Last visit: February 2013
Other location: Haskell
State Highway 114 is the direct route between Lubbock and Dallas-Ft. Worth. As such, it was the highway I originally used when going back and forth to Texas Tech after the winter and summer breaks. But there were a couple of major issues with it. 1) It's a very dull route. It lacks cute towns, and most of the drive has very little scenery; 2) Worse, in those days anyway, was that the national speed limit was 55. That was a problem everywhere of course, but on 114 the small town cops used it as an excuse for revenue generation. "I mean, who else is going to pay for Maybelle at the Olney library?" Prime target: Tech students on the way to and fro Lubbock. Especially us students coming from DFW. "Caught 'cha doin' a FIFTY-SIX in a FIFTY-FIVE... BOY. You rich city kids always in a hurry". So after two years of that nonsense, I began looking for alternatives. The first one I came upon was US-380 (then northwest on US-84 to Lubbock). It was a far more pleasant drive, and the cops didn't hassle anyone. In fact, I don't think I ever saw one... except when they were getting Blizzards at a local Dairy Queen. And that's the route I maintained for the remainder of my tenure at Tech.
Now for this trip, I decided to take an even different highway - one I'd never taken, mainly because it's a little out of the way. But this time we're on vacation, and not in a hurry. So I took US-180, which is south of 380 and north of I-20. Mainly we wanted to see the Shackelford County courthouse in Albany, since it's one of the State's finest - and oldest. And it did indeed live up to its billing. And the town looked nice and well kept too. Had we different plans, I would have wanted to eat there to, as it looks like they have a fine assortment of independent restaurants. But I'd already decided on Triple J for dinner, and so we ate a quick meal before leaving our home in the late morning. Overall I found the drive very pleasant, and is a recommended excursion if so inclined.
On the way back, I was going to try another route just to do something different - maybe US-70. But it had occurred to me that Mrs. RJG had never seen 114, and I hadn't been on it since 1985, so why not take the traditional way home? The speed limit issue is long in the past, and it's mostly 70, with some stretches of 75 MPH. And much of the freeway has been widened to 4 lanes, making it easier to get around the slow pokes. The one part of 114 that is very interesting is the three county-wide 6666 (four sixes) Ranch. The landscape looks like the surface of the moon. It's pretty fascinating, though there are no towns of any significance to stop in. The County Seat's serve mainly as supply centers to the ranch itself. The rest is pretty blah until you get to Seymour. Which (finally) gets us to the point of the post (I suppose it's the point. There really isn't a point to this blog. LOL).
When we arrived into Seymour, I stopped in the first parking lot, and pulled out my trusty Urbanspoon app on the iPhone. (What a world we live in, eh? This was Science Fiction in 1985). I figured some place would be getting a good writeup or following. This route gets lots of traffic, and Seymour is basically the largest town since leaving Lubbock. So it stood to reason there might be a legendary place of some sort. But I couldn't find anything of note, so we just headed into town and took our chances. There used to be an old-school restaurant/diner (building was from the early 1960s I think) in Seymour that we ate at in the 1980s. It appears to be long gone - and I couldn't locate the building even. It was a pretty nice sit down restaurant, with good country/American food. Does anyone out there remember the name of it or what I'm talking about?
As we were getting to the final part of the town (114 carves out two doglegs in town), Mrs. RJG noticed a Mexican restaurant on the left. It wasn't in US, but seemed to have a good crowd, and looked nice, so we gave it a shot. From the menu we learned that Mi Familia started in nearby Haskell (nearby is a relative term in West Texas) and this is their second location. And from the manager we learned they opened in December. Well, word has gotten out to the residents of Seymour and to all the neighboring ranches and farms. The place reminded me of my high school cafeteria, with ranchers showing up, shaking every one's hand in the restaurant. "Hey, Junior, come here - saved ya a seat." Point being, this place is already a big hit with the locals, and I think it's going to be there for a long time.
... And it should be. Mi Familia serves up rock solid Tex-Mex fare. Nothing fancy or unusual, but they do the basics like enchiladas and tacos very well. The chips were excellent, with a flavor that doesn't require salsa. But the table one provided had a nice little kick to it - and with a great taste. They're open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (except no dinner on Sunday) and have a wide variety of traditional Tex-Mex, fajitas, and even American fare such as chicken fried steak and hamburgers.
If I knew I was going through Seymour, I'd make an effort to eat at Mi Familia. If you're ever passing through town - definitely give them a try!
There is no website, and I added the restaurant to Urbanspoon as soon as we got home to NE Tarrant later that day. That one vote (as I write this) is mine of course.