~ Road Trip: Buffalo, NY's One & Only -- Schwabl's! ~
Thanks to two long-standing members of our Penn State tailgate group who hail from Buffalo, NY, I have heard tales about Schwabl's "beef on a weck" for over thirty years. On more than a few occasions, Mary and her husband Joe would serve their homemade version of this revered sandwich at cocktail parties and tailgates. Thanks to my husband Joe, who made a business trip to Buffalo this past Thursday, I finally got to sink my teeth into a real-deal, one-and-only, Schwabl's roast beef sandwich on a real-deal, one-and-only, kummelweck roll!
The moment I learned about Joe's impending trip, I said: you've gotta stop at Schwabl's and bring some of those "weck" sandwiches home. When Joe arrived there, which was a little after 5:00PM, he said it was a like a trip back to a kinder, gentler time. He said the place was welcoming, the atmosphere casual, the people very friendly, and, a bar full of regular customers was willing to chat with him about his very first Schwabl's experience!
Before ordering the sandwiches, Joe explained to Cheryl and Gene Staychock, the owners, where he was from, his Penn State connection, and, that his wife (me) was a food blogger who would be writing a post about the sandwiches. They were much more than accommodating, and sent him home with a couple of "deconstructed" sandwiches, just so I could take proper photos!
Schwable's has been a family run business since 1837, which makes it THE, or at least one of, the longest line of restaurant owners and operators in the state of New York, and quite possibly the United States.
Once Joe arrived home (4 hours later), I will tell you: At first bite, I knew that everything I'd been told about this legendary sandwich was no exaggeration. Four days later, I want another sandwich, and, more of their German potato salad. Pricey? Sort of. $12.25. Worth it? OMG yes.
What the heck is "beef on a weck"?
A bit about the beef: What can I say. Schwabl's ties two big center-cut top round roasts together, which, makes it efficient to hand-carve. I fully-expected the meat be cut a bit thinner, sort of like the paper-thin beef found on an Italian beef sangwich. That being said, the 1/4"-ish sliced, mildly-seasoned, mouth-watering beef, which was stacked to perfection on the roll, to my tooth, was like biting into filet mignon... tender to the hilt with just enough of "pull" to make me a permanent fan. Schwabl's roast their beef daily. You can order your "weck" two ways: rare or medium!
A bit about the bun: A sandwich is only as good as the bread it is served on and the kummelweck roll is the 50% partner in the success of this sandwich. The kummelweck rolls (Kaiser-shaped rolls which are slightly firmer than pillowy Kaiser rolls), are flecked with caraway seeds and coarse salt... just enough that the beef hardly needs to be seasoned because every bite of the sandwich gets a burst of flavor from the bread. In German, "kummel" is the word for "caraway" and "weck" is the word for "roll". Once the rolls are sliced in half, the open sides get lightly-dipped into the natural beef juices just prior to piling on the warm, decadent roast beef!
Want horseradish with that? It's on every table, at the bar, and, in your takeout box too!
789 Center Road (at Union)
West Seneca, NY 14224
(716) 675-BEEF (2333)
FIVE STARS AS PER MEL!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Photos & Commentary courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013)