Day Trips

Doc's Hot Links in Gilmer make sausages considered an East Texas delicacy

Day Trips
Photo by Gerald E. Mcleod

Doc's Hot Links in Gilmer doesn't make an ordinary sausage. East Texas hot links are a breed apart from other Texas-made sausages.

The mixture of ground beef cheek, tongue meat, and spices is loosely stuffed into the casing and tied off every three inches, making links that are short and stubby. They're tasty with or without the restaurant's Tabasco-like hot sauce, but they're better with saltine crackers than with white bread.

Doc's doesn't look like much from the outside, or on the inside for that matter. But don't let looks fool you. It's not uncommon for all of the seats to be filled around the U-shaped counter.

Charlie Hasselbach, a German butcher in Pittsburg, Texas, gets the credit for originating this East Texas delicacy in 1897. His meat market evolved into a restaurant that passed to Gene Warrick and now to his descendants.

"I like them both," said Joe Bridges, as he stood in Doc's parking lot with five pounds of hot links destined for his grill in Dallas. "Since the old man died, Pittsburg's links aren't as good as they used to be. I always get Doc's links when I visit family."

Doc's Hot Links is at 208 S. Wood St. (U.S. 271) in Gilmer, 25 miles north of Longview. Pittsburg is 20 miles north of Gilmer. Go judge for yourself.

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Doc's Hot Links, Gilmer, East Texas hot links, Charlie Hasselbach, Gene Warrick

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