Saturday, February 7, 2015

Maneuvering in Midlothian and Restaurant Review

About half an hour south of Fort Worth is the small town of Midlothian. Small towns in Texas
Cement Capitol Sign
usually have some interesting or quirky story behind them and they just may have a good restaurant or two. Since it was a pretty day, we decided to take a drive in the country. Now known as the Cement Capitol of Texas, Midlothian began its life as Peters Colony in the midst of Indian country. William Alden Hawkins and Larkin Newton were founding members of the colony, building houses by July 1, 1848 and thus meeting the requirements for claiming 640 acres of land, each. But, for the settlement to become a viable town, Sam Houston had to achieve peace between the settlers and the Tonkawa Indians. Once the treaty was established, other tribes that hunted in the area, the Wacos, Kickapoos, Bidias, and Anadarkos, also had to agree to honor the terms. The early residents made their living by trapping and hunting but incoming colonists began to establish cattle ranches and cotton fields. Cattle and cotton production led to the coming of the railroads, linking Dallas, Cleburn, Enis and Fort Worth; this prompted the change of the town’s name from Peters Colony to Midlothian – midpoint of the railways.



Midlothian established itself as the Cement Capitol of Texas because the town is located on
New car park
the Austin Chalk Escarpment, a geological formation that produces materials for making cement. Texas Industries (TXI), Holcim and Ash Grove, three of the top ten largest cement factories in the United States, call Midlothian home. This industry has also attracted a large steel factory, Gerdau Ameristeel. These businesses are supported by the railroad, as well as other companies requiring large scale shipping: Target, Toys “R” Us, and QuikTrip. While the facilities we saw were interesting, we were quite surprised to see acres and acres of new cars sitting near the railway. This is the distribution and processing center for MidTexas International Center’s Auto Park. Unfortunately the owners won’t let you wander through their lots and leave with a new car.


Downtown Midlothian has several small shops to prowl through and a few restaurants that looked interesting.  Near downtown and across a large Texas Star set into the street is one
Newton Cabin
of the town parks. Here we saw the Larkin Newton house. It has been moved from its original site and restored as the focal point of Heritage Park. There is a nice marker telling how the town was established and a little well. The small house is opened during town celebrations and is a centerpiece for the holiday decorations. Other historic houses are located within the city; driving down E and F Avenues gets you up close to houses built in the 1940s and 1950s. Kimmel Park, another pleasant green space, is the location of the Band Stand where outdoor concerts are held. We had a good time wandering through the area, looking for interesting architecture and other interesting sites.



What we ate…
 
Three and one-half Carrots
We chose Kim and Jenny’s Restaurant (133 N 8th St, Midlothian, TX 76065, 972-723-6250) for lunch. It’s only open between 6:30 AM and 2:00 PM so we were lucky to have
Clockwise from bottom left: Soup and sandwich,
chicken strips, hamburger with cheese and bacon,
halved burger
arrived around 11:25 AM when there was a break in the action. Within 15 minutes almost all of the tables and booths were full and patrons were running in to grab ‘to go orders’. The waitresses are friendly, courteous and willing to have fun with the customers. The food was really good. Vince had a hamburger that was almost as big as his head; the beef patty was thick and the vegetables were fresh. Dave had chicken strips that were crispy, with just the right amount of breading. He really enjoyed the cream gravy, black-eyed peas, fried okra and homemade roll. I had a cup of very tasty best broccoli-cheese soup and a half a BLT sandwich. I would have preferred more bacon on my sandwich, but that’s not unusual. Our only real 
complaint is that the menu is all on one oversized page, making the type tiny; we all had difficulty reading it. We’ve already got plans to go back for pie! For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.
Pie Fixes Everything

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