Cheap Eats 2012: Buffalonian



Eckl's serves up Beef on Kimmelweck, a WNY regional favorite

kc kratt

 

Eckl’s - Beef on Kimmelweck ($7)

Legends are legends for a reason. And when you tell me you’ve never had the beef on weck at Eckl’s, I’m torn between a shuddering realization of your parlous state of deprivation and a mad urge to accompany you to the place immediately so I can witness your rebirth as a Buffalonian. Hand-carved, juicy, tender beef sliced by the owner and piled high on a fluffy roll? There’s a reason the place is named after this dish. Of course, the relish makes the meal, and Eckl’s features a delicious assortment of condiments to perfect the meaty-salty-spicy-briny mouthful that brings Buffalo carnivores to their knees. Take a step back in time and find out why this place has set the standard.—Julia Burke

Eckl’s Beef & Weck Restaurant, 4936 Ellicott Rd., Orchard Park, 716-662-2262

Eckl's Beef & Weck on Urbanspoon

 

Holiday Showcase - Wings ($8)

The Holiday Showcase Restaurant looks like a 1950s artist’s rendering of the “diner of tomorrow”—vaguely flying saucer-shaped. It’s an unassuming place, with a simple, diner-fare menu, and a staggering size; the atrium seems as if it could hold its own, smaller establishment. Perhaps due to its prominent role in the 1987 Cheektowaga tornado (!), or maybe because the old Holiday 6 movie theater was once located alongside it (it was there that my twelve-year-old self snuck in to see Basic Instinct), the Holiday Showcase has always held a special place in my heart. An obvious place in which to order Buffalo wings? Not necessarily, but it should be. I first ordered them for my weekly hot sauce fix, not expecting much, but what I received was a basket of meaty delights swimming in sauce—and they were good. So good, in fact, that I now make sure to stop at the Showcase often for an order of wings, hot. (Medium isn’t saucy enough.) This is no reinvention of the wing, but let’s not scoff at the achievement, either. For less than $10, deep in the heart of Cheektowaga, you can scarf some of the meatiest wings in town. As the Dandy Warhols sang (prepare yourself), “Every day should be a holiday.”—Christopher Schobert

Holiday Showcase, 3765 Union Rd., Cheektowaga, 716-684-3382

Holiday Showcase on Urbanspoon

 

 

Beach House - Fish fry ($9.25–$12)

You don’t go to the Beach House for the ambiance; a renovated modest suburban home with an addition awkwardly dropped in front, it blends in with the rest of the boxy post-WWII Sandy Beach neighborhood. And you don’t go for the coleslaw, though it is refreshingly full of vinegar tang. You go for the fish fry itself, and so does everyone else. My vote for best traditional fish fry in Buffalo resides here, a pile of bronzed beer-battered haddock that spills off either side of the plate. The flaky filet stays moist while the batter hardens to a dark crisp, a tremendous pairing of texture and flavor. Plan your visit well—the Beach House only serves its fish fry Wednesday to Friday, so come early to grab one of the dozen tables. And during Lent, forget about getting a seat; just order out like me.—Brian Castner

Beach House Restaurant, 5584 East River Rd., Grand Island, 716-773-7119

Beach House on Urbanspoon

 

 

Other wallet-friendly options in this category: Duff's, Frank's Grille, Charlie the Butcher, Gabriel's Gate

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