Thursday, April 29, 2010

Postcard from Buffalo (or the Buffalo area)

On our road trip from Chicago to Boston, we spent the night in West Seneca, NY, which is just outside of Buffalo.  One might not think it would make a great stop, but they would be wrong for two reasons:

  1. Beef on Weck
  2. Wegman's
Once settled into our hotel (did I mention that we ended up staying in Hampton Inns the whole time and that they've become our new favorite mid-priced hotel chain?  Comfy beds, friendly staff, good breakfast, good deal!), the Boy called his friend Biff, who's from Buffalo, for some dinner recommendations.  That was the first time I ever heard her--or anyone--utter the phrase "beef on weck."

Granted, I've never been in upstate New York, and I only just got regular access to the Food Network, but I'd never heard of this local specialty.  Basically it's a big roast beef sandwich, but the bun is a kummelweck roll, which is a big bun with caraway seeds and salt.  Lots of salt.  I must learn how to make this bun!

I had my beef on weck at Schwabl's, an old school joint that served up a mighty mighty good sandwich.  The beef was piled high, and the roll was coated in salt.  Even though the sandwich was huge, I managed to scarf it all, especially the bread, which was so good.

We also enjoyed a cocktail, which made the next stop a little tougher:  Wegman's.  Wegman's is a grocery chain that the former consumer goods researcher in me has been dying to go to.  It's one of the best grocery chains in the country--good quality, good service.  They've constantly been innovating (for example, according to their website, they've been recycling plastic bags since 1990), and have become one of the companies that sets the standard for other groceries.  

And there was one right out the back of our hotel.

I'm not sure what the Boy really thinks when I beg to go to a grocery store, but after our Schwabl's dinner (and cocktail), we went over there and wandered around.  Even though I wanted to buy a good number of items, I somehow managed to control myself.  We did walk out with a few "taster" apples.  These were small apples--maybe about half of a normal apple (or 1/3 of a big apple).  They were crispy, slightly tart, and the perfect snack.  So tasty!  

All in all, a great night in Buffalo!

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