The only thing I always ha[d] a hard time [with in] southern cooking, one product: corn. We never use corn in our cooking, at least in—where I come from. And we always thought corn, it was for the animals only. And I [didn’t] eat cornbread for the last fifteen—the first fifteen years I was in the United States. And actually, I like it.
The Fish Market
The Fish Market
612 22nd St S
Birmingham, AL 35233
George Sarris came to Birmingham from Greece in 1969. After a few years of working in restaurants owned by relatives and fellow countrymen (Niki’s West and John’s included), he partnered with his uncle in The Fish Market Restaurant on South 21st Street downtown. In 1982 he bought the business from his uncle and has since become a veritable ambassador of Greek food and culture. In addition to running the restaurant, George has an import company that deals in Greek products from his native Tsitalia. But with everything from fried green tomatoes to baklava on the restaurant’s menu, it’s apparent that his place is as Southern as it is Greek. His father, Kostandinos Sarris, has retired from his days running Sarris’s Hot Dogs and can often be found visiting with friends at his son’s place. The joint is always bustling with an eclectic crowd, so plan to stay a while to take it all in. And make sure to check out all of the fantastic photographs hanging throughout the restaurant that beautifully document George’s many visits back to his hometown.
Date of interview: March 8, 2004Interviewer: Amy EvansPhotographer: Amy Evans