Buffalo, NY

The Beef on Weck Legacy of Schwabl’s

J.M. Lesinski

The Roast Beef on Weck Sandwich with fries and slaw from Schwabl's in Buffalo, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

Of all the plates that put Buffalo, New York on the map, roast beef on weck is perhaps the hardest to master. The balance of savory beef and liquid au jus, with just a touch of salt and carraway is a hard potion to concoct. Founded all the way back in 1837, Schwabl’s down on Center Road is one of the undisputed masters of the dish.

The plate of choice at Schwabl’s is the hand carved roast beef plate, or the equally tantalizing roast beef sandwich on kummelweck. Each features a half pound of delectable roast beef, cooked tender and just right, and oozing with sweet au jus with each bite. The integrity of the bun will hold, try as the meat might to dissolve it, making the sandwich a truly versatile choice for diners on the go.

For all special plates, including the roast beef, diners get choice of two sides between German-style coleslaw, homemade pickled beets, or a fresh garden salad, and then French fries, German potato salad, mashed potatoes, or sweet potato fries. While all of the sides are incredible and should be tried on a rotating basis for newbies, the German-style coleslaw is a favorite, with the tangy crunch of the vegetables a perfect compliment to any meaty creation on the menu.

Like the roast beef plates, the hand carved roasted turkey and ham plates also come in half pound servings, with side bread of sandwich options available. The turkey sandwich comes with choice of gravy on or off, with a similar situation for tomato sauce on the ham sandwich. For those who want a simpler roast beef sandwich, one with just bread, butter, and au jus is also available as a sandwich.

For the seafood farers, surf and turf is available in a roast beef and yellow pike or haddock plate, or just plain haddock throughout the week, or yellow pike on Fridays and Saturdays. A customizable shrimp and scallops combination plate is also on the menu, as well as the elusive and intriguing Hungarian goulash and bread dumpling plate, only served on Saturdays.

For the remainder of the sandwiches, the fish sandwich is always a solid choice, highlighting a half piece of fresh haddock. The fried chicken finger sandwich is stellar too, featuring choice of au jus or gravy, and topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Both are light, crispy, and excellent options for lighter fare.

There are of course additional sandwiches, like the ham and cheese, which features the same half pound serving as the specialties on choice of bread with choice of Swiss or cheddar. A simple cheddar or Swiss cheese sandwich is also available, served on choice of bread, as well as a simple ham sandwich with the same customization options.

Chicken fingers are big and beautiful creations at Schwabl’s and the chicken finger meal comes with French fries and choice of sauce between hot, BBQ, bleu cheese, or ranch. For fans of poultry, this dish cannot be beat.

Of lighter fare and salads, Schwabl’s does a standard garden salad, as well as a signature Julienne with ham, turkey, roast beef, cheddar, Swiss, and a hard boiled egg. A seafood salad with cocktail shrimp is also available, as well as a chicken salad with breaded chicken tenders. Both also feature the signature hard boiled egg.

For appetizers, the soup of the day cannot be beat, featuring two every day of over one hundred different rotating varieties. The jumbo shrimp cocktail is a mammoth creation, prepped in a Molson beer based broth, while the fried shrimp or scallops are both excellent options too. Poutine is a good choice to start with as well, with choice of original, turkey, or Schwabl’s poutines. Schwabl’s signature poutine features slivered beef, course salt, and carraway seeds on top for an instant favorite.

A shot of the front and side of Schwabl's restaurant in Buffalo, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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