I've been walking past this institution for years on my way to one of our Brooklyn offices. The big "Hot Beef" sign was always my landmark that I was headed the right way. I've heard so many rave reviews, some even stating the best roast beef around, I finally had to stop.
I walked inside at lunchtime and found it full with big burly men enjoying sandwiches and beers. I loved the unchanged, old school look of the place and brusque yet friendly service from the waitress. I'm not going to lie. I had high hopes for this sandwich.
I really wanted to taste the meat so I ordered the Roast Beef sandwich jus on the side. I know they usually dip the entire sandwich in the jus but I figured I could do that myself after trying a regular bite.
The sandwich looked promising but it took just one bite to know that this was definitely NOT going to be a favorite. The bun was an ample size and good for holding the au jus but everything else was just bland. The jus was bland, the meat was bland, heck I even salt and peppered it just to get some flavor. Every sandwich I saw coming out was covered in cheese and I started to understand why. The only way to taste anything was to load this up with grease and fat.
I brought half home for Mr. T to taste and he actually thought it was okay. He even scolded me for trying to compare a normal Roast Beef to a Beef on Weck from Buffalo. I stand my ground...this is one sandwich shop not worth the return trip.
Brennan & Carr