greatest Chinese place in Brooklyn did -The Sanpan!!! What a restaurant that was!! They taught me the secret of their duck sauce and how to make those huge table noodles.

        Anyway, we then used Hoagie rolls that we lightly toasted and spread with oil and garlic. It really is a unique sandwich. I'd love to know who actually invented it. Hope this helps...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chuck
          c
          Chuck Jul 7, 2003 04:13 AM

          Oops - Forgot to mention the dry sherry (not cream sherry!)in the marinade.

        2. b
          bosshogg Jul 7, 2003 01:20 PM

          The Colonade Diner, on Hylan Blvd on Staten Island, makes this sandwich. They just call it "Chinese roast pork", I think. It's decent, but not in a chowhound way (bread is not very garlicky sandwich rolls, packaged duck sauce, pork OK but not inspired), and would probably disappoint anyone looking to revisit a chow favorite from years past. I gotta think someone somewhere makes a much tastier version.

          Chuck

          1. c
            cwinkler Jul 7, 2006 12:45 AM

            Yep, any good diner will have it on their menu: Chinese Roast Pork on Garlic Bread (usually served with french fries). I had it just the other day at the Vegas Diner on 86th St. and 15th Avenue in Brooklyn. The El Greco Diner in Sheepshead Bay has it as well. Some Diners on Staten Island have it too, but I've never seen it at any Diners in Manhattan, Queens, or the Bronx.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cwinkler
              EricMM Feb 13, 2014 12:46 PM

              They have it at the Shalimar diner, 63rd Drive in Rego Park.

              1. re: EricMM
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                hana Feb 25, 2014 01:36 PM

                Had it at the Shalimar last month. It was awful!

                1. re: hana
                  EricMM Feb 26, 2014 01:14 PM

                  I never said it was good....just that it is sold in Queens at the Shalimar. Only had it once. It was not awful....but it was not good enough to order over my usual burger.

            2. lambretta76 May 6, 2013 01:35 PM

              I know this is a very old thread, but thought I'd answer it anyways -- Court Street Grocers has it on their current menu: http://www.courtstreetgrocers.com/eat...

              It's somewhat fancified in the Catskill heritage pork, but hopefully the rest is as gloopy as this wonderful sandwich sounds. (I've not had it yet as I've only ever been here for breakfast.)

              1. f
                foodwhisperer May 8, 2013 08:02 PM

                Tell your dad the Lindenwood Diner has it. He will know the place as it is not that far from Canarsie. On the menu it is just called Roast pork on garlic bread. It was big all over Brooklyn and Queens.
                As another poster said, Herbie's International had great Roast Pork on Garlic Bread. So did the Galaxy Diner

                1. b
                  BallroomQueen Feb 13, 2014 08:46 AM

                  I remember it well. As a matter of fact I make that sandwich at home now. It was just called "Chinese roast pork on garlic bread". I now live in Dallas, TX but I am able to make it just like Herbie's International in Brooklyn. This is how I make it. Buy a high quality French Baguette and slice it down the middle so you have a top and bottom. Melt equal amounts of Lawry's garlic spread and butter and brush inside of bread (both sides) generously. Place under broiler until lightly browned. Buy Chinese roast port (sliced) from you favorite Chinese restaurant and warm it up and place on the bottom half of the baguette. I get my pork at a great Chinese take out that sells it by the pound. Then I get the duck sauce (needs to be orange in color) and spread it over the portk Put the top of the baguette on and you are said to go. Delicious with potato salad on the side.

                  1. f
                    foodiemom10583 Feb 14, 2014 07:41 AM

                    I'm pretty sure this is also available at Bassett's on Avenue X and 14th Street.

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