One of the best restaurants on the University of Minnesota campus is Wally's, a Mediterranean smorgasbord that offers something a little different than your usual pizza or pasta. My favorite item there is not a dish, but rather a condiment: the garlic aioli sauce. I find it to be creamy, garlic-y goodness that tastes good with pretty much everything.

Unfortunately, Wally's only gives you a small cup with each meal. I recently asked, however, if I could buy the sauce in a larger quantity. To my surprise, I was sold a pound of it for the low price of $4.30.

milk, dairy product, cream, sweet, dairy, pudding, flour
Camille Balhorn

While this may look to you like mayonnaise, it is in fact quite different. Each aioli sauce has its own unique flavor and style of preparation

I was more than excited by the time I got home with my tub of sauce, and was already planning the foods I could dollop it on. What follows is the fruit of my experimentation:

1. Sandwiches

avocado, bacon, cream
Camille Balhorn

The first dish I made with the Wally's sauce was a sandwich – classic, simple and oh so tasty. I originally intended to just make a ham and provolone melt, but in stumbling upon some avocado I decided to make a more eloquent sandwich. Of course, fancy sandwiches need a sauce, and this Wally's one seemed to fit the bill.

Altogether, the sandwich consisted of skillet-toasted bread, provolone cheese, sliced deli ham, avocado slices, and the garlic aioli sauce. This dish left me very satisfied, but also curious to use this sauce in additional ways.

2. Fish

risotto, chicken, rice, salmon, garlic
Camille Balhorn

After reading about aioli sauce, I found that folks recommend pairing it with fish. Conveniently, my dad had recently come back from a fishing trip with some walleye he had caught. We prepared the walleye with simple flavors and breading (as you're instructed to do with this mild fish) and complemented it with a side of cheesy wild rice and the sauce.

It was the perfect fit; adding garlic-y flavor while still showcasing the walleye. I imagine this would taste good with other seafood as well, as the creamy garlic flavor can cut through the sometimes overly fishy flavor.

3. Chicken

chicken, salad
Camille Balhorn

Chicken also seems to be a favorite with garlic aioli sauce. This dish was cooked on the grill with flavors of coconut, pineapple and mango. While I wouldn't necessarily promote these exact flavors with the garlic aioli sauce, I really enjoyed the grilled taste of the chicken with it. 

4. Vegetables

vegetable, pepper, onion, carrot, broccoli, tomato, stir-fry
Christin Urso

The Wally's sauce was also tasty with vegetables. While I'm definitely a fan of veggies on their own, the creamy garlic flavor makes them taste extra good. It contrasts the freshness to make it seem as though you're not actually consuming healthy nutrients, but rather a yummy meal of your choice! I tried the aioli sauce with asparagus, but I'd also recommend broccoli, cauliflower or bell peppers, fresh or steamed.

5. Boiled Eggs

dairy product, sweet, deviled eggs, egg, cream, milk
Caroline Alexander

Lastly, I tried garlic aioli sauce with boiled eggs. This takes you down a deviled eggs route flavor-wise, which is delicious without all the effort. If you'd like to imitate it even further, add some paprika on top of the dollop of aioli sauce. No more boring boiled eggs here! 

Needless to say, this sauce is pretty special. It tastes good with everything from walleye to eggs, which has to say something about its bold flavor, if not its versatility!

I also think this was a lesson for me in always asking the question when you want something. While some may be shy to ask because they're scared of rejection, the only thing you have to fear is the word no. However, the reward can be limitless, and in this case my reward was a universally compatible sauce.