Southern Brooklyn

Randazzo’s Sandwich Spot: The Cyclone – The Bite


THE BITE: As a father, one of the things I wasn’t prepared for was the pride I would feel in my children’s success. It’s a feeling only a parent can explain, as I sure as hell dismissed it before I had kids. Paulie Randazzo of the legendary Randazzo’s Clam Bar surely knows what I’m talking about.

About two weeks ago, Joey Randazzo, son of Paulie, opened Randazzo’s Sandwich Spot at 1520 Sheepshead Bay Road. It’s great to see a long time Sheepshead Bay family business branch out. Randazzo’s Sandwich Spot offers 26 “signature sandwiches” along with breakfast, “toss your own” salads and, of course, the option to create your own sandwiches from a pretty large selection of foodstuffs.

Personally, I like when chefs take the time to create their own dishes, so on my visits, I focused on the “signature sandwiches,” many of which are named after semi-local landmarks focusing more on Coney Island than our neighborhood. Unfortunately, none are called “The Sheepshead” or “The Emmons.”  I would have loved to see one sandwich created in homage of Lundy’s famous shore dinner, which consisted of, among other things, half a broiled lobster and half a broiled chicken. Or how about one that pays homage to Randazzo’s Clam Bar itself?

Today’s Bite focuses on #22, The Cyclone. The Cyclone ($8.50 on a hero, $7.50 in a panini or in a wrap, $8.00 over a garden salad) contains a chicken cutlet, grilled or fried,  fried eggplant, fresh mozzarella cheese and roasted peppers all topped with a balsamic dressing.  This 8-inch hero is served on some great bread, crusty on the outside, soft in the middle but toothsome enough to stand up to all the ingredients.

This  sandwich consisted of one chicken cutlet that was “grilled” on the flat top griddle.  Three large slices of cold breaded and fried eggplant and a smattering of roasted red peppers.

Biting into the sandwich, the first taste that I encountered was the twang of the balsamic dressing. While some people may be turned off by that, balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite flavors and it immediately woke my taste buds. The pickled flavor of the roasted peppers were next to dance around my tongue with their smokiness apparent before the fried eggplant asserted itself. This soft eggplant was mild and squishy, but worked well in the sandwich. It ‘s skin was green! I’ve never seen  a green eggplant before and I’ve grown them in my yard. Was I fed squash and not eggplant? No matter, it was tasty.

The one player in this hero who phoned it in was the chicken. Frankly, the bland chicken could have been left out of this sandwich and I don’t think I would have even noticed. Well, yeah, I would have as I’m a dedicated meat eater. But this chicken was just not there. Not that it really mattered, I enjoyed this sandwich immensely.

I think of Randazzo’s as a take out only place. While it does have a small counter with four stools, the place is only about eight feet wide and can get crowded quickly. They do accept credit cards and have an ATM machine as well.

Now I know people are going to comment on the pricing. While the quality of the food is high, so are the prices. At $8.50 a hero, this places Randazzo’s Sandwich Shop in the upper price range of the neighborhood for a hero. And, in these recessionary times, that’s going to be a problem. Price and portion size plays a large role in my choosing a restaurant and the portion size was small. Most heros offered around here are between 10 and 12 inches; Randazzo’s sandwiches come in at 8 inches.

I really wish Joey great success with his new endevour, but frankly, the prices need to come down. When the sandwich spot opened they were charging an introductory price of $6.50 a hero and the place was packed. Now that the prices shot up, it appears that the customers moved on. For $6.50, I’d be hitting the place at least once a week; at $8.50 – not so much.

In the interest of complete transparency, Randazzo’s Clam Bar was a participant at last year’s A Taste of Sheepshead Bay. Neither Randazzo’s Sandwich Spot nor Randazzo’s Clam Bar was aware of this review being written. No party was compensated in any way for this review.

The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

Comment policy


  1. This sandwitch is very closly related to my favorite sandwich ever. 

    Does Joey carry prosciutto in the store? Can I substitute prosciutto for chicken? You know those slices of cured meat with completely change texture and taste of this sandwich.
    Yo Joey! you got that prosciut or what??? I pray to baby Jesus it’s not Boar’s Head 
    prosciutto too. They don’t cured that thing right.

  2. It does look tasty. I will have to try it and compare it to Bassetts. I get a hero with grilled chicken, fresh mutz ,roasted peppers and balsamic that I inhale. I’ll get back with my results before the weekend. Promise.

  3. i had the “bay special” on monday and really enjoyed it. i think that sandwich focuses on our area. 

  4. Good to see Joey stopped writing RANZ on everyone’s property and started his own business. Now only if we can get Paulie Jr. to stop doing graffiti

  5. It was not worth the price,your the one that predicted it saying people will complain about the price because for almost $2 cheaper I will go to another place.I wish him the best of luck but you have 8 or 9 months there and your gonna fail….sorry,let the hate replies hit me like a shit storm

  6. Nah I don’t care about there crews or there can of Krylon with a NY fat cap in the glove box,they will need to stay open 24hrs to turn a profit because there is better for cheaper…but will sure as shit try back again and see if ther better because I want them to have success…sounds like I don’t but I swear I do

  7. I had a simple ham and cheese sandwich. It was delicious. Got charged 6 bucks for it. I don’t know if that was an introductory price or not, but the price and taste are alright with me!

  8. I agree with you,,,,,$8.50 is too pricey for a hero,,,,,I certainly won’t be buying anything there, unless they lower their prices…..They probably won’t even stay open too long, if they don’t lower the prices…..One can go to Jimmeys, Bassett’s and get a great hero, much larger and less money…..

  9. I agree. I love Jimmys, it’s great, I hope it’s open  till the end of time. But I don’t understand the people claiming it’s so cheap. It ain’t. To be sure, it’s worth the price, I’d recommend it anytime. But it’s not cheap.

  10. right around the corner from randazzos there was a coffee shop, yes,a real.old fashioned Brooklyn coffee shop. It had a long counter and tables and booths. It was clean and had good service and many specials to choose from and it was comfortable to eat there, to schmooze there,too, if you were so inclined.
    now, that type of place is history,gone and soon to be forgotten. Maybe the sandwich spot opened because the McDonalds right across the street vacated. but, if any lunch place seems to be  aching to become more like a restaurant, its the sandwich spot.

    However, this block is jammed packed already  with restaurants – two chinese takeouts,a subway, a middle eastern restaurant, pizza, a very good russian restaurant, two bagel shops.   I think the saturation point has been reached,especially since one of the bagel shops is an institution in the Bay.

    also, Italian food in a predominantly Russian neighborhood is a questionable idea.
    even  if the food is very good and the prices did come down. so, when summer ends, and people disappear from the streets, everyone looks for a warm place to sit comfortably,eat leisurely, drink coffee,converse,and warm up. Randazzos offers none of these. and even in winter, the homeless bums,usually drunk, are always there,in front of the train station. their booze keeps them warm.


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