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Wings vs. Weck: What is Buffalo's SIgnature Dish?

It's the question pondered over the last 50 years: which is the signature dish in Buffalo, the chicken wing or beef on weck? Two local foodies say it's the wing.

"It's like asking somebody who's their favorite child," says Brenda Alesii of "Brenda's Bites," the food & restaurant blog, before eventually picking the wing .

"Wings are delicious on their own, but look at the offshoots," she says. "Chicken wing soup, chicken wing dip, and pizza toppings. I pick wings over weck by a feather," quips Alessi.

Retired Buffalo News restaurant critic Janice Okun agrees.

"It's the wing because you see them everywhere, around the world, it's not true of beef on weck."

Okun adds wings are easier to serve than beef on weck.

"It's less expensive for one thing, and the beef on weck depends on the weck roll, and that's not available everywhere," explains Okun.

"It's easier to serve than beef on weck because (wings) are faster, and with beef on weck you have to slice the beef to order, and if you don't have the kimmelweck roll, why bother?"

Alesii says the kimmelweck isn't just for roast beef. "I like it with turkey because it gives it a nice tang, but it is indigenous to the Buffalo area," says Alesii.

Alesii also notes some other contenders for the title, including Chiavetta's Chicken and sponge candy.

In honor of this weekend's Taste Of Buffalo Event, we are food focused on Buffalo's Early News Friday.

Sat July 12: 11AM - 9PM     Sun July 13 : 11AM - 7PM

Delaware Avenue, Downtown Buffalo
From Chippewa Street to Niagara Square

Participating Restaurants | Parking Info
Guide Map

From Capital New, Albany correspondent Jimmy Vielkind writes that food will be a big part of the campaign for Governor.     The Upstate Vote, Food-by-Food

"Expect Andrew Cuomo to wolf down a few Michigans this summer, and look for Rob Astorino at Binghamton’s Spiedie Fest.

Upstate New York is going to play a key role in this year’s gubernatorial election, especially for Astorino, the Westchester County executive, as he tries to overcome the odds and unseat Cuomo, the Democratic incumbent running for his second term.

Outside the I.B.M. plant in suburban Binghamton, there were spiedies. Utica bakers figured out they could move tomato pie, a sort of mozzarella-free pizza that’s filling but cheaper than the standard-issue variety. Tavern owners in Buffalo started putting beef on weck on their free lunch buffets so the German and Eastern European factory workers would get thirsty enough for an extra beer. And hot dogs got jazzed up with a seasoned meat sauce in the North Country, and by being placed atop a bed of fried potatoes to form garbage plates in the diners and delis of Rochester. "    READ MORE

Utica radio station Lite 98 Recently ranked the top Foods in NYS.  Here's their findings:

10: Albany

It may be New York's capitol, but in the derby of great food, there's not much makes the city stand out. They eke out the number 10 spot on the list thanks only to downtown's famous Bombers Burrito Bar.
 #9  Croghan in Lewis County is home to a north country favorite, Croghan bologna - a ring bologna made with a recipe brought over from Switzerland in the 1880s. And where you find Croghan bologna, Adirondack Cheese will also be near.
# 8 Ithaca. With Finger Lakes wineries nearby, a diversity of restaurants way out of proportion to the city's size thanks to two universities and the Cornell Dairy Bar on campus with its local ice cream, Ithaca is a can't miss New York food destination.
#7 Plattsburgh:  Where will you find the best 'coney island' hot dog around? Not in Coney Island, after which they're named or Detroit where they were invented. The best coneys are in Plattsburgh and they're called 'Michigans.' Hot dogs with a meat sauce, sometimes cheese and onions.
#6. Rochester   Ah, the Garbage Plate. Take your meat choice like hot dog (hots) or hamburger, layer it with a potato - say home fries, add hot sauce and some mac salad and you've got a Garbage Plate. Nick Tahous created it, but you can find them everywhere around the Flower City.
#5 Syracuse
may not have a signature dish like many of its sister cities around New York. But it's got salt potatoes and it is home base of Dinosaur BBQ, which earns it the middle spot of our top 10 list - like its middle of the state location

4. Binghamton : The one and only spiedie. Marinated skewered meat and served on a fresh roll. You'll only find spiedies in Greater Binghamton or for two weeks each summer at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. 

#3. Utica claims so many unique foods that it's easy to see why the Handshake City ranks so high on our list. Tomato Pie, Upside Down Pizza, Utica Greens, Halfmoons, Chicken Riggies - and add in some of the best mom-and-pop Italian restaurants in the state and Utica is a top three pick.
#2. New York City  New York is the capitol of the world with any taste from around the globe just a subway or bus trip away. It's also home to famous bagels, delis, pizza made like no place else and, of course, those hot dogs. But NYC is not our choice for the best food city in the Empire State.
And Number 1.. The Best Food in New York State.......

The crown goes to Buffalo. Western New York's Queen City is king of this list. The city invented the hot-sauce-and-buttered chicken wing as well as beef sandwiches on salty kummelweck . Add on Mighty Taco, getting your pasta 'parmed' at Chef's and Sahlen's hot dogs and you've got a culinary metropolitan masterpiece.


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Locations : Buffalo
People : Brenda AlessiJanice Okun
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