Chinese Roast Pork on Garlic Bread Sandwich

About a year and a half ago, I bragged about having crafted the best sandwich in the world. I made the sandwich for my dad yesterday and he allowed that it was, in fact, a righteous sandwich, but he didn’t think it was better than his more than forty-year-old memory of a sandwich he ate during his stint as a folk singer in the Catskills. Dad described a Chinese/Italian/American restaurant that served a sandwich of Chinese roast pork on Italian garlic bread. I have to admit, that does sound damn good.

And what do you know? It exists!

By all accounts, the sandwich was created sometime in the mid-1950s at Herbie’s in Loch Sheldrake, New York. It was the most popular Jewish-style deli-restaurant in the area. According to Freddie Roman, the Borscht Belt comic who years later starred in the nostalgia show Catskills on Broadway, Herbie’s was where all the entertainers would gather after their last shows at the hotel nightclubs. “Specifically for that sandwich,” says Freddie. “And everyone else had to eat what the celebrities ate.”

Herbie’s sandwich of Chinese Roast Pork on Italian Garlic Bread was so popular among the summer crowd in “The Mountains,” that it was imitated back in “The City.” I remember when it was introduced at Martin’s and Senior’s, two fabulously successful, middle-class family restaurants on Nostrand Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

In just a few years, it seemed Chinese roast pork on garlic bread became so popular in the southern tier of Brooklyn communities — from Canarsie through Mill Basin to Bay Ridge — that every diner and coffee shop made it. The sandwich even made it to Manhattan in the 1960s, at a place called The Flick, an ice cream parlor and casual restaurant near the then-new movie houses on Third Avenue.

Count my dad as one of the “celebrities,” I guess. There’s even (sort of) a recipe at the link!

Anyone else ever tried this? Any other greatest sandwich nominees?

Chinese Roast Pork on Garlic Bread Sandwich

33 thoughts on “Chinese Roast Pork on Garlic Bread Sandwich

  1. Debi Goldner Penn says:

    My family owned Singer’s Restaurant in Liberty NY from 1918 until the late 1970’s. It was a combination Deli/Chinese restaurant and they invented the recipe for the roast pork on garlic bread. People would stand in line around the block on a summer Saturday night to get that sandwich. Also, the celebs would come to our restaurant after their shows at Grossinger’s and other hotels and hang out with my grandfather, Nat Goldner. We had many, many pictures of all he celebs but they were ruined in a flood we had in the early 70’s. If you check the Fans of Singer’s Restaurant Facebook page you will see all of the fans of the famous roast porK!

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    1. Leslie Durr says:

      OMG! That’s where this shiksa was introduced to the most delicious garlicky sandwich BY SOME JEWISH KIDS in 1966!

      Like

  2. Karen Hicks says:

    Hi Matt,

    Oh boy, do I remember that sandwich! When I was a kid, my family stayed at a bungalow colony called “Taub’s Maple Grove” in South Fallsburg, New York. There was a restaurant called “Barry’s” in South Fallsburg that offered the roast pork on garlic bread sandwich. You could have it with duk sauce on one side and chinese mustard on the other, but I preferred duk sauce on both sides. Yum! Years later, I’d make it myself ordering from both Chinese and Italian take-out places. Haven’t had it in years. – Karen

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    1. M says:

      I was just speaking with Barry tonight. I did not know him as a restaurateur. I’ve let him know of your post. He should be thrilled that you remember his place.

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  3. Joel says:

    I believe that Herbie’s International had the market cornered for that “GREAT SANDWICH”. I do remember going to Herbie’s in Brooklyn as well-think that it was on Ralph Ave.

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  4. Robin Studman Weiss says:

    Karen,
    Hi. Was researching Roast Pork and Garlic Bread and was excited to see your reply. I am Robin Studman, Aunt Rose and Uncle Morris’ niece from Taub’s Maple Grove. Joyce (my sister started a facebook page Taub’s Maple Grove. We are looking to share stories of the “fun times” we had growing up. My sister Joyce, started a facebook page…Taub’s Maple Grove. Would love to hear from you.

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  5. mark says:

    I spent 18 wonderful summers up in the catskills I was up there because my father was an entertainer a singer and a comic. I was introduced to herbies at an early age and I have to agree roast pork on garlic bread with duk sauce was and is the best sandwich ever! does anyone know if herbie’s is still open? or if there is some place to get that sandwich in new jersey

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  6. HMF says:

    It is the world’s best sandwich with chinese mustard and duck sauce. Until a year ago, you could still get that sandwich at the Kings Plaza Diner in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, they’re out of business. Anyone know who still serves it????

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  7. GDK says:

    I “discovered” that great sandwich in a diner in Laurence,Long Island in the early 70’s. Yes, I’m Jewish, but that’s besides the point. No one has said how it was made. In Laurence, they had the pork in a roll shape about 3″ in diameter, coated in the red dye and plastic.It looked similar to a Hebrew National salami.The Italian type bread was coated with a garlic butter mixture. Very thin slices of the pork were placed on the bread and the whole thing was broiled in an oven for about 6 or 8 minutes. It was served with duck sauce packets.The bread stayed soft and it was delicious! I have not been able to find any such pork anywhere online.

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  8. HERBIE’S CLOSED IN LOCH SHELDRAKE, MORE THAN 40 YEARS AGO…IT WAS REPLACED BY ALFIE’S [ALFIE KAUFMAN] WHOSE SON IRA, WORKED THERE….ALFIES’S DIDN’T LAST LONG…IT BECAME BUM AND KELLS, WHICH IS STILL THERE TODAY, ON ROUTE 52 AND HASBOUCK ROAD A ,,,,THE MOUNTAINS HAVE CHANGED DRAMATICALLY, ONLY KUTSCHER’S AND THE RALEIGH REMAIN, AND THEY CATER TO THE ORTHODOX….THE CATSKILLS, IN THE SUMMER IS TAKEN OVER BY THE HASIDIM AND LOOKS LIKE BORO PARK…..MARTY, FORMERLY AT MOONGLOW INN BUNGALOW COLONY IN LOCH SHELDRAKE….FIND ME ON FACEBOOK, MARTIN BOLOFSKY

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  9. Janice says:

    They still make a delish Chinese roast pork ongarlic bread at Bum N Kels (lakeside Restaurant) in Loch Sheldrake…just had it tonight for dinner!

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  10. Buddy Weinblatt says:

    I also eat at both Herbie’s (and later Alfie’s) in Loch Sheldrade as well as the Triangle Diner in Liberty for those amazing roast pork on garlic bread sandwiches and they both were great. I probably ate at each place no less than 100 times and was seldon disappointed. Now sure which i liked better. Joe’s deli in Loch Sheldrale was also a good place to get a deli sandwich in those days. I also went to the Moonglow for a few years and also the Pine Grove down the road from the Moonglow for many years as well. Small world, I was friends with Ira, Alfie’s son.

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  11. Singer’s made the absolute best Roast Pork on Garlic Bread, definitely better with both duck sauce and hot mustard. I lived in Bradley, NY with my family for over 20 years and that was one of our rituals! When I was a teenager I also would stop by on Saturdays for a hotdog with mustard and kraut and a potato knish. Pop-Ins in S, Fallsburgh made a good roast pork too, but no one beat Singers!! I miss that place (and other Sullivan County landmarks too)!!

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  12. Kim Kirk says:

    You can still get a Chinese Roast Pork sandwich at Danny’s in Wurtsboro, NY! It’ delicious! I try to get ther every time I go home for a visit!

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  13. Andrea Itzkowitz M.D. says:

    wow… First Herbies and Singers were not the originator not Triangle ..my folks wrote the recipe and started it in early 1960’s at our store in Parksville … Jerry n’ Lils !!! OMG I hate that others have taken credit for their hard work .. Sheesh

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    1. Mark says:

      We owned a bungalow colony ten minutes from Monticello. I cant take away anything from Herbie’s , but we used to go to Dukes Partk Avenue Restauranty in Monticello for the best roast pork on garlic bread.

      But enough history…wher ecan I get that sandwich in New Jersey.

      Like

  14. David C. Kurland says:

    Have heard of this legendary sandwich for years. Used to work in kitchen of Camp Shane in Ferndale. Never tried it. Does anyone have memories of Lefty’s in Monticello?

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    1. Diana Dell says:

      David Kurland This is Diana & Alan! We were just looking up Roast Pork Sanwiches….
      Do you know what happened to Jeffrey CHail and Mitch Fabian

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  15. sandra farber kurthy says:

    singer’s was a Jewish style deli restaurant no totally kosher. We used to go to Gus Gorey’s for Roast Pork sandwiches in Liberty New York. Miss that life

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  16. Selma Hall says:

    Loved those sandwiches . Was just visiting and could not find one. Grew up in Liberty. My father owned Joes luncheonette next to the Short Line

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    1. Judie Goldman says:

      I did make the famous “The Roast Pork on Italian Garlic Bread” again and again it came out awesome!!!! All my friends want me to make it again!! Thanks for posting the recipe. Judie

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