Restaurant Review: Saus
My expectations had been compounding for the past year. Needless to say, I went into Saus having my imaginary frites, liege waffle, poutine experiences setting the bar rather high.
Though food and flavors are always the determining factors for me, I can appreciate simple and what I consider timeless interior design. The colors are fresh, the woodwork is lovely, the lighting is pretty good (important when you’re a nut case like me taking pictures). Seating is a bit cozy in Saus. With the capacity to seat 20 or so comfortably, you’re lucky to sit at the King’s Table, i.e. the tall table by the window. If you get this table, be ready to be the star of the Saus show as many passersby will just stand and stare at you eat. Major props to Brandon Graska, of Concise Design in Brookline for his contributions to the eatery’s interior. As soon as I walked into this place, I loved how easy on the eyes it was.
Now for the food — I tried to order as much as I could from the menu to give a fair review and ended up ordering the following over two separate visits:
March 1 – Opening Day!
Frites with truffle ketchup, ole chipotle, and the vampire slayer dipping sauces – I believe “perfect” frites is a debatable topic any day of the week. Like any comfort food staple, everyone has their idea of what perfect is. I’m not sure that this fry fit my perfect fry mold. Though I do believe the consistency of Saus’ fry was perfect for its purpose, which is to serve as a vehicle to consume a lot of very intense flavored dipping sauces. The fries come to you crisp and hot in a paper cone. If it’s not too crowded, you can stand at the counter and watch Chin fry them right in front of your eyes. No pressure, Chin. My sister and I agreed the sauces packed a lot of flavor. These are not your delicate “hint of” flavor sauces. These will slap you in face if you’re not careful. My favorite was the truffle ketchup which has a nice acidity to it, offsetting some of the richness of the truffle. $0.75 is a very small price to pay for a luxury like that. After I’d left the first time, I dreamt of this sauce.
Liege waffle with the homemade nutella, berry berry, salted caramel, and lemon cream sauces - Chin was kind enough to let us sample all of the waffle sauces even though we’d settled on the homemade nutella. Though the sauces for the frites may have been the star, the liege waffle here took the cake and the sauces were merely background noise (albeit delicious background noise). Liege waffles require pearl sugar, which like the name implies refers to the sugar being the size of small pearls. The size of the sugar lends to the caramelization on the waffle’s exterior. Because Chin brought over small cups of the sauce, my waffle only had a very light dusting of confectioner sugar. This was perfect as is. On my second visit, other parties in my group ordered the waffles. That time the sauces were drizzled atop the waffles. I thought that may have detracted from the waffle’s charm since the liquid may have started to break down the natural candy like coating on the outside.
Poutine – This was my first poutine, so go me for the cherry pop at 24. Took long enough, huh? From an experience stand point, the poutine delivered on its name. The fries and cheese curds and gravy end up making a warm savory amalgamation that got everywhere. This is not a healthy snack, but it could be the best thing to come from Canada (aside from Steve Nash — love you baby).
As I mentioned above, the frites are fried to crispy exterior perfection. You have a nice crunch to “mashed” potato ratio. That’s a very big plus in my book. I’d be impressed to see that kind of quality during the late night weekend rush. Bringing my point back to the poutine, the fries had the ability to stand up to the gravy without being too hard, yet maintaining the crisp outside for the better part of my eating. Only when I started to get full did I notice my neglected fries began to get a little soggy. Layered on top of the frites and gravy was the freshly made cheese curds. Without knowing anything about the famous “squeaking”, I can confidently say I noticed this quality. The curds on their own were nothing out of the ordinary as far as a flavor profile goes. As is the case with many simple ingredients, when combined with the crispy fries and the warm peppery gravy, the curds sang. Simply put, the poutine may have taken a few years off my life, but at least I’ll know I enjoyed my younger years. =)