This week I took advantage of a rare get-together with a cousin who lives out in the western area to visit one of the hot dog places in Hueytown. I have been wanting to get to this area for a long time. The problem is that it is a very long way from my office on Valleydale Road in Shelby County. Last winter I visited some hot dog stands in Bessemer that I could finally visit when I was in Bessemer on business for a couple of days. As I remember those visits were part of my having hot dogs 5 out of 8 days in a row resulting in the lovely Caroline insisting that I slow down on the tube steaks for awhile.
This week I was in no danger of overdosing on hot dogs due to the recent slow pace of this hot dog tour; so I visited a fifth Gus's Hot Dogs. This one in Hueytown is another independently owned and operated hot dog stand that bears the name of Gus. I have found it interesting that they are so independent that there is a difference in how they spell the name. Three of them spell it "Gus's" while two spell it "Gus' ". I think I know which is correct English; but I'll leave it to some readers to weigh in on this. Maybe one of my English major daughters will offer an opinion.
This place is "Gus's" so that's what I'll call it. The first thing I noticed as I looked around Gus's was the reasonable prices. I think they have the best prices of any hot dog stand I have visited. Take a look at the menu.
Gus's is a free standing brick building on Brookline Drive. It is clean and comfortable. I like the layout of this place; it works well. The decor is heavy on family photographs... many small photographs put together in large frames. As one dines there is a sense of having an audience of hundreds / maybe thousands of unknown people. I don't think this is any worse or better than sitting there looking at various pictures and paraphernalia for a college football team that you don't really support. The usual decor in hot dog stands seems to have a heavy emphasis on football and Alabama or Auburn or both with the rare inclusion of another local favorite. It is always nice to find a different theme for the decor even if it is family pictures and hot rods.
So how was the food? It is good, much better than most. These hot dogs are basic good hot dogs. There is nothing surprising or unusual, which is a good thing. They are served hot and neatly put together (not messy). I also like it that they haven't tried to have an extensive menu; this makes it easier to concentrate on what is done best without trying to be all things to all people. They serve no Philly cheese, no pita wraps, no tacos and no fish sandwich; just basic hot dog stand offerings. This is the kind of place one can easily get into the habit of returning to over and over and over. Give 'em a try; you won't be disappointed.
I've been doing some research on the "Gus' " or "Gus's" question as well as discussing it with a couple of English majors. I have concluded that either form is acceptable. The more traditional form would by "Gus' " but there are those today who actually teach that the other form is preferable.