Jan 12, 2016
by Matt Krueger - The Daily News
BATAVIA â In case you were wondering, the favorite meal for Batavians is apparently found at TF Brownâs Restaurant, 314 East Main St.
Scroll through the menu, and youâll find an entry titled âBataviaâs Favorite.â One might also call it a tour of Western New York, as it combines two iconic items that have placed the region on the culinary map: chicken wings and beef on weck.
Bataviaâs favorite is an 8-ounce beef on weck sandwich with six jumbo wings and a side of either macaroni salad or french fries. It has been the signature dish of the sports-themed establishment since it switched from Mancusoâs Restaurant, an Italian eatery, in 1995.
âBatavia has always loved wings and beef on weck, so we combined the two together,â said owner Rick Mancuso. âTheyâre both classic.â
It sounds like a simple idea, taking two classic favorites and offering them together. It certainly works at Italian restaurants, so one might expect to see this pairing elsewhere. But thatâs not the case. Wings are almost always paired with pizza.
âI donât remember how it all came together; it just happened when we sat down and came up with the menu,â Mancuso explained. âI think, back then, pairing certain items was kind of new. You give people almost samples of what you want to do. I think thatâs how we came up with it.â
In the 20 years since TF Brownâs began serving the âBataviaâs Favorite,â that pairing has become quite popular. Itâs one of the best sellers at the eatery, and itâs all about the balance.
The sandwich is slow-roasted, thinly shaved, top round roast beef piled on a Costanzoâs roll that has been doctored by the TF Brownâs staff. The cooks will brush the roll with a butter and seasoning mixture then top it with salt and kimmelweck seeds. They then toast then bun for added texture.
âWhen you put the au jus on it, usually a roll gets soggy,â Mancuso said. âThatâs why we toast ours. We try to get at little crisp on the outside, so it can hold up under the weight of the roast beef.â
The wings are fresh jumbo wings that come in 16 flavors. Theyâre offered in the typical mild, medium and hot, as well as revenge, Cattlemanâs Gold, and garlic parmesan. And because theyâre jumbo wings, thereâs more meat on them.
While french fries are an option, the macaroni salad is really the way to go. Itâs a very creamy salad that helps cut the spice of the wings and the salt from the beef on weck. It makes for a well-balanced trio. Just make sure you ask for extra napkins, because it can get messy.
In a given week, TF Brownâs will sell about 250 pounds of roast beef, 8,000 wings and 100 pounds of macaroni salad.
To top off the dish, âBataviaâs Favoriteâ comes with plate of blue cheese, horseradish, mayonnaise, and carrot and celery sticks.
Bataviaâs Favorite sells for $10.95.