Sunday, January 29, 2017
C.S.A Leather Factories
While passing through Gilmer, TX on recent trip from one place to another, I stopped in the downtown square to snap some pictures. Like many small Texas towns, the downtown area is packed with historical markers. The last one I was able to nab (photographically) was for a building that was a shoe factory that made leather boots for the Confederate Army during the Civil War:
The marker reads:
"On this site during the Civil War, a shoe factory converted leather into footgear for the Confederate Army.
A harness factory nearby made bridles and saddles and also leather lines and breechings that hitched horses and mules to gun carriages, wagons and ambulances, to move armies through campaigns and battles.
Leather was obtained from a local tanyard that treated over 2,000 hides a year. East Texas plants furnished the South 900 sets of harness and 300 saddles monthly during the war."
But leather, schmeather...I was hungry. Luckily the building currently houses Hadden's Sandwich Shop and it's got several of my favorite things inside: old school Texas antiques, Star Wars memorabilia, and sandwiches!
In case you were wondering if the mention of Star Wars above was just a typo, I can assure you it is not. For some reason there is a tribute to the famous film franchise among the cases of antiques and East Texas memorabilia:
There is another case with Star Wars action figures for sale as well. Why the seemingly out of place tribute to the sci-fi staple? I have no idea. But I like that it adds an air of mystery to the place. It's there for a reason but I don't necessarily need to know why. Another highlight is the "Wall of Fame":
Lots of places have similar walls and the best places have walls in which almost none of the pictures are of people that you would recognize. This wall definitely comes through on that point. I want to say that one of them is a magician, maybe? But enough talk, let's eat!
They have a very extensive menu but I gave my attention to the sandwich section. After all, this is a sandwich shop. So I picked one of my favorites: the muffuletta. A good muffuletta is all about the olives. There are several different tactics: you can mash them into a mush or dice them or slice them. These were sliced and had great flavor. Merging with the cheese a meat, a new "sauce" was created which makes this sandwich much more than the sum of its parts.
It was an odd hour for eating and I was in a rush so I only got a half sandwich which is normally not enough for me to write a review but this pace made such a good impression on me that I wanted to get it out there. I look forward to returning many times in the future to work my way through the rest of the sandwich menu.