North of New York City, close to the Pennsylvania border, old-school restaurants like Sharkey’s, Lupo’s, and the Spiedie and Rib Pit have championed the humble spiedie for decades.
Popularized by Endicott and Binghamton’s working class Italian immigrants in the 1930’s, the grilled meat was traditionally served on a skewer with a slice of fresh bread on the side, and prepared most often with small pieces of lamb. But the city’s meaty legacy has evolved into something closer to a proper sandwich, loaded with pieces of meat already pulled off the stick (and the meat of choice now tends to be chicken or pork).
That’s how you’ll find it at Brooklyn Bird in Clinton Hill, a fast food joint that opened last December. The tangy chicken spiedie is $4.50, the meat stuffed in a very soft hot dog roll, glued together by the addition of sliced, half-melted American cheese.
Cooks can be quite secretive about their spiedie marinades, which must be left to work at the meat for many days before it’s grilled. Brooklyn Bird tells Fork in the Road that theirs is mostly lemon juice and fresh herbs. And after three days in the stuff, the chicken is good to go.
Brooklyn Bird, 579 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-789-2628
[Note: Endicott has been added to this post as well as to Fork in the Road’s upcoming spiedie-themed road trip itinerary.]