Lee Pantazis, Gus's Hot Dogs (Birmingham, AL)

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Manage episode 304671149 series 1888714
By Stephanie Burt. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In the middle of Birmingham, AL sits the behemoth Sloss Furnaces, now a museum but once the tin man’s beating heart of this industrial city. During that era, quick lunches soon became big business, and hot dogs quickly reigned supreme as Chicago restaurateurs made their way down the rail line to new opportunities. In 1947, Gus Alexander, a Greek immigrant, opened Gus's Hot Dogs in its current, original location. It’s now the last remaining downtown hot dog spot, and owner Lee Pantazis, who honed his kitchen skills while working for the Yellow Bicycle, Satterfields, and Little Donkey, holds court daily, often prepping in the back for the grill guys as they perform a delicate dance up front of grilling, toppings, and keeping all those orders straight. Lee comes from a prominent Birmingham family and sees himself as caretaker of a uniquely local tradition. And he does like a good hot dog, chips, and Coca Cola in the glass bottle.

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