Seven Mile Café Fort Worth
6300 N Fwy, FW. 817-778-0911. 7am-2:30pm Sun, 7am-2 pm Mon-Fri, 7am-2:30pm Sat. All major credit cards accepted.
Breakfast-and-lunch restaurants are proliferating north of Loop 820 to such an extent that you’d think people forgot how to cook eggs at home.
In the Keller/far-North Fort Worth area alone, Our Brunch Spot and a location of Sunny Street Café recently opened, to go along with such mainstays as Main Street Café, Beacon Café on North Beach Street, and DeVivo Bros., which does more than just breakfast and lunch but is still known for the daytime meals.
In late 2016, Denton-based Seven Mile Café added to the number, opening an Old Town Keller location that has proven to be so popular that Seven Mile recently added another North Tarrant location, off I-35W in the Fossil Creek area.
On our first attempt to visit the new Seven Mile, around 1 p.m. on a Sunday, my guest and I ran into a 45-minute wait – looks like this one is going to be popular, too – and we decided to eat someplace a little less busy. A weekday visit found a respectable number of other diners but no line.
I never made it to the building’s previous occupant, Brick House Tavern, described on Google as a “modern sports-pub chain boasting recliners and high-concept sports food” (and, judging from some photos, midriff-baring shorts-clad waitresses), but there’s still plenty of brick in this house, along with other modern-restaurant clichés like exposed ductwork.
Aside from the bar, though, there’s not much trace of sports-pub past here. Instead, Seven Mile presents its lineup of egg dishes, biscuits and gravy, dessert-y pancakes/waffles (you can figure out the “S’moreo” for yourself), Benedicts, and more. Breakfast is served at all working hours. Lunch starts at 11 a.m. and consists largely of salads, burgers, and other sandwiches. Vegetarian and vegan options are available on both menus. Coffee drinks and various smoothies are also on offer.
Seven Mile’s menu has no appetizers to speak of, so for starters, we opted for a couple of the coffee drinks, including the signature Seven Mile Latte, a large, sweetened but not cloying cup made with Stumptown Coffee’s Hairbender espresso blend; and a NOLA Iced Coffee, a milky cold brew with a good match of sweetness and caffeinated kick.
Although it’s on the breakfast menu, the chicken-fried steak and eggs seemed like a good way to order something a little lunch-y and breakfast at the same time. Two thin slabs of CFS arrived smothered in a stellar sausage gravy with spicy chunks of meat. The breading was well-seasoned but crusty to the point of toughness –– it took more knifework than it should have to puncture. Points for flavor, though the texture needs work.
The accompanying hashbrowns were unmemorable. My wife, who ordered a simple egg dish, subbed grits for the hashbrowns, and that’s the way to go –– the grits were thick but creamy and made with smoked Gouda, which added a little punch and helped them transcend the prosaic.
The BLTA sandwich was generous with the “A,” which is for avocado. Bacon was a little on the chewy side but added some nice bits of fat that made up for the overall lack of crispiness. Seven Mile is not shy with the avocado: An accompanying bowl of tortilla soup was so loaded with slices that it was almost approaching stew – not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Texture was once again a bit of an issue with Seven Mile’s vegan cinnamon bun. There was nothing wrong with the buttery, sweet flavor of the bun or the pool of syrup it sat atop, but there were times when it needed even more sawing than the chicken-fried steak. Still, we knifed all of it until there was nothing left.
While the Keller location of Seven Mile sits among several homegrown restaurants and bars, the Fossil Creek location provides a refreshing break from a stretch dominated by larger chain restaurants. The access-road location isn’t ideal – tip: If you’re approaching via I-35W northbound, take the Fossil Creek exit – with such drawbacks as an otherwise nice patio facing a parking lot and the perpetual I-35 traffic mess. Seven Mile has been slowly expanding – it’s up to a total of four locations now, including one in Highland Village – but it’s still keeping a sense of independence. And in far North Fort Worth chainland, that sense of independence is always welcome.
Seven Mile Café
NOLA Iced Coffee $5.50
Seven Mile Late $5.50
BLTA sandwich $13
Chicken-fried steak and eggs $16