I hate waiting, even for "must-dine" restaurants I rather eat some cardboard stale cold Jack-in-the-box tacos (not saying I don't love Jack's tacos after a night of debauchery.) Luckily, Gussie's opens until 11pm from Sunday-Thursday and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, a perfect time for me to dine after work. Arriving at 10 pm, after hearing about 1 hour waits during peak hours is bad news for the menu.
How about the fried chicken livers? Sorry, we're out of all the appetizers...
...and biscuits, ice cream for desserts and milkshakes and all desserts expect peach cobbler.
Please tell me there is fried chicken in the kitchen!?!
We started with the $10.29 BOWL of gumbo, the size is really a MUG and pricey; although the flavors are seasoned well with white rice, bits of sausages and okra. The roux must be blond/brunette because it was light in flavor and intensity. There is a daily special of 1 waffle, 1 chicken, a side for $7.49..so I would skip the gumbo next time.
Chicken and Waffles!! What I had my heart set on since opening day. We couldn't decide on regular or sweet potato waffles so we asked for one of each and the server agreed, finally some good news. We split a $15.59 1/2 fried chicken (all dark meat), sweet potato and original waffle and sugar-free maple syrup ($1 extra.) The syrup was sweet, sticky and if I lied it was regular syrup only the bees would know the truth.
The chicken was breaded very lightly, like a mixture of flour and cornmeal, tons of black pepper and season very very good (not too salty) and fried until there is no fat left but still hot, tender, steaming and juicy.
The sweet potato waffle is a kissed orange color and a very subtle underlying flavor of sweetness and potato starchiness. The waffle is thin without the high rise of baking soda, crunchy with a little floppiness. Let's make a fried chicken burrito with waffle and sugar free "salsa."
The $9.79 Three's a crowd with 3 chicken wings fried the same way, the timing of the chicken is spot on, cooked just to the point of no pink. The grits were super bland so some butter and salt is needed, eggs whites only option is available for an extra $1.
There is a large selection of side dishes from sweet potato fries, black-eye beans to fries. We ordered the collard greens and mac n cheese. The collards greens were big pieces with large slices of ham hock. The greens were bitter and not cooked until they were disintegrated . The mac n cheese tasted like the blue box mixed with cheddar cheese. I wouldn't order the sides next time for the price value and taste. The .99 each honey cornbread was fluffy, so airy I could eat all three pieces without control.
As with any new restaurant, they are working out the kinks but since we were there late, the staff was attentive and funny. Our server still had a smile after a long day and brought us the cornbread on the house. The wait for the chicken was about 15 mins, which is normal since it takes that long to fried uncooked raw chicken, it means the chicken is made to order. Hopefully, I will get the eat the fried okra and chicken liver next time.
Gussie's Chicken and Waffles
1521 Eddy Street
San Francisco, CA 94115