Quick bites: 3rd Avenue’s grease emporiums.

Not being a cheesesteak expert (read as: never having been to Philadelphia), I feel a little bad making grandiose proclamations, but this much is certain: I liked Carl’s steak better than the one from the East Village’s 99 Miles to Philly.  The concept is similar – both places’ prices are comparable ($6.50 per cheesesteak with no toppings), both have TV’s to entertain while waiting and eating, and I even heard that a former Carl’s employee started 99MtP.  Something got lost in translation, though – the bread and steak at 99MtP isn’t nearly as good, for some reason.  I’m not even sure it’s better than the best cart cheesesteak (other than, of course, the availability of whiz).  That said, it sure is more conveniently located to various drinking establishments.  A trade-off, certainly.

On the same block as 99MtP is the illustrious Blue 9 Burger.  Once upon a time the class of NYC fast food burgers, and a worthy east-coast imitation of California’s In-and-Out Burger, the quality has lately gone a bit south.  Particularly late in the evening, you’re likely to receive a burger with a higher percentage of grease than is probably necessary or wanted.  No matter: my roommate still craves them.  Fries are pretty good, too – the fry-sauce-colored mango chili dipping sauce is a total mystery to me, though.

Walking down to the corner of 11th Street brings us to my longtime favorite place in the neighborhood – Roll N’ Roaster.  An unrepentantly old-school establishment whose original branch is in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, Roll N’ Roaster’s as dirt-cheap as they come.  While the specialty of the place is roast beef, which is available mounted on a roll for $4.45, the burgers ($3.25) are also good enough for the value-conscious.  Paper-thin and a little flavorless, they seem like a cartoon version of a national chain fast food restaurant, particularly when the only cheese available (45 cents extra) comes in pourable form.  Said cheese goes better with the fries ($1.75), which are round cross-sections of potato instead of the usual shape, though it costs 90 cents extra in this context (I don’t think they use twice as much).  Lately they’ve added strange things like pizza to the menu – never fear, this is merely to entice drunken students, who have discovered that, with a small food order, pitchers of beer are under five bucks apiece (I forget the actual number and their website makes no mention of it, but it’s absurdly low).  Pregaming, ahoy!

I don’t know if I’ll have a review to post tomorrow.  I might have a post or two from Belgium, but, in any case, regular posting will resume on or after 4/11/06.  See ya!


Filed under NYC

3 responses to “Quick bites: 3rd Avenue’s grease emporiums.

  1. Pourable cheese.…[blinks]I think I’ll pass.

  2. More Roll-n-Roaster commentary here:< HREF="http://andrewjlederer.com/2006/04/not-so-fast.html" REL="nofollow"> http://andrewjlederer.com/2006/04/not-so-fast.html<>

  3. Roll-n-Roaster gone. Signs gone. Menu signs from inside gone. Hand-written signs in windows saying, “If you miss us, visit in Sheepshead Bay.” Tribeca Film Fest worker at Loew’s across the street was shocked. Said it had been operating previous day (Monday).

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