Oh, Texas sauce, how I love you!
I went to Rochester today to visit my parents and take my Dad to a doctor’s appointment. I had a late breakfast and wasn’t really hungry for lunch. I was heading back to Buffalo when at the last minute, I decided to stop for a quick burger at Tom Wahls. Absolute heaven on a plate is what it was. For the uninitiated , I’m talking about a cheeseburger on a hard roll with everything, along with some crispy, crinkle cut fries. Everything means mustard, onions, and hot sauce. Not relish. Relish sucks. You can get relish on your food but don’t ask for everything in Rochester and expect relish or pickles. I’m not talking about Franks red hot either. We’re talking Texas sauce here. Texas sauce. A slightly spicy, meaty, heavenly sauce to slather on dogs and burgers.
Every town has their own special foods. Here in Buffalo, it’s obviously pizza and wings(and beef on weck). If I had to guess, I’d say there’s probably three pizza joints in every square mile of Buffalo. In Rochester, it’s burger joints. The names will be familiar to all Rochestarians: Schallers, Bill Grays, Don & Bobs, Dons Original, Tom Wahls, Bill Wahls, Harry’s Hots, Tip Tops, Nick Tahou’s(the home of the original garbage plate), Vic & Irvs, Char Pit, on and on.
You just can’t get good Texas sauce here in Buffalo or, I’m guessing, many other places. I believe the recipe originated in the Greek owned diners of Rochester many years ago. The lovely Missus has a soft spot for Louie’s here in Buffalo because she worked there as a teenager and hung out there a lot. Sorry babe, Louie’s Texas sauce barely gets a passing grade from this true connoisseur.
The next time you find yourself in Rochester, NY, get yourself to Schallers or one of the other places. The owner of the Ridge Road location recognises our family because we take my Dad there every year still on Father’s Day. He even gave my dad a free T-shirt a couple years back and last year, in honor of what was probably my 50,000th burger ordered there, he gave one to me too.
While you’re there, treat yourself to another Rochester delicacy, the white hot! Mmmm, I should have bought a couple to go.