Midpoint Café (in Adrian on Route 66, at the west edge of town) sits, not surprisingly, at the midpoint of Old Route 66 between Chicago and L.A., 1139 miles to each. Adrian is small (pop. 150), and so is the café menu, pretty much just sandwiches and dessert.
The waitress told me the sandwiches are just an excuse to get to their best-known item, which is pie. I was too hungry for just pie, so I had the grilled cheese (American, natch) on wheat, served with potato chips and a pickle ($5.95). It was tasty – not too greasy and grilled just right.
(Is it wrong that I love American cheese? Now a reader will pop up and say that American cheese is in fact made of pig innards and old pizza boxes. And I won’t care, because it’s so gooey good.)
Onto the pie. What makes it special is its “ugly crust.” I had apple ($5, or $6.95 with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream). The filling was fine, though I like mine more appley and less other-stuff-that-holds-the-apples-together. But man, that ugly crust was ugly-licious. (I know, there’s probably lard in it. Don’t tell me.)
Midpoint Café claims to be the oldest continuously operating eatery on Route 66 between Tucumcari and Amarillo, and I tried to imagine the place in its heyday, before I-40 took over. The day I was there it was just me, a guy from Ireland drinking coffee, and a tourist couple who chatted with the waitress about playing the lottery. The male half of the couple said he’d won $2 last week, and guessed that was all he’d ever win, but he “kept playing anyhow.” The waitress mm-hmmed her agreement.
My belly fully of carbs and dairy, I headed out and spotted this abandoned grain elevator about seven miles east of town:
Just beyond that was this abandoned restaurant and gas station:
I took these pictures on Election Day, but it looked like the political messages had been there awhile:
I continued on Route 66 toward Amarillo, and a woman in the oncoming lane with Texas plates waved at me as she passed, just like in Taos. A few miles later I waited at a stop sign and saw a Middle Eastern family having lunch from their big Coleman cooler, sitting on the dry grass of a gully next to a gas station. It made me a little sad they were sitting in the gully and not at a proper table, but they seemed to be having a good time. The mother spooned something delicious-looking onto paper plates for the two young boys and her husband. It looked like lentils. My stomach gurgled in response.