Chicken biryani in Pakistan
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What: Buffalo’s “other” most famous native food, the beef on weck sandwich (sometimes called “beef on wick”) has roots in the city’s German population: “Weck” is short for “kummelweck,” the German bread that is essentially a Kaiser roll topped with coarse pretzel salt and caraway seeds. The “beef” is simply sliced roast beef, served with a healthy bit of jus (the juice collected from the beef’s roasting); freshly grated horseradish, generally served on the side, rounds out the ingredient list. Piled together you get a juicy, beefy, salty, sinus-clearer of a sandwich bursting with flavor.
Where: Like lots of foods on this list, Buffalonians are very particular about their BOW. We are fans of Schwabl’s (789 Center Rd., West Seneca, map), an old-fashioned family-owned restaurant (since 1837!) with great German fare, a back-in-time vibe, and a seriously meaty, salty beef on weck.
When: Mon-Sat, 11am-10pm (Jan-April, till 9, Mon-Thu); Sun, 1pm-8:30pm
Order: Schwabl’s beef on weck ($8.95), hand-carved just behind the bar in the main dining room, is a no-joke carnivore’s dream: thick with juicy beef, on a roll sufficiently hearty to soak it up and stay intact (we recommend medium-rare). Fresh horseradish is on the table; a pickle’s on the side. Stick with the German influence and also try the haddock fish fry ($12.95), another Buffalo classic, and most definitely get the deliciously creamy German potato salad ($3.25), a homemade concoction of vinegar, onion, celery, and smoky bacon. To drink, Schwabl’s mixes up some great classic cocktails sure to please the purist, using only fresh juices; they also have a delicious birch beer on tap.
Alternatively: We also loved the beef on weck at Bar Bill (185 Main St., East Aurora, map), in the suburb of East Aurora (about 20 minutes from central Buffalo), where the moist meat is likewise methodically carved and dipped behind the bar and, helpfully, the sandwich is offered in various sizes, including “mini” ($3.95). Other spots popular with locals are Charlie the Butcher (1065 Wehrle Dr., Williamsville, map), where two sizes are also offered, and Eckl’s Beef & Weck Restaurant (716-662-2262; 4936 Ellicott Rd., Orchard Park, map). We found the BOW at Anderson’s (multiple locations including 2235 Sheridan Dr., map) to be a decent on-the-go version ($4.49); follow it up with an excellent frozen custard there.
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