In Chicago they have different style [of hot dog]. They put [them] in the water,[and] they put mustard, onions, tomatoes and pickles and, uh, relish. Stuff like that. And, uh, in the southern—the southern states like here, we have different. But here is better because they cook with a grill, you know?
Gus’s Hot Dogs
Gus’s Hot Dogs
1915 4th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Gus Alexander, a native of Greece, opened Gus’s Hot Dogs, sometime in the late 1940s. Alex Choraitis (current owner of Andrew’s Bar-B-Q) took the place over in the 1960s, when Gus and his wife returned to live in Greece. Then, George Nasiakos took it over soon after his arrival to Birmingham in 1997. George came to Birmingham from Tripolis, Greece, via Chicago, where he worked at his brother’s restaurant, Chris’s Grill. Aleck Choraitis recruited George from Chicago, where their brothers knew each other, so that he could concentrate on his barbecue business. The hot dogs served at Gus’s are your typical Birmingham fare: a grilled dog with mustard, onions, and the elusive special sauce. The sauce recipe used there today is the original concoction that Gus Alexander created and then sold to Aleck and later George. George says he’s added his own touch to the sauce in the intervening years. No matter, it’s still one of the best dogs to be found in the Magic City.
Date of interview: March 9, 2004Interviewer: Amy EvansPhotographer: Amy Evans