I’m tagging this as an “adventure” because it is my blog and I feel like calling it an adventure! I went to a place I’ve never been before with my Mom and a couple friends from church and had an interesting afternoon……so there you have it…….an adventure!!! 🙂
There is a teeny tiny place in nearby Batavia called the Pok-A-Dot. I’ve driven by it many, many times – it is right on busy Ellicott Street so you can’t miss it – and never once had the urge to stop in and try it out. It just looks like one of those places you should probably avoid in the interest of your personal health and well-being. But, over the past few months, I started hearing that it was THE place to go for Beef on Weck sandwiches and I recently noticed a banner on the front window that claims “Famous for our Beef on Weck for over 60 years!” (the photo below from the internet claims over “56” years, but it has recently been updated to “60” years). So, a couple friends and I decided we were going to go and see for ourselves. Today was the day……Cathy, Judy, Mom and I met up in Batavia for Beef on Wecks.
First of all, for those who aren’t from Western NY – you’re probably wondering “what the heck is a beef on weck?” Well…….Beef on Weck is a Western NY specialty. It is a mouth-watering sandwich made from thinly sliced, tender, juicy roast beef piled high on a Kaiser roll dusted with coarse salt and caraway seeds (called a Kimmelweck roll). The weck roll is toasted and dipped in the beef juices before the beef is piled on and then the sandwich is served with a side of horseradish (so the wimps of the world can “go easy” on the heat) – see the photo below, which was found on the internet, not taken at today’s lunch – sorry – I was hungry and busy talking, so I didn’t think to snap an actual photo. Just about any restaurant worth eating at has Beef on Weck on their menu – whether they do it well or not! Nothing will ruin the whole experience faster than dry beef or a stale weck roll, but I’ve had some pretty pitiful examples of what should be an amazing sandwich!
So, what did I think of the Pok-A-Dot? Did their Beef on Weck measure up to their claims? Was it all worth the 20 minute drive to Batavia?
The first thing I noticed is that the folks that started this place (over 60 years ago it started out as a hot dog stand) and the ones that run it now need a spelling lesson. The restaurant is pronounced “Polka-Dot” – like the dot pattern that is seen on the exterior, but they spelled it “Pok-A-Dot” – “Pok”, like “Pot” with a “K”. Hhhmmm – interesting! Also, the banner boasts their famous “Beef on Wicks”, instead of the proper spelling – “Beef on Weck” – made with a kimmelweck roll and shortened to wEck, not wIck. But, that has nothing to do with the restaurant or the sandwich, so I’m just making a nit-picky point……because, it is my blog and I can!
The restaurant is the diviest of dives – very small with about 6 small bistro style tables, a lunch counter with lots of stools, and three outdoor picnic tables that were obviously the “smoking section”, given the number of ashtrays all over them. Look up “greasy spoon” in the dictionary and I’m sure a photo of this restaurant will accompany the definition. But, it wasn’t uncomfortable and didn’t make us rethink our decision……the looks inside were actually not at all unlike what I had expected from my drive-by glances, but it didn’t have the yucky “feel” that I assumed from driving by — I would absolutely stop in there to eat again. And, the food was good – nothing we had or that I saw others being served was greasy or like eating a heart attack waiting to happen! Just goes to show – looks can be deceiving, for sure!
All four of us ordered the Beef on Weck – duh, that’s what we went there for! Two of us had French Fries, one had onion rings, and one ordered the fried pickles to share. Everything was VERY good!!! The weck roll was soft, fresh, grilled nicely, and just the right amount of coarse salt on top. There was a butt load of tender, juicy roast beef – I had my doubts when it was first placed in front of me – it looked rather over cooked and dry, but it wasn’t dry at all – it was really quite good! I got the fries and they were crispy and not at all greasy – VERY good! I didn’t hear how the onion rings were. We all tried the fried pickles and they were very good with a nice house-made dipping sauce that was sort of like a thousand island dressing with a slight kick to it.
So, yes – their Beef on Weck is worth the drive to Batavia – very good! Although, I must say, as good as it was, it wasn’t the BEST I’ve ever had – that honor still goes to the Village Inn right here just north of Albion in Childs.
The only disappointment? The horseradish……I always sniff the horseradish before putting it on so that I know how much to use. I like it with a nice bite to it – I want to feel it cleaning out my sinuses and bring a tear to my eyes, but not so much that it takes my breath away. This smelled mild, but not bad. So, I slathered on a good layer of it, expecting at least a bite or two to give me that sensation I love! But, no dice…….I barely tasted it and none of that foggy essence that waves up through your head at all.
So, we all enjoyed our lunch — good food and fun conversation among friends – we were all glad we went and will likely go again, sometime!
After lunch, Mom and I stopped in at the Public Market just down the street a ways. They had some beautiful produce, delicious looking baked good, and some pretty crafts, including quilted items. We mostly just looked, but I couldn’t resist getting a 1/2 pound box of all natural, homemade dog treats – peanut butter flavored paw prints – for the girls. I gave them each one when I got home and they went NUTS-O for them!!!
When I got home, I met the landscaping guy – there are a few things I want him to do before the planting season ends and now I’m getting ready to head to Bible Study at the church. A fun and productive day……and the weather was to die for!!!
Yes indeed, Western New York is a special place. I will have to check out the Village Inn in Childs when I’m photographing cobblestones. Have a nice day.
The famous Pok a dot restaurant in Batavia, NY I had gone to many many times when I lived in Alexander, MY. I’ve lived in North Carolina now for over 30 years and miss those beef on weck sandwiches. Have tried to find where to get the weck rolls and recipe to cook the beef with no luck. Please is you know could you share the information with. Thank you
Thanks for visiting my blog……hope you’ll visit often! I found this recipe to make the weck rolls and the sandwich for you – enjoy! https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/162533/beef-on-weck/
Thank you so much for finding this for me.
You are so welcome! 🙂