With the weather being so nice lately, what better way to celebrate than to have some tasty hot dogs, served up in the open?
Paul Woodard, in the restaurant and food business since 1997, is a newcomer to the Downtown Birmingham street food scene. You can find him or one of his two employees at the corner of 20th AVE and 5th AVE N from 11-2 on weekdays. Woodard, who goes by “Big Daddy”, operates another cart at 20th St and 7th AVE S in front of the dental clinic. He works events and office parks on Fridays, as well.
Paul explains the seeming conflict between his name and the name of the business, Greg’s Hot Dogs. “Greg had this cart here (corner of 20th St and 5th AVE N) for five years. He had regular customers who enjoyed his product. I bought the cart and business from him and just kept the name.”
When asked which of the dogs is the steady seller, he answered, “That’s a good question. We sell a lot of varieties of dogs, but probably slaw dogs and chili dogs are the two most popular kinds. We make our slaw fresh every day.” His most unusual dog is the “Trust Me.” Woodard explains, “It has our secret homemade sauce. We make our hot dog sauce from scratch, also. It also has blue cheese crumbles, bacon bits, balsamic caramelized onions and we top it with a little slaw. And we can also add or take away anything that you like. The Thai dog has fresh cilantro, peanut sauce, and the mae ploy tones down the Siracha slaw a bit. Gives it a bit of sweet heat to balance it out.”
“The best thing about being my own boss is….I love my boss!” Big Daddy’s hearty laugh rolls down the sidewalk. While quick to laugh, he’s a bit more sombre when considering the harder parts of being a small business owner. “Sometimes the weather will be bad and I can only set up one day a week. Sometimes it’s a beautiful day, but the wind is too high and I can’t set up because I’m required by law to have the food preparation area covered, but can’t put up my umbrella. If an umbrella gets torn up, that’s eighty or ninety dollars to replace, and when you’re selling hot dogs, that’s a lot of hot dogs.”
“I’d like people to know that we have a very high quality product with unique flavors and fresh ingredients. We get our Greek ground beef seasoning from Mr. P’s Deli in Bluff Park and sometimes his sausage, as well. We’re not preparing slaws and sauces on Monday for the week. All of our food is prepared fresh every day.”
Coming Soon! A third hot dog cart at the VA Office at University Blvd and 19th St.