Snooze: An A.M. Eatery, 2150 W 7th St, Ste 108, FW. 682-350-9970. 6:30am-2:30pm daily. All major credit cards accepted.
Before Snooze: An A.M. Eatery arrived in the West 7th area, precious few restaurants in Fort Worth focused on brunch as their main attraction. Most brunch spots are either lunch restaurants with an add-on brunch menu or breakfast diners that stay open into the afternoon.
As of a couple of months ago, the Denver-based chain arrived with a shiny new outlet on the Left Bank. Aggressively trendy and energetic, the restaurant boasts a fun throwback vibe with Jetson-esque starbursts and Brady Bunch colors. Rock and hip-hop blast out of the speakers. Hipster bartenders sling crafty cocktails, and guests play cornhole near the outdoor patio. On my recent visits, almost everyone in the dining room was under 35.
My expectations were high. I really wanted to love Snooze. Several friends went to its soft opening and raved. Family in Denver gave glowing praise.
But my first experience at Snooze was a brunch fail. The restaurant had been open for only 10 days, and the helpers from headquarters had left the day before. Not one dish arrived at our table hot. Some were straight-up cold, and the rest were vaguely lukewarm. Congealed cheeses and crusted-over sauces made it clear that our food had been wilting in the kitchen for a while. Our first order took almost an hour to arrive, and the next round took even longer. Counting the 60-minute wait for a table, which we expected, we were there for three hours.
We tried Snooze again after giving them a couple more weeks to get their act together. Our second visit (on a weekday instead of a weekend) was markedly improved, but the restaurant still had serious flaws, beginning with learning how to serve food hot. Our food wasn’t as cold as before, but neither was it fresh from the kitchen.
We waited less than five minutes for a table, but once again our orders took almost an hour to arrive. Confused food runners frequently wandered around the restaurant looking for the right table or giving their delivery to the wrong one.
Besides the long wait to eat, the service was exceptional on both visits from every person we encountered. And the food shows great promise – if staff can work out the kinks. The menu is imaginative, with flights of pancakes and out-there cocktails like Bacon and Eggs, a whiskey sour libation with egg whites, bitters, and a long strand of thick-cut bacon. Espresso drinks were delicious. Eggs were perfectly poached.
The menu makes customizing meals easy. Snooze sources meats from Colorado ranches, including a well-balanced rosemary sausage. It lends heft to the breakfast potpie, a gravy-style stew slathered on a shingle of puff pastry. Many dishes arrive with a short, cylindrical stack of hash browns that are flavored well, if slightly underdone when we visited.
Snooze’s Benny Duo allows you to sample two kinds of unique Eggs Benedict options. While the Smashed Avocado Benny tasted flat, the Bella! Bella! Benny scored with a beautiful combo of prosciutto, Taleggio cheese, arugula, and balsamic vinegar.
A rub of ancho chile and coffee added robust personality to the Sweet Potato Steak Stack, a holiday dish topped with crispy prosciutto and creamy hollandaise heaven. The biggest miss from the kitchen was the so-so The Sandwich I Am.
We chose three varieties for our pancake flight: blueberry Danish, Smashin’ Pumpkin, and pineapple upside-down. The pancakes would score 10/10 had they been delivered hot. Decadent sweets topped each one: almond streusel, bourbon-infused maple syrup, and housemade vanilla cream, respectively.
Snooze’s OMG! French Toast limped out sad and mushy on both visits. Our “fresh brioche stuffed with mascarpone” sat so long the cheese melted, leaving an oily puddle beneath the triangles of toast.
A personable manager stopped by to check in on our second visit. After hearing about our lackluster experience, he apologized and admitted they were still sorting out some things. His candor went a long way with our table — and then he brought us complimentary bacon. The bribe worked. Snooze’s bacon is meaty, smoky, and grippingly chewy.
Snooze has the foundation and track record to be a great restaurant: quality ingredients, creative food, and a lively atmosphere. But no one wants to wait two hours for a cold pancake and mushy hash browns. Dammit, Snooze — do better. Fort Worth needs you.
Snooze: An A.M. Eatery
Breakfast pot pie $9.75
Benny Duo $12.50
The Sandwich I Am $10.25
Sweet potato steak stack $15.75
Pancake flight $10
OMG! French Toast $10
Bacon & and Eggs cocktail $9