Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mi Familia, Mexican, Seymour-TX

Last visit: February 2013

Rating: Buy

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? Thanks to a reader, we learned it was called Mitchell's!

As we were getting to the final part of the town (114 carves out two doglegs), 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.

Mi Familia on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

Frank Butterfield said...

The old diner-ish restaurant in Seymour was called Mitchell's.

I'm very familiar with the LONG drive along 114 at 55 mph. We lived in Lubbock. My grandparents lived in Decatur. Lots of driving back and forth on that road.

After my parents divorced, my mom moved to Dallas and then Caddo Lake. We stayed with my dad in Lubbock. Decatur was the drop-off point for summer vacation, spring break, etc. So, from 1974 to about 1984, we went up and down that road.

Lunch for us was always at Mitchell's. I have fond memories of their chicken fried steak. The last time I ate there was in 1985, so you probably were there after that.

According to this link, the building is now the police station:

http://www.cityofseymour.org/cdept_police_page_b/cdept_police_page_b.html

The building is very hip and modern for Seymour!

The other place along that route that we would often stop at was The Green Frog in Jacksboro. I ate there a couple of years ago, although it's in a new building across the street from where the old building was. They have some great photos on the wall that show the way it was back in the day...

Thanks for the reviews and this little trip down memory lane.

RJG said...

Oh yes - that's the building for sure! Definitely 50's/60's mod. Thanks Frank for sharing your story here. I doubt I'd eaten at Mitchell's since 1983 (thanks for that reminder as well), since I would not have gone alone. Or maybe '84 with my Dad. Once in a blue moon I'd fly home on Southwest, and he'd drive me back since he had business in the area.

Chica Luna Designs said...

My name is Lauren Bush and I am the Economic Development Director for the City of Seymour (recent hire). I regulary search "Seymour" just to see if anything is being said and lo & behold... here you are! Our Mi Famillia is an AWESOME place to eat and I highly recommend their Street Tacos which are a fairly new menu item. Cubed pork on small corn tortillas with diced onion and cilantro salsa... they are explosive on the taste buds. I also suggest visiting Smokey Bros (West end of 114). They have great food and especially enjoy their catfish, but the stuffed jalapenos and calf fries are delish as well. Recently, one of our citizens began a food truck called Tracy's Catering that everyone has been talking about and trying to find a parking spot in the huge space she's usually in (intersection of 114 and 82) has proven difficult more than once. We have several great little shops as well, you just have to know where to look. Check us out for more info at cityofseymour.org the next time you are planning to come through. Also... there is a gentleman in town who has converted an International Harvester Tractor into a driving grill and they sell out fast when out and about. Their Mexican Ribs are their signature food. Happy dining!

Chica Luna Designs said...

My name is Lauren Bush and I am the Economic Development director for the City of Seymour. I often google Seymour just to see whats being said and lo & behold... I found you! Mi Famillia is awesome - have their Street Tacos next. Cubed pork on mini corn tortillas with diced onion and cilantro salsa - Your taste buds will thank you! Also we have Smokey Bros on the west end of 114. There BBQ is great but I really love their cat fish and jalapeno stuffed sausage. The atmosphere is fun and there is outdoor patio seating. Also we have a new food truck called Tracy's Catering that the whole town is raving about. Last - we have a gentleman here who has converted an International Harvester Tractor into a driving grill and it's just as impressive as Jim's food. Mexican Ribs are their signature item. Hope you come back through soon and try some of these other food vendors out. Visit our website at cityofseymour.org and you will find all sorts of good stuff. Happy dining!

RJG said...

Thanks for your comment, Lauren! I would not have thought Seymour to have an Economic Development Director. But I'm glad they do! Best of luck in your pursuits, and thanks for sharing some other Seymour locales to eat along with Mi Familia.