Beef on weck is a sandwich indigenous to Buffalo, NY. It’s a beef sandwich (most use roast beef) with a smear of fresh horseradish on Kummelweck bread, which is unusually dense, adorned with caraway seeds and kosher salt.
Unlike the fiery Buffalo chicken wing, beef on weck never really took off in the south, for whatever reason, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place or two right here in the ATL that serves a version of this Buffalo favorite. In fact, here are three such places:
Barkers Red Hots
3000 Windy Hill, SE, Suite B-6
Owner Glenn Robins is the Soto of the hot dog world minus the prickly attitude. His passion for perfection finds him standing over the hot coals every single shift carefully applying perfect char to each and every dog. No wonder his hot dogs are so darn good.
Barkers sells more than just hot dogs. At this unassuming Windy Hill storefront you’ll also find the best beef on weck in the city. Robins wisely chooses grilled flank over roast beef. He cooks it to a juicy medium — or, just a tad under — over those sizzling coals. He then slices it and gives it an au jus. It’s topped off with a sinus-clearing layer of horseradish.
The insanely delicious bread is made in house — loaded with caraway seeds and enough kosher salt to make your cheeks pucker.
Is there anything this little hot dog shop doesn’t do right?
This beer giant has been doing the Buffalo wing thing here in Atlanta for 31 years. They get the sauce just right.
They recently started doing “Beef on Weck Wednesday” at all locations — and they do it well. Roast beef is employed for this sandwich, fairly generously I might add. The bread, though nice, isn’t nearly as heady as the version at Barkers.
The wonderful thing here is that you can dig deep for a beer pairing. I recommend a slightly sweet malty brew to wrap around the meat and contrast that spicy horseradish, yet with enough hop bite to stand up to the salty, caraway seed layer on the bread.
Galla’s Pizza, Wings, Subs & More
1. 2986 Johnson Ferry Road
2. 4849 Peachtree Road
This Buffalo-style pizza joint with two outposts boasts all things Buffalo including beef on weck. I believe the bread is shipped in from Buffalo and is the best part of the sandwich. Even after being plunked in the au jus, it’s sturdy enough to hold together.
The roast beef is certainly piled on as advertised — but it’s tough and leathery, stringy to the bite during all three of my visits to the Chamblee location. Maybe there’s better luck to be had in Marietta. Though after three miserable attempts in Chamblee, I’m not inclined to make the longer trip.
I was met with cocky attitude during one visit, which is really okay with me so long as you got the schtick to back it up.