It’s not just that the roast beef sandwiches, the signature item at the 41-year-old Roll-n-Roaster in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, are things of beauty: ruffles of rosy, sliced-to-order beef topped with heaps of griddled onions on huge, fluffy seeded rolls that are baked fresh throughout the day. Or that you can buy a couple of them to go—with coin-shaped, crispy cottage fries, onion rings, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and a $2.55 slice of homemade apple pie—and enjoy your meal on the pier across the street, watching the boats sail past. What we love about Roll-n-Roaster is the whole fantastic package: the frozen-in-time yellow Formica tabletops and wrought-iron chandeliers, the high school kids drinking milkshakes after school, the expansive menu featuring everything from roast turkey to baked potatoes to Manhattan clam chowder to kernel-studded corn fritters to juicy rib-eye sandwiches and burgers. It’s the platonic ideal of fast food, and it’s pure Americana.
2901 Emmons Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11235_