Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hot Links

Many moons ago my brothers in law had a body shop in San Rafael Ca. It was across the street from Lucas Films on Kerner Blvd. On many occasions Mr. Lucas was spotted, with entourage in tow, on his way to lunch. There were a number of things exploded on the roof tops of the Lucas buildings in the name of good movie making. They were a fun neighbor to say the least.

But the best memories I have of the place was, naturally for me, food. My favorite was the hot links we got from the Co-op market that was in Corte Madera, Ca. In the front of the grocery was a rotisserie stand run by Willie Braun. I hope my memory serves well on the name. Willie made some seriously good chicken and ribs but our favorite was the hot links. They cooked slowly on the rotisserie, rendering some of the fat and blackening the casings to perfection. They were then placed on a warmed flour tortilla and slathered with a smoky sweet barbecue sauce. They came in hot and extremely hot. You would need to eat two for a substantial lunch. A couple of ice cold cokes were needed to quell the burn. It was my job to run to the market for the links in exchange for the talent and help the guys would give me trying to keep my old clunker car alive. One day when Mr. Braun was busy I peeked around the counter and saw the brand name of the hot links was Saag's. The product is still made today under the name Saag's Atomic Hots.

After reminiscing about these goodies with the brothers I tried to duplicate the links for old time’s sake. I couldn’t find the Saags brand so I substituted Evergood Hot Links. I placed them on the perimeter of the grill over a hot charcoal fire and let them cook slowly. Flour tortillas warmed on the grill with a drizzle of barbecue sauce. They were better than I remembered! I hope my old stomach can stand the burn.
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feel the burn!!

7 comments:

kudzu said...

This is incredible! Only a day or two ago I was thinking about the wonderful old Co-Op and Willie's hot links in tortillas -- honest to God. That place was so ahead of its time, with a lunch counter, the first natural foods store -- even baby-sitting on the premises. Those were the days, my friend.

Ed B said...

I'm looking for Willie Braun bar-be-que-que suace. If anyone know
how to get it or the recipe I'd LOVE to have it. It was the BEST...

e-mail me at ebergquist@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, I attended Redwood high from 71-75 and Willie's Pizza and Chicken stand in the Co-op was a regular stop for us...let us not forget the awesome potatoes he cooked on the snme rotissereie as the Chicken... for thirty plus years I have been thinking about those Hot links and tried to recreate them a few times... well now Bullseye has a Chipotle BBQ sauce and Beef Smokies on a 8 in flour tortilla is coming in really close ... you need to try this!
-Brian(Cowboy)Norris

The Central Scrutinizer said...

I googled "hot link in a tortilla with BBQ sauce" and this was the result! Damn I miss Willie's links and pizza! One of the best things about growing up in Marin (lived in Mill Valley from 1964 to 1983), in my opinion. I make this at home all the time, and I use Everett and Jones hot BBQ sauce and Saag's hot links. It's not the same but it's damn good! I'd love to know how Willie made his sauce - it was excellent!

Giorgio C. said...

Let me take you back to 1982. Teenagers on a hotlink run at noon from Redwood High School. Then we'd beg for someone to sell us a beer to wash down the fire. Return to class smelling of BBQ and garlic, and sometimes beer. I have eaten hotlinks since in Richmond and Oakland at highly recommended joints, but they just don't compare to Mr. Braun's simple, but magically done creation.

Anonymous said...

To: Brian Cowboy Norris,

Brian/Cowboy, where are you?. OK, no food talk here,[well, Willies links were the best, flat-out], just a friend looking for a friend.
Brian the glassman

Anonymous said...

Hey glassman, good to know some things never change... you can find me on facebook...