I wrote about Gus's 3 inch mini hot dogs on Serious Eats last week but failed to mention their awesome Greekburger and Sausage Sandwich. Gus's was probably my favorite joint of this whole trip as far as atmosphere goes. (We stopped at 6 hot dog places between New York, Vermont and Connecticut). Counter filled with locals, comfortable booths, crazy shit all over the walls including flyers for eating contests, friendly service and a big pile of food for 4 people for under 10 bucks.
The Greekburger was your standard thin fast food patty cooked on the grill and smothered in Gus's signature meat sauce that they cook in big clay pots in the corner of the grill. Gus's sauce is really unique, in the general "texas greek sauce" family finely ground and really strong, with lots of paprika and something that I couldn't quite put my finger on, cloves maybe? Sausage sandwich was a patty with peppers and onions. The size is perfect, not a slider but a notch smaller than what most of us are used to, great if you want to order a couple of Gus's dogs on the side.
What really makes these burgers (and the dogs) are the fluffy white buns that come in fresh every day from nearby Bella Napoli bakery. Before white burger buns were just a crap product you bought at the grocery store because you're too lazy to cook; places like this got them in fresh from real bakeries.
For years everyone seemed to think a burger needed to have brioche or a hard roll to be "fancy" but the move seems to be towards high quality ingredients paired with the comfort of diner-fast food style.. like Village Whiskey and their sesame bun and thousand island dressing. I wish this trend would last forever but next year it will probably be Vietnamese-Colombian fusion burgers with crushed chips, pork pate, grilled pineapple, asian slaw and lemongrass-blueberry mayonnaise.
Gus's Hot Dogs
212 25th Street
Watervliet, NY 12189-1937
•Troy Mini Hot Dogs on Serious Eats
•Texas Weiners / Greek Sauce
•In & Out Burger