Kummelweck roll with roast beef and au jus on wax paper from Adri

Beef on weck reminds me of my childhood. My great-grandparents owned a butcher shop in Dunkirk, New York, and were fabulous in the kitchen. Thanks to their familiarity with meat, my Busia and her sisters could make a mean roast beef. We visited a family cottage in Van Buren Point in New York every summer. It’s super close to where my mother’s side of the family grew up.

My aunt still lived above the family butcher shop, where she would thinly slice beef. She would work in the hot kitchen on an August day with no air conditioning in her 80s. She’d roast beef, broil corn, and boil potatoes.

She’d bring casseroles of delicious food to the cottage: fresh, local corn on the cob with lots of butter, homemade potato salad with Hellman’s mayo, and beef. Roast beef with au jus and horseradish on a fresh-baked salty kummelweck roll tastes like a dream.

What is the history of beef on weck?

The history of beef on weck in Niagara Falls, New York, is interesting.

Beef on weck originates in Western New York sometime in the mid-19th century. The story is that a German baker created the kummelweck roll, a bun topped with salt and caraway seeds. Kummel means caraway, and weck means bread in southwestern German dialects. However, the American roll is fluffier than the standard.

A local pub owner used kummelweck to serve roast beef and hoped the salty roll would encourage his patrons to buy more beverages. The slow-roasted rare beef is hand-carved in thin slices. The top of the roll is cut off and can be dipped in au jus. Many serve the dish with horseradish.

What beef on weck is best?

We went to Niagara Falls, NY, for a long weekend and found the 21 best activities in Niagara Falls, New York. We had an incredible time. While it’s not Buffalo, we were dead-set on finding a quality beef on weck in Niagara Falls.

Our favorite beef on weck in the Niagara Falls area was on Grand Island at Adrian’s Custard and Beef. The shop is family owned and operated since 1989. It serves award-winning roast beef sandwiches and custard. Since 1989, Adrian’s has served quality and fresh ingredients. Adrian’s also offers vegan, gluten-free, and keto options. But with custard and beef on weck- you can’t go wrong!

Despite being gluten-free (but not Celiac), I went for the beef on weck. Yes, my belly hurt, but it was worth it at Adrian’s. The other options at Adrian’s, like the burger or hot dog, did not even touch the quality of the beef on weck.

Kummelweck roll with roast beef and au jus on wax paper from Adri

How are buffalo wings and beef on weck at Anchor Bar?

The quality of beef on weck does not exist everywhere. Unfortunately, the Anchor Bar made terrible beef on weck. I disliked insulting local businesses, but it was dry and horrible. However, the wings were life-changing!

Did you ever wonder why buffalo wings bare their famous name? Thank Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Dominic Bellissimo was a bartender looking to serve his hungry friends late one night. He asked his mother to prepare some food for his friends. With a backstory like that, I expected delicious Buffalo wings- and they delivered. However, in western NY, they call Buffalo wings simply ‘wings.’

Anchor bar roast beef on weck sandwich with buffalo wings, au jus, and sauce.

She deep-fried chicken wings, the part of the chicken usually used for chicken soup in the stockpot. With a little secret sauce, the wings became an instant hit. Soon people came from all over to try Buffalo Wings. They have spread worldwide, but they all started at Anchor Bar.

Where else do you get beef on weck in Niagara Falls, NY?

If you want the absolute best beef on weck in western New York, head to Buffalo. However, so many decently rated restaurants serve beef on weck for a local treat. Try one of the following beef on weck restaurants:

  • Griffon Gastropub: The menu features the Western New York “tradition of slow-roasted, tender, all-natural top round, thinly sliced, served on a fresh-baked & toasted kummelweck roll with a side of au jus & horseradish.”
  • Judi’s Lounge Bar & Grill: The menu contains famous dishes, including beef on weck pots, beef on weck sliders, and beef on weck sandwiches. There is also the “Best of Buffalo,” including buffalo wings and beef on weck sandwich, and the “Best of Buffalo for two” includes Beef on Weck sliders and 10 chicken wings.
  • Third Street Retreat: This diner features a sandwich with a kummelweck roll, thinly sliced in-house roast beef with au jus, and horseradish.
  • Orange Tree Inn: This beef on weck sandwich comes with onion rings or funky cut fries.
  • Taylor’s Tap & Grill: Many people describe the beef on weck at Taylor’s as being delectable, but it is not always on the menu- so check before you go.
  • Jet Port Restaurant: They have Beef on ‘Weck cooked at Jet Port and includes thin, sliced tender roast beef served on kummelweck rolls topped with Kosher salt.
  • Beach House Restaurant: Located on Grand Island, the beef on weck is tasteful and incredibly affordable.
  • Duff’s Famous Wings: Nothing pairs better with a roast beef sandwich on weck than buffalo wings. Enjoy both the classic sandwich and chicken wings at this restaurant.

Where can I get beef on weck in Western New York?

Visit a silo that overlooks the Niagara River into Canada if you want to venture to the Silo in Lewistown. While it’s a quick-service restaurant, the views are incredible. You can hit the train car serving ice cream if you have room left after the comfort food festival. If you’re tired of beef on weck, feast on the haystack- a roll stuffed with shredded ribeye, mozzarella cheese, and crunchy hash browns.

Also, if you’re willing to drive 25 minutes, Kelly’s Korner is one of the thickest Beef on Weck sandwiches in Buffalo, New York! The address is 2526 Delaware Ave Buffalo, New York 14216.

What if I want to make beef on weck at home?

If all else fails, go to Wegman’s and get kummelweck buns. And just a note- it sounds a bit like kimmelweck, but it is spelled kummelweck. If in doubt, act like a local and call it weck.

While my roast beef and au jus are not nearly as tasty as the real deal- the buns can be frozen, so we can enjoy beef on weck on cold winter nights. Until the rest of the world gets beef on weck, we will have to make it ourselves!

What does BW3 stand for?

Buffalo Wild Wings is from Western New York and was initially called “Buffalo Wild Wings and Weck.” Beef on weck spread beyond western New York through a giant chain. Have you ever heard of BW3? The third W was the weck, despite being removed over 20 years ago in 1998. Now it’s called Buffalo Wild Wings, sadly, without any beef on weck to be found! While they no longer serve weck, they served an updated version called the “Thirty-fifth Weck Sandwich” for a while.

Beef on Weck in Niagara Falls, NY

Beef on weck in Niagara Falls, New York, makes the trek to the Falls even MORE worthwhile. Is your soul craving the comfort food of beef on weck or real buffalo wings? Please leave it in the comments!

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4 Comments

  1. This sounds really good. It reminds me of a boss that I had for a temporary job during my twenties. He insisted at the end of the week to go get a pastrami on rye at the ”best sandwich place” that he knew of. He was not only a delightful boss for that week, but it was literally the best sandwich I’d ever had!

  2. I would love to try this beef!! Its sounds pretty amazing!! Im currently from NY right outside NYC and now I lie in Florida and it so hard to find good food and even good meat. There is no local butcher in my area.

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