Home of the Ugly Pies and halfway down Route 66

Mid Point Cafe

Old Route 66
Adrian, TX

Pie, Hamburgers, Souvenirs, Inspiration for “Cars”

The MidPoint Cafe was built during the early days of Route 66 (late 30s, early 40s) by Jennie Van der Wort is one of the route’s most famed places to eat, is at the “geo-mathematical” halfway point in Route 66’s long ride between Chicago and Los Angeles–both of which are 1,139 miles away. The marker post for the midpoint is just west of the big sign on the north side of the highway across from the Mid-Point Cafe.

The Cafe happily proclaim themselves as “The Home of the Ugly Pie Crusts.” Initially called “Zella’s” after the original owner, it was simply a one-room cafe with a packed dirt floor. After changing hands and names over the years, it was sold to in 1991, with plans to open an antique store. Plans changed…by 1995 the owner realized the cafe was ideally located and changed the cafe’s name to “MidPoint Cafe and Gift Shop,” changing direction yet again to replicate the cafe in the ’50s and ’60s.

Great bakers have always worked at the cafe, turning out pies just like Grandma used to make. Using a recipe handed for the “best pie crust ever”, one pie baker could NOT seem to make her crusts as beautifully shaped as she remembered her grandmother doing…they were misshapen, lumpy, and UGLY, but just as tasty. The name stuck, and after many years of baking pies, the crusts have gotten a little less ugly…

The googie-style Midpoint sign was also inspiration for Flo’s V8 Cafe in the animated feature “Cars.”  To read more about sites that inspired “Cars” be sure to read Ron Warnick’s blog – Route 66 News

They are strong Route 66 supporters. Bus, car and tours groups welcome for dinner with a reservation. Great atmosphere, service, and value. No smoking.

  • Serving breakfast and lunch served daily.
  • Visa and Mastercard accepted
  • Open March through November, 7 days a week
  • Closed December, January and February

Recommended and rated by the National Historic Route 66 Federation. To find more, check out their handy “The Dining and Lodging Guide”

This was a stop on the 2002 Route 66 Caravan, a 66-day road trip led by preservationist and historian, Jim Conkle. He lead the The Route 66 Caravan from “pier to pier,” Santa Monica to Chicago to raise the awareness of Route 66 and the need to preserve it. He posted more than 50 Hampton “Save a Landmark” signs along the route.

Find this site and others with the iPhone app, “Road Trip 66!”

(Photos © copyright 2006-2013 Kelly Ludwig, all rights reserved)