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Today's Case

Zorba's Texas Hots Sauce

Subject: Zorba's hotdog sauce recipe
From: Joel
Date: 3/1/2020, 1:17 PM

On 3/1/2020 11:22 AM, Joel wrote:

Uncle Phaedrus,

I'm looking for now is the "secret sauce" (copycat, of course) for the Greek 
style hotdog sauce from Zorba's Texas Hots, in the greater Buffalo NY area. 
They've been in business for decades, and at one point, as I believe, were 
associated as relatives with Louie's Hot Dogs.

Louie's came first. Zorba later. Since the 50's, I've eaten more Louie's hot 
dogs than I care to remember. Only later in life, have I discovered Zorba's. 
Zorba's sauce is slightly milder, but very, very similar. Both have undertones 
of nutmeg, cinnamon, perhaps cloves and paprika, but with less "heat" than Louie's.

Both also use Sahlen's hotdogs, a Western New York favorite. These are not the 
larger dogs you can buy at the supermarket, but rather the "10 to 1" skinless, 
available to the public from several provisioners. I get mine from Hoelscher's 
Meats, in Hamburg, NY.

You watch segments on both Zorba's and Louie's below:



Please write back, and let me know your thoughts.


Hello Joel,

Those Texas hots look delicious!

I found lots of raves about Zorba's and Louie's, but I cannot find a recipe or a copycat for the Texas Hots sauce at either establishment. The only hint of the ingredients that I found was this quote at Buffalo News

'“I cook 35 pounds of ground beef in a pot, and after I let it cook for like three hours, I skim off 80 percent of that fat,” Galanes said. “I add onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, and a lot of spices. That’s the secret, the spices.”'

There are several generic Greek style hot dog sauce  and "Texas Hots" sauce recipes on the web, but I could not find one that claimed to be similar to Zorba's or Louie's.

As I'm sure you know, these hot dog sauces were originally based on family recipes brought to America by Greek immigrants in the early 20th century, and are closely guarded secrets.

I have no real suggestions for you except to keep experimenting with the spices, but I'll post this for reader input.


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