LDR Char Pit

Review by: Stephen Rushmore Jr.

Just North of Rochester, New York, is one of the finest steak sandwich shops around. Named after the first initials of the founder’s three children, the LDR Char Pit has been cutting its own beef since 1945.

While most steak sandwiches give you ultra-thin (shaved) beef cooked on top of a griddle, the Char Pit delivers a grilled, single slice of beef about one centimeter thick.

When you place your order the server will ask how you want your sandwich cooked. This isn’t to ask for toppings, he/she wants to know the degree of doneness. However you like it, they never miss the mark. I always order rare, and the grill master gives the meat literally thirty seconds on each side to cook. One flip, no pressing, and then it is placed on a soft round bun. The result is a seasoned, lean steak sandwich that is so tender that adding condiments would only downgrade the experience.

Seating is either counter stool service or a 1950’s style black vinyl booth. I prefer to eat at the counter where you can get the best vantage point for watching the grill master work his magic.

After polishing off your meal, be sure to head up the street for some creamy Abbott’s Custard.

What To Eat

Steak Sandwich

Onion Rings and French Fries


LDR Char Pit Recipes


What do you think of LDR Char Pit?

2 Responses to “LDR Char Pit”

Mike Fisher

September 2nd, 2023

Closed: out of business since March 2020.


Bill Port

February 2nd, 2011

The LDR Char Pit is directly across the street from the largest public beach in the Rochester area. Without a map, it would be easy to imagine yourself in some seaside fishing town. So, of course, I had to go there in the middle of winter.

Not too many people were there, but that made everyone more friendly and talkative. It also made it easier to walk around the dining room and see all of the memorabilia on the walls. We had a long informative conversation with the manager/owner. Rick is the R of LDR Char Pit. The L is a sister who is a lawyer in Chicago and the D brother is the concertmaster (really) at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. There was a section of the wall covered with newspaper articles about this brother.

We had roast beef sandwiches on kimmelweck. These were devoid of the pockets of fat you often find in roast beef sandwiches. Kimmelweck is a salted bread that goes just perfectly with roast beef. It originally came from Poland and is much more popular in the Buffalo area than in Rochester, although the distance between the two cities is only 60 miles. This was the best kimmelweck I have ever had in this city. Of course, it is the only kimmelweck I have had in Roc city. The French fries were perfect, which for me means crisp, tasting of potato, and not greasy.

After Rick cleverly fed us some free samples, we also had Italian Wedding soup (it was cold outside) which was much more flavorful than the canned variety. We noted how rarely one sees this type of soup on restaurant menus (as opposed to supermarket aisles). Scrumptious is the word that comes to mind (and warming too). The flavors are intense and it makes commercial soups seem like they are just all about mouth textures.


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