Here’s the beef!

The Brooklyn Paper
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For 40 years the beef at Roll-n-Roaster has been tender, juicy and delicious.

But it’s rarely been free.

That’s part of the reason crowds flocked to the legendary fast food joint at Nostrand and Emmons avenues on Saturday to celebrate its birthday — and take advantage of a heckuva deal: buy one roast beef sandwich, get another one for free.

And even after 40 years of dishin’ it out, many in attendance insisted R’n’R puts the competition to shame.

“It’s even better than my roast beef,” said Sharon Gertner, who was sitting in a booth with her family.

That’s quite an endorsement — but the roughly 60 people ordering the roast beef sandwich at lunchtime on Saturday would likely agree.

The beef is slow roasted on the premises, and the rolls are baked throughout the day in a brick oven.

“I don’t get any gravy on my bread,” said Gertner. “The meat is moist enough without the gravy — and not too fatty.”

That’s the way it’s been during the 22 years Manager Ayet Karce has been running the place.

“Slow roasting brings out flavors,” said Karce. “It’s a simple philosophy, and it works.”

And judging by the amount of free stuff employees were giving away, that philosophy has been quite profitable.

Kids were not only devouring the beef, but also free cotton candy and cake, and then washing it all down with a free cup of orange juice. As if that wasn’t enough to get them hyper, there were also free animal balloons and face painting.

Even Borough President Markowitz showed up for the festivities — the man can’t resist a bargain on food — and proclaimed July 17 “Roll-n-Roaster day” in Brooklyn.

But while waiting for his order of beef, the Beep made it clear that his proclamation did not indicate a preference for Roll-n-Roaster over its esteemed competitor, Brennan and Carr, which is only blocks away at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue U.

“I’m not going to choose [between the two],” said Markowitz. “We’re lucky to have both of them.”

Markowitz added that he saw Roll-n-Roaster, with its fast food-style décor and menu, as more kid-friendly.

“At Brennan and Carr they’re real focused on just roast beef,” said Markowitz. “It’s a different experience.”

Others weren’t so deferential to the competition.

“It’s funny, we were just trying to decide whether to go to Brennan and Carr,” said Billy Brown, who was eating with a friend.

So which one did Brown prefer?

“We’re here instead of there, right?”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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