The Best Advice You’ll Get All Summer- Get yourself to McCann’s Local Meats for a “Farby”.
How many of us can remember the days when the measure of a meal wasn’t how fast we could get it to the table, but how much care went into its creation? Before microwaves, frozen dinners, and drive thru dining changed the way we ate? While I firmly believe that 30 minutes or less should be a hard and fast rule for pizza delivery, by and large our perceptions about food are changing. We are collectively (and increasingly) rejecting speed in favor of quality and experience. Scratch cooking is no longer an aberration in casual dining; it is rapidly becoming (once again) an expectation.
Like many of us, Kevin McCann, owner and head chef at McCann’s Local Meats, was a fast food kid who grew up to become a slow food convert. His spacious, airy, welcoming space in one of Rochester’s oldest neighborhoods is a throwback to the days of the family owned local butcher shop, but with a fresh, modern approach that fits the needs of today’s consumer.
After months of hearing the buzz about McCann and his shop, I finally stopped in on a gorgeous summer afternoon to meet the man and the meat. Neither one disappointed.
The meat in question is the slow roasted beef inside the Farby, a delicious slow food twist on a classic fast food favorite. An open and honest jab at its fast food counterpart, its name is actually short for “F$*k Arby’s” – and they mean it. You won’t find any processed ingredients or compressed beef here. Like every ounce of beef you’ll find offered at McCann’s, the roast beef inside the Farby is sourced from family farms within 60 miles of the shop. In this dish, it is also seasoned in McCann’s own proprietary rub and cooked to exactly 130 degrees, before being gently heated in its own mouth-watering au jus.
It doesn’t stop there. In an effort to recreate a better, slower, stronger version of the sandwiches he loved as a kid (see what I did there? You have to make your own fun around here), McCann turned to Amazing Grains just down the road in Fairport. They were able to give him exactly what he wanted: a delicious, fluffy, chewy, tasty, freshly baked version of the roll we all know so well, complete with those (delicious) little burned onions on top. McCann’s gives it a final gourmet flourish by grilling it with mayonnaise instead of butter, which provides superior flavor and texture.
The cheese sauce was given a similar treatment. It’s scratch made from Genesee Cream Ale (brewed right around the corner at the Genesee Brewery) and delicious, tangy cheddar from Muranda Cheese Shop, arguably one of the best cheese shops around (they’ve got my vote) and accompanied by a heap of caramelized onions. McCann also worked tirelessly over a period of months to recreate a homestyle version of Arby’s signature barbecue sauce, an effort that has paid off in spades. Juicy, hearty, cheesy, tangy and wholly satisfying, the Farby is not only the single best roast beef sandwich that this writer has ever had the pleasure of sampling, it is also among the best all around sandwiches I’ve ever enjoyed (and between you and I, dear reader, that’s really saying something).
Stop in to McCann’s on your next lunch hour and treat yourself to a sandwich that is both a nod to nostalgia and an excellent example of good food, done right, by good people. Maybe you won’t leave saying, “F&*k Arby’s”, but I’ll happily excuse you for saying, “F&*K yes, McCann’s!”
-Allison Zimmer, A-List Contributor