You got beef?
A Sheepshead Bay rapper released a freestyle video ode to the beloved Roll-N-Roaster restaurant and its delicious roast-beef sandwiches. Orlando Molina, also known by his stage name ZEPS, made the video at the Sheepshead Bay restaurant as an homage to his hometown just days before moving across the country.
“It’s kind of like a love letter,” said Molina. “I grew up in Sheepshead Bay my whole life and then moved to Cali.”
The now-California-based Molina made the video entitled “Roll N Roaster Freestyle” in December of 2017 shortly before his move to the West Coast. Rapping is nothing new for him — he’s the author of “Brush Your Teeth Rex (Rhymosaurs),” a book that teaches kids how to rap.
The video shows Molina rapping over a bountiful feast of roast beef, mozzarella sticks, pizza, and corn fritters in a dark booth in the corner of the restaurant. Brooklynite beatboxer Sean Fitzpatrick provided the background rhythm, and Andrew Persons filmed it. Molina came up with the rhymes on the spot.
“I’ma eat some food, I’ma eat some mozzarella sticks. I got the cup of sauce, cause I’m a boss, yes. Marinara, of course, werd,” he rapped at his table with the thick, cheesy sticks in front of him waiting to be devoured.
Molina ate a roast beef with cheese shortly after wrapping up his rap. He said one reason he made the video was to pick sides in the decades-old debate over who has the best roast beef in Sheepshead Bay.
“The south Brooklyn argument is whether Roll-N-Roaster or Brennan & Car makes a better roast beef,” he said. “Roll-N-Roaster is more consistent. It never leaves you bummed.”
The classic aesthetics of the joint are also a draw to Molina and other customers.
“The main thing is the nostalgia. There is old ’70s and ’80s lighting,” he said. “It looks mad old-school when you walk in.”
There have been several videos made at Roll-N-Roaster, which is more than 48 years old — including an old commercial showing a man dancing with waitresses at the restaurant.
Molina says he only makes roast beef himself out in California — fearful that his new neighborhood’s restaurants won’t live up to Roll-N-Roaster. He feels other Brooklynites-in-exile can relive their days eating the juicy, beefy sandwiches through his rap.
“A lot of my friends who moved away were the most excited about the video,” he said. “They said ‘oh, I miss that place.’ I said ‘yea, me too.’ ”
Roll-N-Roaster [2901 Emmons Ave. between Nostrand Avenue at E. 29th Street in Sheepshead Bay, (718) 769–6000, www.rolln