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Totonno's, L&B, or Brennan & Carr - easiest with car before heading off to JFK?

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We'll be driving from Philadelphia wrapping up our NYC/Philly trip & hope to get into Brooklyn by 1:30. Our flight is at 5:00 & we need to fill gas before our rental return. Add to this, I'd like to take the kids briefly around Ave Z & Ocean Pkwy where I lived & attended jr. High. Dad worked at Coney Island Hospital. If none of these are doable, please suggest alternative.
Appreciate your help.

Edited to add: this is for tomorrow

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Brennan & Carr
3432 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11229

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  1. Brennan and Carr is the closest to the Belt and gas stations on Knapp Street.

    1. Both L&B and Totonno are about one mile from your high school and there are gas stations within a block of each. None of the three is more than a mile from the Belt Parkway, though Totonno is the closest.. I haven't been there since it reopened, but at one time, I would have said that Totonno is probably the place with the greatest likelihood of a wait.

      Would you rather have coal-oven pizza, "grandma"-style pizza (and other Italian specialties), or roast beef? Each in its way is its own Brooklyn scene.

      1 Reply
      1. re: meatme

        L&B Spumoni Garden is close to the Belt and with its picnic tables out front its a great Brooklyn scene. People argue about whether their pies are any good - I still like their square pies with the cheese under the tomatoes (a half pie is good for a small group). The inner squares are soft to my taste, tho my kids always preferred them to the edges. The spumoni is an added plus for the kids.
        They have the spumoni too, of course which is an added benefit

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        L&B Spumoni Gardens
        2725 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11223

      2. Thanks everyone...I was just wondering where parking wouldn't be a big problem. I also forgot to mention that we did have John's on Bleecker last week. While we enjoyed the taste & the blistering crust, felt they were skimpy on the sausage topping.

        Btw, we just had the pulled pork & italian sausage sandwiches with spicy roasted peppers at Dinics in Reading Terminal & loved it. Unfortunately we don't have time to try others...

        1 Reply
        1. re: ceekskat

          I'm going to the Reading Terminal tomorrow or Friday. I'm going to pick up some raw milk and have lunch at Dim Sum Garden (?) by the bust terminal. Reading is a great market place/area.

        2. Having been to Brennan & Carr recently I have to say it's very subpar. Granted it has a parking lot, but IMO you might as well hit Rollin' Roaster, which is right next to the Belt Pkwy E. on Emmons Ave. I would go for Tottono's or L&B.

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          Brennan & Carr
          3432 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11229

          1. I would do L & B. I just like it better than Brennan and Carr, but if your in the mood for roast beef why not go to Roll & Roaster? They have parking.

            BTW-- I used to live on Ocean Pkwy & Ave Z too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MrsT

              for roast beef sandwich go to John's Deli on Stilwell Ave. in Bklyn.

            2. I third Roll-N-Roaster. I actually think Brennan & Carr is pretty good, but even though the place has a lot of character, the ambience is a little gloomy and subdued (I like that about it, but it might feel a little somber for a fun family outing). Roll-N-Roaster is like B&C's sunnier, livelier cousin. It's a unique, slice of nostalgic 70s-era Americana, with great sandwiches and an upbeat, cheerful atmosphere. It's also convenient in terms of parking and proximity to the Belt.

              L&B's also sports a lively scene, and the spumoni is good, but I never understood why people liked their pizza. It's basically the opposite of a place like Totonno's or John's. The square pizza that everyone gets has a thick, spongy, soggy crust with sauce that tastes kind of jarred to me. You already had better New York pizza at John's, and you would get better pizza at Totonno's (although I agree that you might endure a wait at the latter).

              By the way, I just tried the roast pork sandwich at Dinic's in Reading Terminal a few months ago, too. I liked it but thought it was a tad dry, even though I asked them to douse it with extra gravy. If you ask them to double-dip your sandwich at Roll-N-Roaster, they don't mess around. And if you ask for cheese and roasted onions, that's all four food groups right there in one sandwich.

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              Brennan & Carr
              3432 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11229

              Roll-N-Roaster
              2901 Emmons Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235

              1. I hit them all regularly. Really a matter of what you are in the mood for. L and B is still great, best squares in NY. Totonos is good............. Brennan and Carrs still delicious. All are close to the Belt and you can park at all...........Totonos is the toughest to park at.....