Pamy’s Hot Dogs celebrates 30 years in business
Mother/daughter restaurateurs take pride in their fresh, homemade food
Pam Gialamos and her mother, Georgia Tsakalakis, have always been close - so close, in fact, that the pair has been standing side by side behind the counter of their restaurant for three decades.
As owners of Pamy’s Hot Dogs at 7516 S. Cass Ave. in Darien, the mother and daughter are marking their 30th year in business, and are excited about sharing their success with their customers.
In celebration of their anniversary, through June 29, Pamy’s is offering daily specials on customer favorites and raffling off two sets of tickets to Great America, as well as gift certificates and T-shirts.
“We just love our customers,” Pam said as her mom greeted a familiar group at the restaurant’s front counter.
And it’s clear that Pamy’s customers return the sentiment.
“I’d say about 85 to 90 percent of our customers are regular customers,” Pam said. “And many of our regular customers who have been coming here for years are now bringing in their own kids.”
Just as Pamy’s customers have established a tradition of visiting their favorite eatery with their children, Georgia is proud to pass on to her daughter the traditions she learned as a young girl in her native Greece.
“My mom has always worked hard, and has always encouraged my independence and entrepreneurial spirit,” Pam said.
And to clearly establish their working relationship as business partners, Georgia made one simple request to her daughter.
“From the first day, my mom always insisted that I call her “Georgia” when we are working together,” Pam said of her longtime business partner. “It took some getting used to, but I still do it - because she asked me to.”
When asked what she calls her business partner when they walk out the door after a day of working together, Pam laughed and said, “Mom.”
“My mom is the best,” Pam said. “I love working with her.”
Doing things the old-fashioned way
Although the restaurant’s bright, cheery interior has a decidedly modern look, most of the items on Pamy’s menu are made the old-fashioned way.
“Everything we can make homemade, we do,” said Pam. “We use fresh, quality ingredients, make our own sauces, cook our own beef; our chicken sandwiches are made from fresh chicken breasts that are marinated in extra-virgin olive oil and fresh herbs – and our hamburger patties are made from scratch, by hand.”
Pamy’s specializes in mouth-watering quarter-pound burgers made of 100 percent pure beef, Vienna 100 percent pure beef hot dogs and, in keeping with the family’s Greek heritage, “the best gyros in town.”
But Pamy's menu doesn’t stop there. Other customer favorites include selections as varied as a smoked turkey sandwich on rosemary bread with Dijon mustard or a grilled vegetable sandwich on pita bread, to a variety of freshly-made salads, tasty side dishes and much, much more.
And Pamy’s also features a catering menu offering homemade beef with gravy, Italian sausage, gyros by the pound, homemade chicken shishkabob, and Grecian chicken with traditional sides such as rice pilaf, oven-roasted Greek potatoes, fresh grilled vegetables and, of course, Greek salad.
Pamy’s is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and, during the summer, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Diners may choose to enjoy their meals inside the restaurant or outside on the open-air patio, take their orders home or call in their selections at 630-969-2003 to be ready for pickup within 30 minutes.