Hunting Buffalo’s Beef on Weck

“It’s not like it was,” laments houdini, “a good beef on weck in just about every corner bar.” For the uninitiated, houdini is talking about an endangered Buffalo original, a sandwich of juicy rare roast beef, sliced thin and heaped onto a kümmelweck, a hard German-style roll crusted with caraway and coarse salt. There might also be horseradish in there. There should be.

Two go-to spots for a beef on weck are Bar Bill in East Aurora and century-old Eckl’s in Orchard Park. “Both are worth the trip from downtown,” promises ridgel. “They really are best of kind.”

The popular Charlie the Butcher minichain also has its fans—and its critics. Its beef delivers the goods, most agree; so does its horseradish. But it stumbles on the all-important roll. “Charlie the Butcher doesn’t know what a kümmelweck roll is,” houdini huffs.

Two other contenders are Schwabl’s—credited by some with inventing the beef on weck, this old-timer recently changed hands—and Brennan’s Bowery Bar, which piles on the beef and spikes it with kicking horseradish, reports more is never enough.

Like the beef on weck, another Buffalo tradition, the Friday fish fry, is getting harder to find. But some good ones survive. jmoryl recommends Sterling Place Tavern, which comes up with relative rarities like pike. The wide-ranging craft beer selection includes such regional favorites as Great Lakes Brewing from Cleveland.

The venerable German-Irish hybrid Ulrich’s Tavern does first-rate fried fish—nice big pieces with crispy batter, jerryc123 reports—and offers spätzle or German potato salad on the side, plus another excellent beer lineup.

And Viking Lobster (better known for, you guessed it, lobster) also lays out a surprisingly fine fish fry, houdini confides.

Bar Bill Tavern [Erie County]
185 Main Street (near Hamlin), East Aurora, NY
716-652-7959
Location

Eckl’s Beef and Weck Restaurant [Erie County]
4936 Ellicott Road (near Chestnut Ridge), Orchard Park, NY
716-662-2262
Location

Charlie the Butcher [Erie County]
1065 Wehrle Drive (near S. Cayuga), Williamsville, NY
716-633-8330
Location

Charlie the Butcher Express [Erie County]
In the Ellicott Square Building
295 Main Street (between Swan and Division), Buffalo, NY
716-855-8646
Location

Schwabl’s Restaurant [Erie County]
789 Center Road (near Union), Buffalo, NY
716-674-9821
Location

Brennan’s Bowery Bar & Restaurant [Erie County]
4401 Transit Road (at Main), Buffalo, NY
716-633-9630
Location

Sterling Place Tavern [Erie County]
1487 Hertel Avenue (at Sterling), Buffalo, NY
716-838-2448
Location

Ulrich’s Tavern [Erie County]
674 Ellicott Street (at Virginia), Buffalo, NY
716-855-8409
Location

Viking Lobster Company [Erie County]
366 Tonawanda Street (between Austin and Hamilton), Buffalo, NY
716-873-1079
Location

Board Link: BEEF ON WECK IN BUFFALO, NY

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