Wednesday, March 10

Greek Barbecue This afternoon I drove out to East Lake on the Northeast side of town, past Sloss Furnaces, to visit Aleck Choraitis at Andrew's Bar-B-Q. Aleck came to Birmingham from Greece via Venezuela in 1957. He spent some years working at various other Greek-owned restaurants in town, including a stint as chef at the famed Gold Nugget (now closed, many maintain that Harry Alexiou introduced fine dining to Birmingham with this restaurant and his popular burnt butter spaghetti). From there, Mr. Choraitis bought Gus's Hot Dogs from its original owner, Gus Alexander. If you remember yesterday's post, George Nasiakos now owns Gus's Hot Dogs; Aleck invited George down from Chicago to take over the hot dog stand, since Aleck wanted to devote his time to his other restaurant, Andrew's Bar-B-Q. It's a family affair at Andrew's--er, Aleck's--and, while it's definitely a barbecue joint (the same woman has been working the pit and making the sauce for sixty-eight years), there's also traditional Greek chicken and southern vegetables on the menu. Aleck and his family travel to Greece annually, where they maintain a house and olive farm. And if that's not enough, Aleck and his brother own a motel in Panama City Beach, Florida. Wondering what happened to the Andrew of Andrew's Bar-B-Q? Stay tuned.