Unless you’re from Buffalo or well acquainted with a Buffalonian, you maybe haven’t heard of beef on weck. But this regional favorite is one of the country's oldest sandwiches. Though I still haven't made it to Schwabl's, the Buffalo joint that opened in 1837, I recently tasted a very authentic (says my Buffalo friend Jonas) beef on weck sandwich in San Francisco.
So what the heck is weck? Weck is short for kummelweck (or kimmelweck), the caraway-seeded and salted bun the sandwich is served on. Think of the best pretzel roll you've ever had, but with crunchy bursts of flavor in the form of caraway. Otherwise, the sandwich is similar to a French dip, with tender pink roast beef drizzled with its own roasting juices. Simple, but delicious.
In San Francisco, the beef on weck shows up as an occasional Thursday special at Greenburger's, a casual restaurant in the Lower Haight that serves delicious milkshakes, sammies and burgers, American comfort food, and tributes to the USA's regional cuisine. Though the owner is from Buffalo, the restaurant seems to admire all aspects of American cooking. But the beef on weck is definitely worth a stop.