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The funnel cake French toast is the star attraction at FiVi’s Kitchen. Photo by Kristian Lin.

Most brunch places have welcoming interiors with big, comfy booths and music playing over the PA system, inviting you to spend a few hours with your friends over Bloody Marys and Champagne mimosas. That’s not the case with FiVi’s Kitchen, the new brunch spot in a strip mall off Camp Bowie and Bryant Irvin which has plain white walls, wooden chairs, and a distinct lack of music. Even so, it didn’t stop large parties from gathering at the restaurant’s high tables when I visited. I was wary of going inside, but, fortunately, the eatery had outside seating, so I could be comfortable while eating my comfort food.

We’ll start with the merely good. My ham and cheese omelet was airy and filling without breaking the mold. The menu emphasized the country ham in the dish, but in such small chunks as an omelet required, I couldn’t taste the difference between it and regular ham. My brunch burger came with bacon and a fried egg that I requested over easy. The portion wasn’t overly large for my appetite, but I do have a pet peeve about sandwiches that you can’t pick up with your hands. This one was too unwieldy, even after I bit off the parts of the bacon slices that were sticking outside the toasted bun and I had to resort to my knife and fork. A beer would have been nice to wash the burger down with, but Fivi’s selection is limited to familiar stuff like Shiner Bock and Leinenkugel Summer Shandy. Maybe I’ll have better luck when I go back in the winter.

FiVi’s Kitchen
5724 Locke Av, FW. 817-420-6118. 7am-2pm Mon-Fri, 8am-3pm Sat-Sun. All major credit cards accepted.

The chicken-fried steak was one of the better ones I’ve encountered, with a crust that was delicately crispy instead of soggy or shatteringly crunchy. Where too many places here fall into the trap of thinking “more is better” when it comes to this venerable Texas dish, FiVi’s portion proved to be just the right amount to send me out into the afternoon without feeling weighed down. The two sides I selected for my steak were green beans bolstered with bits of bacon and mashed potatoes that faked me out. The bits of potato skin in the mix led me to think they’d be chunky, when in fact the spuds turned out ultra-smooth. I appreciated it, but you can decide whether that’s a plus for you or not.

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Every restaurant needs one dish that’s worth driving out of your way for, and for FiVi’s, that would be their funnel cake French toast. I ordered it without asking what it was, so I was expecting a toast in the shape of a funnel cake. It was better than that, consisting of four slices of brioche topped with powdered sugar and a small mountain of bits of fried dough. What a difference that last ingredient made, adding a crunchy texture to this old brunch staple and an element of carnival fun. The French toast also comes with small pitchers of maple syrup and melted butter for dipping or pouring — I chose the former. You do have the option of ordering the French toast without the fried dough, but why would you want to do that?

The restaurant’s price point is competitive with the chain establishments and in some cases better. The waitstaff is friendly, and by my second visit, they’d pegged my drink preferences correctly. The place is locally owned, too, just in case you need one more reason to make the drive out to the West Side. Me, I’m looking at all the fall festivals that have been canceled because of the pandemic, denying us of our funnel cake. That French toast is going to draw me to FiVi’s the next time I feel a craving for it.

 

FiVi’s Kitchen
Ham and cheese omelet $9.99
Funnel cake French toast $10.99
Brunch burger $11.99
Chicken-fried steak $13.99

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