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 around meat, my Busia and her sisters could make a mean roast. We used to visit 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 over to the cottage: fresh, local corn on the cob with lots of butter, homemade potato salad with Hellman’s mayo, and the 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 to me.

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 south-western 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 roast 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.

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.

Did Beef on Weck Spread Beyond Western New York?

Buffalo Wild Wings is from Western New York and was initially called “Buffalo Wild Wings and Weck.” Have you ever heard of BW3? The third W was the weck, despite it being removed over 20 years ago in 1998. While they no longer serve weck, they served an updated version called the “Thirty-fifth Weck Sandwich” for a while.

What beef on weck is best?

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 on weck and custard. Since 1989, Adrian’s serves 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

The quality of beef on weck is not citywide. Unfortunately, the Anchor Bar made terrible beef on weck. Honestly, I don’t like to insult local businesses, but it was dry and horrible. However, the wings were life-changing!

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

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.

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

She deep-fried chicken wings, the part of the chicken that is 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. Now they have spread across the world, 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, for a local treat, there are so many decently rated restaurants serving beef on weck. Try one of the following:

  • Griffon Gastropub
  • Judi’s Lounge Bar & Grill
  • Third Street Retreat
  • Orange Tree Inn
  • Taylor’s Tap & Grill
  • Jet Port Restaurant
  • Beach House Restaurant
  • Duff’s Famous Wings
  • Kelly’s Korner

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

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

If all else fails, go to Wegman’s and get kummelweck buns. 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!

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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  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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