I had penned a review of Gus's in 2005 and at the time written them off. When a couple of friends from out of town visited we decided to try the "new" Gus's, which has been almost entirely remade, inside and out, except for the classic neon sign outside.
It was a Friday night and busy, but our service was reasonably prompt given the pace of amount of business they had that night. As other recent reviews note, the interior remodeling was very nicely done and sorely needed. A small but attractive bar also adorns the wall in the back room. I would point out here that the small 2-person booths have been maintained in the front of the restaurant. There is a great deal of foot traffic past these. If you're in a party of two and you find this sort of thing distracting, ask to be seated in the back room.
One of my friends ordered the rib combo, another selected the iceberg wedge, and to see how well they fared at dishes other than barbecue, I ordered their fancy version of mac & cheese. Of all of the dishes, mine was the flop. Unlike cafeteria-style mac & cheese, this pasta was dressed with four different cheeses, applewood-smoked bacon, crimini mushrooms, topped with bread crumbs and drizzled with truffle oil. Mac & Cheese is comfort food, and this wasn't. They were stingy with the cheese, and neither the bacon, the mushrooms nor the truffle oil complemented the pasta/cheese combo. Plus it was very dry and in order to brown the bread crumbs and cheese it had been placed under a broiler, but for too long. The edges of some of the pasta shell were actually crunchy from being over-broiled. All in all: a failure. Mac & Cheese should be soft, rich and gooey and, seriously, what is a barbecue joint even doing with truffle oil?
That said, I can comment on the dishes of my friends, since we each shared. The ribs were excellent, which is a relief, considering that this IS a rib joint. And unlike my previous visits under the old ownership, the rib meat was falling off the bones. They finally got it right.
And the surprise of the evening was the iceberg wedge. I was completely expecting something ordinary with bland lettuce and some sort of commercial dressing, but it was wonderful! Otherwise pedestrian iceberg lettuce was perfectly complemented by the tangy blue cheese dressing and crumbled chunks of blue cheese. And the earthy-smoky bacon (the same bacon that was as tough as jerky in my over-broiled mac & cheese) was a perfect foil for the dressing. It was simple and excellent. (This may be the only time I've ever been so enthusiastic about a salad!)
My own recommendation is to stick to the things that you go to a barbecue joint to eat and avoid anything on the menu that sounds like it's verging on haute cuisine.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.