If you haven’t figured it out by now, Roll-N-Roaster isn’t the kind of place you up and leave. Or even the place you eat at once and never return.
Rodriguez has an allegiance to this place and his employees. Seeing the restaurant through Hurricane Sandy was the proudest moment of his career. With the rest of the staff, they cleaned up and opened in three days because the community needed them. People in the neighborhood had no clean bathrooms, no working kitchens, no power, he says. They needed a place to go, and that place was Roll-N-Roaster. Rodriguez adds that he and Lamonica are always talking about how to improve. “How can we do things better? How can we take care of our crew?”
One thing remains true always: “If you come over here, you’re gonna love it,” he says. “You’re gonna keep coming back and keep coming back.”
Both Rodriguez and Shapiro hark back to this idea that it’s all about nostalgia, about always knowing you can come home and feel at home. “It’s like when you have the food from your mother, you move away from your house and then you come back home for Thanksgiving,” Rodriguez says. “It brings memories for people.”