Small Bites: Dreaming of a Midland Diner in 2023 (2023)


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Morgan-Taylor Thomas, Reporter-Telegram

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Small Bites: Dreaming of a Midland Diner in 2023 (8)
Small Bites: Dreaming of a Midland Diner in 2023 (9)

For the past six months, I have been urging Midlanders to swap their frequent chain visits for local ones, and I will uphold that appeal even after I leave the Upper Town. However, I can't write this article and say that I never chose Chipotle over a comfort food truck just because I knew I could get exactly what I wanted from an assembly line style stand.

That said, there are still a few restaurants on my bucket list that I hope will one day call Midland home. However, I have no doubt that an ambitious venue could (and already might be) doing the same.

To be honest, three of the six wishes below are probably not realistic for the meat-loving demographic known as West Texas, but this veggie-eating gal can dream. If you know a restaurant on 432 that already does what I want, email me atmorgan-taylor.thomas@hearstnp.combe able to see them!


I first discovered Sweetgreen while living in Austin and have been hooked on the perfect mix of fast and healthy foods ever since. Imagine the same assembly line process as Chipotle, but instead of making a burrito, you're making the biggest salad you've ever seen, loaded with fresh dressings, dressing and accompanied by a yeast disc. Precious! Most days, I make a salad of sorts for lunch with the same ingredients as I would at Sweetgreen. On days when I don't feel like doing the work myself, having a clean but very quick meal somewhere would be ideal.

My request? An all-green base (grains like quinoa are also an option) paired with roasted sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, almonds, avocado, spicy broccoli, and a vegan Caesar or green goddess dressing.

Unrealistic for MTX: While there are a few sustainable, health-focused restaurants in town, none of them charge the same price as Sweetgreen (I mean, $20 a salad is hard to justify sometimes). Also, because Sweetgreen maintains a plant-based menu, the product does not meet the general demand for meat in the

Blue sushi sake grid

Despite not eating anything from the sea, I love sushi. Now many of you are thinking, 'ok, how does this work? Do you only eat vegetable rolls? yes if you need to At Blue Sushi Sake Grill, however, more than 20 vegan sushi (maki and nigiri) are part of the extensive menu. Even if you want real fish, crab, and caviar, your non-meat-eating friends can enjoy a bread that transcends the classic avocado.

As Midland is the closest to Capitol City, I don't usually indulge in this unique delicacy. However, my favorite rolls are…

Thai Hippie: Vegan Tempura made with Tofu, Avocado, Cucumber, Carrot, Cashews with Thai Basil, Cilantro Salad, Mint and Red Onion, Thai Peanut Sauce


Cowgirl: Vegan Pickled Tempura, Fried Sriracha Onion Rings, BBQ Paper, Vegan Mayonnaise, Tonkatsu Sauce (Tastes like a burger!)

Crispy Cabbage: Vegan Tempura Made with Tofu and Chinese Cabbage, Scallions, Vegan Creamy Chutney

Unrealistic for MTX - Unfortunately, this is only due to the demand for beef in the Midland. While I found Midlanders to be quite adventurous when it comes to food, it couldn't get by as a restaurant's selling point is its vegan options (although there are an estimated 4,550,382 non-vegan bagels).

coffee cat

Located in Texas's largest cities, including El Paso, Cat Cafes are a place for residents to work or socialize like a typical coffee shop. Only here do cats roam free, providing therapeutic breaks from work and four-legged entertainment. Many cat cafes have climbing systems that reach the ceiling so that patrons are completely surrounded by cats.

Additionally, many of the cat cafes serve as adoption centers and/or daycare centers for cats, not just in the Lone Star State, but across the country. Not only does this help lower the lost stats in that particular area, it also gives the cat a different purpose than sitting in a metal box waiting for the right person to come in.

Unrealistic for MTX: Honestly, the only reason I don't think we would ever get a brown cat is because of its rarity. Also, the Midland Humane Coalition is already doing great work in the community and with other animal shelters, and I would only want to open a cat cafe if I knew that the people who run it are so educated and committed to the rights and life of animals as they are .People in MHC.

Krispy Kreme

I have no idea why Midland doesn't have its own Krispy Kreme and why the next one is in Lubbock. It should be illegal to avoid an all-night run of hot, fresh donuts. Yes, we have Shipley, but there's a cream itch that Shipley just can't take away.

My donut filling? A bag of regular donuts and three donuts filled with chocolate frosting (eaten on the weekend).

Realistically for MTX - not only would the facility cater to the Midland community, but I strongly believe people from Odessa, Big Spring and even San Angelo would come here for donuts. Also, we already have TNT Donuts and Jack 'N Jill Donuts. What is another candy store?

Torchys Tacos

While Odessa Torchy's has tacos, I think Midland should have one too. Why do we have to drive 30 minutes to get some "good tacos" when it can only be 10 minutes? Sure, I love the Rusty Taco, but my favorite Torchy (fried avocado) is not an option at Rusty's. Also, Rustycheese cannot compete with Torchy's when it comes to taste or size. Torchy cheese is served in a miniature pan and drizzled with sour cream, spicy mayonnaise, beans and tomatoes. It is a dream. You can even add ground beef.

Realistically for MTX: Personally, I would have preferred a Torchy's Tacos over a Chuy's. In my opinion, Chuy's is overpriced and overrated for what it is. Most dishes lack originality and refined taste. Torchy's uses fresh ingredients and would only increase the already existing Tex-Mex demand we are seeing here in Midland.

sweet coffee shop

This desire comes from pure nostalgia. Growing up in East Texas, my family would take my grandparents out to dinner at Luby's once a week. My grandfather always smuggled in an extra piece of cake on his tray for my brother and me, and I have a special place in my heart for the cafeteria.

Luby's was also the first place I loved broccoli (mainly because the workers covered my stalks in cheese). Authentic Southern comfort food, Luby's offers more than roast meats, veggies, desserts and bagels. The old school hospitality and family atmosphere make it a prime place for anyone to enjoy a hearty and delicious meal.

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Realistically for MTX: I was honestly surprised to learn that Midland didn't already have a Luby's. Since a large population in Tall City is older and Luby's knows how to target that demographic, it seems like a perfect fit. Plus, Luby's is affordable and can feed any picky eater, two basic necessities for most members of the community.

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