A purist would say a good bread or steak should stand on its own -- to sauce is to sin. But if A1 is the cardinal crime of fine dining, these sauces prove the opposite: a fine one can slather salvation over a culinary insignificancy.
5. Chick-fil-a Polynesian Sauce: In the world of fast-food sauces, longevity matters. Anything you can call on from the depths of your desk drawer and rub on your gums in moments of desperation or low blood sugar is worth stockpiling. Wendy's Sweet & Sour is an inferior drug.
4. Friday's Jack Daniels Sauce: It's dark, syrupy and contains little caramelized chunks of goodness that I have yet to identify. What started out as a signature sauce for a couple of dishes is now a menu staple, and the reason every single red-and-white-striped table is just a little bit sticky. They offer it on hamburgers, ribs, chicken, steak, shrimp or straight up.
3. Cane's Sauce: Raising Cane's is a little habit I picked up on a road trip to LSU a few years back. Like many things you can acquire somewhere between Bourbon Street and Baton Rouge, once discovered it becomes a permanent part of your life. Mixing ranch and ketchup, pepper and spice is Louisiana's gift to Texas toast.
2. Texadelphia Mustard: Downright drinkable. Eating it on Texadelphia tortilla chips as well as the sandwich has become common practice. Online speculators claim its magic lies in the spicy brown/mayo/teriyaki sauce family, but the recipe is closely guarded. The by-the-jar take-home portions begin to self-destruct after a few days, so at least we can rule out preservatives.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
1. Chuy's Creamy Jalapeño: The mother of all chain sauces, this will make a food snob buckle at the knees and succumb. A thousand superior Tex-Mex restaurants may weep, but no amount of handmade tortillas or precisely blended mole can cure this hot, ranchy addiction.