Gus's Steakhouse -- Those good things eventually came
Sierra Lodestar 03/06/13

Foothill Flavors

Gus's Steakhouse
Antoinette Herndon

People traveling as singles on tours get a raw deal, don’t you think? That single supplement tacked on to the fare just because they aren’t sharing a room has always seemed like a real bummer to me.

There’s a rationale to it, of course, but I still think the practice a tad hard nosed. One might even use the D word. D as in discrimination.

Really, that’s bad enough; but what do you think about a couple being penalized for not being a group?

That’s exactly what happened to Charles and I on a recent Saturday night. We’d been hearing lots of good things about Gus’s Steakhouse in Sonora and decided to see for ourselves.

Charles called early for reservations. “How many in your party?” a growly Father Bear sounding voice asked.

“Two,” Charles replied.

“You don’t need a reservation, I’ll get you in,” the voice assured him.

I guess “right in” means different things to different people. I’m a literal kind of person. To me, right in to a restaurant means right in to a waiting table.

To Gus Tasiopoulos, owner-proprietor of Gus’s Steakhouse, it means right in to the waiting room. Admittedly, that’s better than waiting outside on the porch, but still . . .

It was 30 minutes before we graduated from the waiting room to two seats at the bar. That was surely an improvement, but still

Fortunately Dino Tasiopoulos is one fantastic bartender who has a knack for turning juniper berries into pure silk. A true martini man. Such magic is so appreciated on cold winter nights. Nevertheless, we were hungry and had been promised a table.

For an hour we sat perched on our bar stools listening to Gus bark out, “Jim! Jim! Party of four! Jim!” Or “Steve! Steve! Party of six! Steve!”

Believe me, if Jim or Steve didn’t hop to in a minute there were many, many wannabe diners eager and ready to take their places.

Well, as you’ve oft been told, “All things come to those who wait.” Ultimately the wait ended and Gus preparest a table before us. It was a watershed moment. From then on, the evening took a decided turn for the better.

Hardly had we been seated before a server appeared and fired up a fondue pot. Fondue is always an unexpected treat and this one tasted divine. I don’t think that’s because we were starved either. Gus’s fondue is a diet buster is there ever was one.

Our dinners came with fondue, pasta, a choice of soup or salad, a choice of potato options, and vegetables.

Charles and I each opted for soup. He chose the clam chowder, I the minestrone. We did a little sharing and each tasted thick and flavorful.

For an entrée, Charles selected the lobster tail served

with drawn butter and lemon. ($39.95) For that price it should be divine and was. Think of dish that you might choose for a last supper. Assuming, of course, that you were in an eating mood that night.

I hadn’t had calamari dore ($15.95) for a long time and decided to give it a try. The fish was tender and flavorful. I enjoyed every bite.

The décor at Gus’s Steakhouse--part log cabin, part sports bar--works very well. The wait staff is alert, friendly and efficient. I saw many other things on the menu that looked inviting, liked fried oysters ($19.95), rack of lamb ($24.95) and BBQ ribs ($14. 95).

I would have loved to have tried the Greek baklava ($4) for dessert. I have a feeling that with a name like Tasiopoulos, it would be the real thing. Actually, everything is outstanding at Gus’s Steakhouse.

Now if they’d just do something about their reservations policy. We couples are people too.

VITALS: Gus’s Steakhouse, 1183 Mono Way, Sonora. Phone: 532- 5190. Hours 2 p.m. until closing Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations advised (if you can get them). Credit cards accepted.


Brendan Dwan serves a happy customer at Gus’s Steakhouse in Sonora.

The interior of Gus’s Steakhouse in Sonoa is warm and plushy.

The bar at Gus’ Steakhouse in Sonora fills with eager customers.