My Dad grew up in Brooklyn. Not the now so-trendy Williamsburg area, but real Brooklyn; where old school restaurants haven’t changed in decades and hipsters are no where to be seen. My sister’s and I were thrilled to join my Dad for an adventure to see his old stomping grounds, his old high school, the spot where his friend’s bike was stolen; you know, all the significant places.
And of course, we needed to eat some awesome food. Brennan & Carr has been a Sheepshead Bay institution since 1938. Their roast beef sandwiches have attracted crowds forever, and it’s worth the trip for a taste and cold Bud on Tap.
There are two options, you can walk up to the window (conveniently located right next to a bus stop) and eat a sandwich or burger on the go.
We opted for the more ‘fine’ dining experience sitting inside. According to my Dad, the restaurant hasn’t changed since he was a kid, with waiters sporting white coats to serve delicious, greasy bites.
Menus are printed on the place setting and prices are written on boards scattered throughout the restaurant. While the cost of their famed roast beef has gone up a bit since my Dad was a kid coming here with my Grandpa Larry, it’s still one of the best deals in town.
Specializing in Roast Beef at its finest, so trust your instincts and order one of these ridiculous sandwiches. The bread is soaked in beef broth, infusing it with flavor and giving a soft, but not soggy texture. It’s next to impossible to share this sandwich (they don’t even give you a knife), so just dig right in. Messier is better.
The bread soaks up all of the intense beef broth flavor, giving such a juiciness to the thinly sliced roast beef. It’s the most ridiculous roast beef sandwich I’ve ever had. The thinly sliced beef is slightly pink and tender. It steers away from being tough, easy to bite into. Eat it quickly before the bread gives way to the seductive broth. Even then, the bread still tastes great; ending up like the bread within French Onion Soup, absorbing all the broth.
On the side, you gotta go for the cheese fries. Crispy, hand cut fries smothered in cheese. Does it get any better then that?
The gooey cheese coats the crispy fries. My sister and Dad preferred the crispier, less cheesy fries, but I loved the one’s smothered in the hot cheese. It’s the ideal side for the roast beef sandwich, you need something crispy to balance out the sandwich.
Brennan & Carr is quite the schlep from Manhattan, but boy is it worth the trip. There’s something really special about heading to a place my Dad used to go to with his own father, enjoying sandwiches that haven’t changed since he was a kid.
here’s a reason this place has been around since 1938, it’s an institution. And will continue to serve some of the best food around for a long time to come. Because their specialty Roast Beef are the real deal.
Brennan & Carr – 3432 Nostrand Avenue – Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY
Brennan & Carr
Location: Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY
Type: Sandwiches, Pub
Perfect For: Take Out, Quick Bite, Cheap Eats, Borough Exploration
Reservations: Not Accepted
Favorite Dishes: Roast Beef Sandwich