My initial list included 39 unique restaurants and 5 restaurant chains. I didn’t include service stations and convenience stores that sell hot dogs, nor did I include concession stands or street vendors. Each of these were left off of the list for specific reasons but I started this project with the intention to sample even some of these. During the first couple of weeks when making first intentional visits to some of these places I discovered that the list is going to change. Some restaurants that were on the original list had closed. Lag’s Eatery in Homewood closed after many years of lunchtime sandwiches, as had Jimmy’s Hot Dogs on 4th Avenue North and Tony’s Terrific Hot Dogs on 2nd Avenue North. Interestingly there are now other locations bearing the names Jimmy’s and Tony’s so I suspect they had moved to greener pastures. I made a mental note to ask when I made it to one of them. Of course there are also some hot dog stands that remain today right where they have been for decades. One of those was my first place to visit.
Pete’s Famous Hot Dogs seemed to be the logical first stop on any hot dog tour of Birmingham. My brother Robert joined me and we started visiting the hot dog restaurants of Birmingham. He and I have a great relationship and find that we have a very similar view on many things, not just hot dogs.