Saturday, June 23, 2012

Buffalo's sandwich in the Champlain Valley?

Recently tried the Vermont version of the "beef on weck" sandwich. I had been seeing it on restaurant menus around the area, and I had always been curious about the Buffalo, New York, creation. A few days ago, I could resist no more and placed my order for "beef on weck," drawing curious looks from my companions.

The sandwich was good, but I suspect the original western New York version is substantially more flavorful and more... well... damp. 

There was little in the way of salt/caraway seed crusting on the alleged-kummelweck roll (caraway is the "kummel" portion of the German kummelweck roll recipe). The mound of roast beef was more medium than the traditional rare. That was actually a relief, as there was no cow blood spurting from my meal, but it was not entirely authentic. Rather than dunk the top of the roll in beef juices, as apparently called for in the original Buffalo version, the Vermont sandwich was served with au jus on the side. 

A pickle and a good amount of fresh horse radish was also served on the plate. The horse radish is an essential ingredient in the beef on weck sandwich (as well as an incredibly effective decongestant), but it cannot be slathered on by the chef - its use needs to be carefully controlled by the consumer. 

A pleasant dining experience, I nevertheless have to assume that the Vermont sandwich was "beef on weck lite."

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