democrat & chronicle 12/11/2007
Steve T. (for Tahou) Jars Secret Sauce
Karen Miltner Staff writer
December 11, 2007
What would a garbage plate or any of its creatively named spin-offs be without meat hot sauce? Many would argue that this secret blend of ground meat and spices is the defining ingredient of Rochester's culinary icon.
For those wary of trying to re-create a plate at home, you now have one less reason to be afraid. Steve T.'s Meat Sauce hit the local and online market Wednesday.
"It's a little spicy but not too hot, a mild spiciness. We have had (the recipe) in our family since 1964," says Joanne Tahou-Demkou, who owns Steve T.'s Hots and Potatoes with her brother Steve Tahou at 2260 Lyell Ave. in Gates.
Their late uncle, Nick Tahou, is the creator of the trademarked Garbage Plate and is the founder of Nick Tahou's Hots at 320 W. Main St. The recipe for their new product comes from their late father, Ike, who opened the Gates eatery with his brother Nick in 1979.
Ike and Nick's widows, Pat and Anastasia, have owned both stores since their respective husband's deaths. Earlier this year, Joanne Tahou-Demkou and Steve Tahou took ownership of the Gates eatery and renamed it.
"We have always made hot sauce here, but it is different from my Uncle Nick's," explains Tahou-Demkou. "Sometimes we modify it; sometimes customers like it spicier in winter than summer."
The product is being manufactured by Coach Tony's Gourmet Beef Hot Sauce in Bergen, Genesee County. A 16-ounce jar of meat sauce sells for $5.49 at Steve T.'s as well as Calabresella's delicatessen at 1386 Buffalo Road in Gates. Calabresella's online store, www.newyorkstyledeli.com, is also shipping the sauce out of state for $5.99 a jar.
Calabresella's owner Dominic Mammoliti served the meat sauce Thursday and Friday at his store's annual customer appreciation lunch, and sales have been brisk since then.
Steve T.'s Hots & Potatoes is also shipping a couple cases of the sauce to a U.S. Army unit in Iraq. That's where one of the restaurant's loyal customers, 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Mitchell Christopher of Caledonia, Livingston County, was injured by a roadside bomb last week, says Tahou-Demkou.