Who here has had a beef on weck?
Alright, who here has heard of a beef on weck?
Still no? Ok, let's start at the beginning then.
Though not as popular (clearly) as the French dips and pastramis on rye of the world, the beef on weck follows in the tradition of those heavenly New York deli delights. Yet its provenance reaches across the Atlantic, and the sandwich likely predates its better known counterparts.
The ‘weck’ is actually a ‘kimmelweck,’ as in a kimmelweck roll. Topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds, the roll originated in Germany before it made its way to Buffalo in the 19th century. There, an enterprising young butcher stuffed it with thin, hand-carved slices of slow-roasted roast beef and served it with a jus and a horseradish spread.
Just like that, the beef on weck was born. And one of the only places in Cincinnati you can get one is Divine Waffles and Weck in Northern Kentucky.
But let’s pump the breaks on their kimmelweck concoction for a moment, because Divine Waffles (even without the weck) is a worthy place in its own right—and an interesting addition to the Dayton restaurant scene.
Yes, the Dayton, Kentucky restaurant scene, which years ago might have drawn stifled laughter from the crowd. Now, however, it draws praise. Places like Purple Poulet, Buck’s BBQ, and Trotta’s Steak & Seafood have made sure of that. Divine Waffles follows suit with a niche-filling diner where everything is so gosh-darn inexpensive that it won’t much matter to you whether it’s gastronomically immaculate.
It’s not. They aren’t aiming for that. They’re aiming for diner food. And they hit the target with fare such as breakfast burritos, chili dogs, smothered home fries, goetta balls, biscuits and gravy, smokin’ hot chicken, and the most wonderful fried mashed potatoes you’ll ever have. They also have waffles, of course, and they’re a satisfying detour if none of the above sounds appealing.
But the beef on weck is where it’s at super tender beef, savory jus from the roast, some caramelized onions, all succored by that salty roll that’s come to Cincinnati from Germany by way of Buffalo.
It’s too good never to have heard of. It’s too good not to try one for yourself.
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Divine Waffles and Weck is located at 624 6th Avenue (41074) in Dayton, Kentucky.