Jacoby’s Cafe in Melvin, Texas. Photo by Dave Thomas

I’m in Melvin, snuggled between east of Eden and West Sweden. It’s a town that’s billed as the second largest in McCulloch County … at about 150 people. You might think I’m going to make fun of that, but hey, it would be the biggest town in Loving County, which doesn’t even have a second town.

The judge’s brunch for the Brady goat cook-off was held here at Jacoby’s Cafe, a fine spot that opened in 2002, an offshoot of a Feed and Seed operation that has been here since 1981.

Jason Jacoby, owner of the sprawling complex, said he started out with just a kitchen to feed his employees, so they wouldn’t have to drive 18 miles into Brady just to get lunch. (There’s not much else here in Melvin.) It’s a bit south of the hustle on Highway 87, but definitely worth the detour.

Jacoby raises his own beef, lamb and — key to this weekend — goat for his kitchen, as well as his son’s restaurant, Jacoby’s at 3235 E. Cesar Chavez in Austin. Adam Jacoby ran the cafe here in Melvin awhile before opening the Austin restaurant.

Having the cafe here has raised the profile of Melvin considerably. I mentioned I lived in San Angelo for 6 years and passed by on the highway hundreds of times without ever venturing the few hundred yards to the actual town. Jason Jacoby knew what I was talking about: “Yeah, people have actually found us! It’s been nice!”

There’s even beer on tap in Melvin. It’s the kind of town where Dos Equis is what qualifies as uppity. My kind of place.

The judges’ brunch highlighted what a close-knit group of people these judges are and how special it is to Brady. Old-timers and long-timers were saluted and rookies (I am among several) were good-naturedly jeered. We were given our blue judges’ shirts and a few helpful tips — “Don’t drop the entries!” “Don’t drink too much beer!” — and a nice breakfast.

And … a goat horn to wear around our neck. So the pros can watch out for us.

On to Brady, where I’ve discovered having your own wifi hotspot is still dependent on the network. Verizon don’t count for much out here where the West begins.

Look for the next report — when possible — on the Oh, Texas Facebook page.

Part of the Jacoby Feed and Seed complex. Photo by Dave Thomas