Brothers sampling cities’ burgers and hot dogs grew into America’s Dog & Burger, which opened its first restaurant location in May in Evergreen Park.
“We were just out of college and didn’t have a lot of money. We drove across America looking for cheap eats,” said Manolis Alpogianis, who owns America’s Dog & Burger with his brother George Alpogianis.
“When we’d go to a spot to grab a hot dog, they’d ask, ‘What do you want on it?’ We said, ‘Everything.’ ‘Everything’ meant something different in each city.
“Fast-forward three years later. We took a chance. We pitched this idea to Navy Pier and you had two brothers opening up their first hot dog stand.”
Here is the dish on this eatery, which is among the Evergreen Plaza outlots:
On the menu: George Alpogianis is executive chef of America’s Dog & Burger, which features several hot dogs topped how they would be in their namesake cities along with dishes such as chicken pita, hand-cut fries, salads and turkey burger.
“It’s those foods we grew up with but dialed up with a twist,” Manolis Alpogianis said.
“We want an all-natural product of higher quality so our burgers are 100 percent Black Angus beef that is fresh, never frozen. We have three different sausages that we use for our hot dogs.”
About the owners: “My family’s been in the restaurant business for generations. Both of my grandfathers were immigrants from Greece and both of them opened up restaurants,” Manolis Alpogianis said.
“My dad followed in his own father’s footsteps and opened up a diner after coming home from the Korean War. Palace Grill on Madison and Loomis streets is a Chicago institution. My dad operated that for 25 years. My cousin still operates it.
“My brother is a trained chef. He was executive chef of the Rosebud on Taylor Street in Chicago. I worked for a company called Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. When I was 25 and my brother was 29 we opened up our first restaurant and we’ve worked for ourselves ever since.”
The brothers began with the former Carnelli’s Deli at Navy Pier in Chicago.
America’s Dog & Burger’s first hot dog stand opened in 1996 at Navy Pier. Another stand launched in 2010 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and a stand at Midway Airport in Chicago is slated to open in the next few months.
The brothers also own the Green Market at O’Hare and George Alpogianis owns Kappy’s American Grill in Morton Grove.
Décor: “It’s a casual experience that is contemporary and clean and modern,” Manolis Alpogianis said.
“One of the walls has a mural that really celebrates the great American road trip that my parents, Evangeline and Gus, took us on throughout the years that we were growing up.”
Specialties: Top sellers include the AD&B burger and the bacon cheddar burger.
“The thing about that bacon cheddar burger is we use hardwood-smoked bacon that’s thick cut. With that brioche bun and that perfectly melted cheddar cheese, you can’t go wrong,” Manolis Alpogianis said.
Popular hot dogs include the Dallas, featuring chili, and the Louisville.
“We use Bill Kurtis’ Tallgrass Beef hot dog for our Louisville dog. We have that smoked cheddar sauce. What’s really great is the maple bourbon bacon and it’s all on a pretzel roll,” Manolis Alpogianis said.
Prices: Start at $3.99 for hot dogs and $6.49 for burgers or sandwiches, wraps and salads.
Logistics: America’s Dog & Burger is at 9646 S. Western Ave., Evergreen Park. Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays. Call 708-634-2404 or go to adbfresh.com/locations.
Jessi Virtusio is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.