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Here’s the beef! Brennan and Carr is simply the best

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Any self-respecting connoisseur of roast beef absolutely must make the pilgrimage to Sheepshead Bay and visit the Mecca of slow-cooked meat, Brennan and Carr.

The delicious, old-school eatery at Avenue U and Nostrand Avenue has been around since 1938, and has always specialized in one item on the menu: the roast beef sandwich ($6.50).

Of course, the roast beef can be enjoyed in a variety of ways — rare or medium rare (don’t even think about well-done), with cheese, and smothered in a delicious beef broth.

The cheese is heavy duty — similar to the Wiz smeared across a Philly Cheese Steak — and we prefer the broth on the side, as the bun can get soggy fast.

(This admission doesn’t come easy; “dipped” — as in the whole sandwich plunged in broth — is considered the original style.)

The beef blast begins with the fresh, warm bun that gives way to the salty, succulent and thin-sliced rare meat in one clean bite. The broth sends the sandwich into the flavor stratosphere.

Of course, any mention of Brennan and Carr should acknowledge the admirable competition only blocks away on Emmons Avenue, Roll N Roaster.

We say Brennan and Carr makes a superior roast beef sandwich — though Roll N Roaster comes in a close second, especially when combined with a refreshing, fresh-made lemonade.

But what gives Brennan and Carr a true advantage over the competition is the atmosphere. It feels as if the restaurant — and the menu — has not changed much since 1938. The smell of the slow-roasting beef fills the place, the sandwiches come out on small plates that end up covered in juices after the first bite, and the table area feels as if it should still be filled with cigarette smoke — though that wouldn’t do the appetite any favors.

When you order a beer and a roast beef, you know that it’s the same combo that people have enjoyed since the day the joint first opened.

Don’t get us wrong, the roast beef sandwich will always be the star of the show — but Brennan and Carr didn’t achieve legendary status on the meat alone.

Brennan and Carr [3432 Nostrand Ave. at Avenue U in Sheepshead Bay. (718) 769-1254].

Updated 5:19 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

al pankin from downtown says:
I started going to Brennan & Carr in 1950...Nostrand Ave Roadway (it was a dirt road) ended at ave U. it at the edge of a new area. I passed the place today and it still looks the same. which is a good thing.
Aug. 10, 2010, 11:26 am
dee from sheepshead bay says:
I love this place. You must try the Gargulio burger - a cheeseburger topped with sliced roast beef and onion - HEAVEN!
Aug. 16, 2010, 9:51 am
Joe d from Midwood says:
I had a friend of mine suggest that I try Brennan& Carr several years ago. I am always willing to try something new. I am not a bad cook myself, so I compare what I get to my own cooking, and to the restaurants that used to proliferate around brooklyn years ago.
I had a Roast beef sandwich and fries. The fries were some of the worst I have ever eaten. The sandwich had flavorless roast beef packaged in between a roll soaked in the broth that they have percolating on their stove. It was a soggy tastless mess. I went there once. It was the first and last time there. I did not finish the food. I practiced what my mother used to say to me: Joe, find a clean place in the garbage can for it." I have lived in Brooklyn all my life, raised in Brownsville and later on in Crown Heights. When I was a kid, which was a long time ago, you could walk from your house and in ten minutes find a real deli with real corned beef, real pastrami, roast beef, kishka, fries. It was cheap, and it was Delicious. You walked to Pitkin avenue in Brownsville, or Saratoga or Riverdale or almost anywhere, and there were great eats. That is all in the prehistoric past. They are all gone, and are only memories to those people old enough to have experienced them. Brennan and Carr is an experience, but one time only.
Nov. 23, 2010, 11:23 pm

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