For all the time we spent glued to Eater.com for the latest and greatest in the restaurant world, there are times when life takes you to a hidden gem, or neighborhood treasure. While selling a gadget on Craigslist, a buyer from Staten Island asked if we could meet halfway in Brooklyn. For the meeting point, he suggested Roll-n-Roaster, sounding as if any real New Yorker should know exactly what he’s talking about.
Not wanting to further damage my street cred., I politely agreed, then quickly fired up Google for a history lesson.
With a rich 40 year history, this classic fast food restaurant in Sheepshead Bay serves its famous roast beef sandwich, fries, lemonade, and offers “cheez” on top of anything you like. Situated right off the Belt Parkway, it’s quite a drive for anyone outside of Brooklyn. For anyone without a car, this would be serious destination dining by ways of the B or Q train.
The restaurant with a warm yellow and orange glow was absolutely buzzing on this Saturday evening, which stands out in this relatively quiet neighborhood. The parking lot was completely packed, and the streets nearby were full of parked cars. Surprisingly half the seats were empty, and most people seemed to be buying for takeout.
The roast beef burgers here are moist and juicy, but not very flavorful. The buns are both dipped in the jus before the sandwich is put together, so it could get messy, but is well worth it for the added taste. For the sake of comparison, it’s better than Arby’s. How much better is a personal preference.
The fries topped with “cheez” (basically just melted cheese) were nice, but if it wasn’t for the cheese it would not have stood out. The sweet potato fries in my opinion were a better complement to the roast beef sandwiches.
Not everyday do you get a fast food meal with so much colorful history, however I do not consider Roll n Roaster to be destination dining. However if you’re on the Belt Parkway near Sheepshead Bay, do swing by for a sandwich, and some cheez.
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2901 Emmons Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11235