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Roast Beef in Brooklyn--where's the best now?

I'm not in Brooklyn much anymore but am ready for a serious Roast Beef sandwich.

I remember the roast beef at John's Deli (Wednesdays only) as being transcendent. On long loaves of italian bread, with a giant styro cup of gravy to pour on, french dip style. Don't know if its worth taking a day off work for, though, since I work way too far away to make a trip just for lunch.

I always thought Roll n Roaster was overrated.

Anyone been to Brennan and Carr lately? Is it still there?

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  1. It is still there. Had it for the first time this summer. Thought it was really good. Dafonte's also makes a great roast beef sandwich, especially with fresh mozarella and fried eggplant.

    1. Brennan and Carr is still there and still pretty great. It rocks more for the whole vibe of the place then just because they make exquisite roast beef. The sandwich is very tasty though, especially in that atmo. But, my favorite roast beef sandwich in Bklyn HANDS DOWN is the one at DeFonte's in Red Hook. Roast Beef on seeded Italian with fresh mozz, fried eggplant, salt, pepper and gravy. Perfection.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HankyT

        I'll second DeFonte's. Bierkraft makes a mean sandwich, too, using Nieman Ranch roast beef.

          1. re: MaspethMaven

            If you get Marty Markowitz's Yay Brooklyn rag, it has a big writeup on Johns Deli in the issue that arrived in my mailbos TODAY.

          2. re: HankyT

            john's deli is on stillwell ave btwn avenue t and 86th st in gravesend. agree with the others that it's very good.


            also, i'd like to third defonte's for their roast beef/eggplant/mozzarella hero. get there earlier in the day if possible, and remember that they close early and are closed all day on sundays.

            two other places i'd like to mention are clemente's and monte's. i've had great roast beef sandwiches at both in the past, although i haven't been to either in a while.

          3. I grew up on B & C and I must say my childhood memories of the roast beef was much better than the few times I visited in recent years. The roast beef is consistently over cooked & dry w/ little flavor even when it's dipped in the jus.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mulberry

              If you want "real" conventional roast beef (sometimes even medium rare, if your lucky) get a sandwich at Eagle Provisions on 5th Ave and 18th St. Lettuce, tomato, mustard if you wish, but no gravy with this one.

            2. Brennan and Car on Nostrand is still good. Zeke's is long gone . R N R is good in my book.
              O'Neils make a nice French Dip in Queens and So does Donovans,

              1 Reply
              1. re: FAL

                I cheered the day Zeke's closed down. That place was dirty, expensive, and ... dirty. And they were always looking for ways to rip you off. They had a $1 menu during their last year of operation... the $1 burger was a frozen Pathmark patty on a bun... and the patty was still pretty frozen when they put it on the bun. But it didn't feel like one of those places you should send back your food... out of fear more than anything. In comparison, I would have rather had a New York City Public School lunchroom burger.

                And Roll N Roasters is a disgrace.

                Best roast beef sandwich I had was at a deli somewhere in downtown Brooklyn (or in that general area), but it was a pretty generic deli and the name escapes me. Nice juicy in-house roasted beef on toasted garlic bread with your choice of toppings. And I'm pretty sure a soda came with it. I will go search for it.

              2. The La Bagel Delight on 7th Ave. by Carroll Street has great roast beef. Most of the time it's rare, warm and baked with salt & pepper. I usually order a 1/2 pound and eat it au natural. There sandwiches are decent enough. The bread is the standard white, rye, Italian, etc,. And they make them large enough. I believe they make 'em with gravy as well.

                1. Don't forget Esposito's on Court St. Pretty darn good. They'll make the Defonte's Roast Beef Fried Eggplant, Mozz , sometimes better than Defonte's. They make a fresh homemade Roast every day.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: rootytootyfreshnfrooty

                    All this gets me thinking: What about David's House of Brisket? Not exactly the same kind of roast beef we've been talking about, but most definitely a beef sandwich. I've never made it over there so I can't really talk about the place. Can someone chime in on them??

                    1. re: HankyT

                      It's a very good combo Kosher style deli/soul food cafeteria. And while their brisket is great they don't serve rare roast beef because David's is Halal.

                      1. re: bigmackdaddy

                        Is that true about halal, that beef can't be serevd rare? Never knew that.

                          1. re: bigmackdaddy

                            wow i never knew that. thanks for the info.

                            1. re: HankyT

                              not so. rare meat is definitely permitted in halal and kosher cuisine. not all cuts of meat are permitted, and the consumption of blood is not permitted (as in drinking blood or blood sausages), but when dealing in cuts of beef, rare is definitely allowed.

                          1. re: bmorecupcake

                            It should be. Yemenis still run it and I don't see any pork on the menu. Then again, I may be stereotyping. I'd call them and ask if you keep halal.

                        1. re: ajr524

                          Between Union and President. Lots of great stuff there, not just RB.

                      2. Catene has a great rb sandwich with fresh mozz and gravy

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: jakeyd

                          Roast beef should not have mozz on it.

                          1. re: FAL

                            what, pray tell, should it have on it? And please don't say cheddar.
                            (smileyface icon to indicate i'm joking)

                            1. re: HankyT

                              Roll N Roaster -- its not too fast Roll & Roaster...

                              BRENNAN AND CARR HANDS DOWN !

                              1. re: HankyT

                                Horseradish cheddar. YUM!

                                edit to say this was in response to HankyT.

                                1. re: MaspethMaven

                                  Far be it from me to say "nay" to horseradish in any form on roast beef. It's one of the finest combos imaginable.
                                  Not lovin' the cheddar part though. I find it too oily next to roast beef. But that's just me.

                              2. re: FAL

                                You can always get what I get at Defonte's: roast beef on a hero with nothing but salt, pepper, and that wonderful gravy. Mozz is optional.

                            2. A&S Pork Store on 5th Ave in Park Slope (@ Garfield St). I know, I know, it's a "pork" store but they are a full service butcher and have it all. I was in there recently and they had just taken a huge roast beef out of the oven. The aroma was overwhemlming and I had to get a sandwich...even though I only went in for some sausage!
                              I don't know where they get their bread but they have all kinds of sizes and shapes and it's fresh.
                              Not sure if it's the "best" in Brooklyn but definately worth checking out. They also make great sandwiches from all the other meats they carry.

                              1. B and C still there, still good. I go there once a month.