The sign on the building says “Blue Cherry Organic Coffee, Frozen Yogurt and Pastries.” It’s an understatement. But then “Blue Cherry Organic Coffee, Frozen Yogurt, Pastries, Crepes, Pan-Asian, Tex-Mex, Burgers, Panini and Breakfast” probably wouldn’t fit.
On a street-side sign and a takeout menu, the name is “Blue Cherry Restaurant and Dessert,” which is more illustrative of what it is now — but still a bit of an understatement.
This small but eclectic (again, an understatement) restaurant is one of the longest-running spots near the intersection of Timberland Boulevard and Alta Vista Road in a part of Fort Worth so far north that many of its residents call it Keller. It’s a crossroads with an unusual concentration of independent restaurants for this area of Tarrant County, including the recently opened Gather Cafe & Coffee, the slightly less new K-Pop Burger, and the more established Elote Mexican Kitchen and its older sibling Oliva Italian Eatery.
Opened about six years ago, Blue Cherry did start as a frozen-yogurt shop (a companion shop at Beach Street and Western Center Boulevard has since closed). But then the owners added breakfast. And then they started adding other food. And kept adding.
It can be a little overwhelming: As you walk to the entrance, you’ll see pictures of food items and display versions of crepes in the front window. Walk by the frozen-yogurt spigots to where you order at the counter, and you’ll be greeted by a permanent menu sign and plenty more pictorial additions.
There’s a burger menu on a sign above the register, and a premium burger menu on the tables, touting such items as the Reuben burger (pretty much what it sounds like, except for the addition of pepper jack cheese) and the “Summit” burger (which includes bacon, pastrami and cream cheese). And this is in a place that’s in the same building as K-Pop Burger, which is known for monster Korean-influenced burgers. Perhaps they could have their own burger battle.
It’s not easy, in the course of a couple of review visits, to capture a place that offers so much, so we just hit a few highlights.
From the burger menu, we tried the Aussie’s burger ($7.99) — topped with, curiously enough, Canadian bacon, as well as fried egg, onion, pepper jack and special sauce, which had a sweetness that balanced out the bite of the cheese. With all those toppings (as well as lettuce/tomato/onion/pickle), the beefy flavor of the patty came through, and the burger didn’t become a fork-necessary mess. (Note: A little Googling revealed that an Aussie burger typically comes topped with pineapple and pickled beets — maybe this one is called Aussie’s for a reason.)
Beef BBQ kalbi ($9.99), Korean short ribs served boneless and so thin-cut they were almost flat, had a rich, meaty flavor and an almost jerkylike chewiness to them, with a slight bit of sweetness from a soy-sauce marinade. They were served with white rice (attractively presented but prosaic) and an Asian salad with a ginger dressing that elevated a fairly ordinary lettuce-carrot mix.
Staffers looked at me a little quizzically when I asked for a small side of onion rings ($1.99/$2.99 for regular) with this plate, but I wanted to try them. The coating was pleasingly thick and crunchy but could’ve used a little more seasoning; the onions were barely noticeable (which, granted, might be some people’s idea of perfect onion rings). We were much more pleased with the waffle fries ($1.99/$2.59) that came with the burger: just crispy enough, salty, good potato flavor.
Did I mention the pastry case? It’s filled with display versions of cakes, cupcakes, scones, brownies and more. Not all of the pastries displayed are available at once, but when something’s available, you get a warm, fresh serving of it. Lemon crunch cake didn’t really have that much crunch but it didn’t matter; it had bright lemon flavor and an almost nostalgia-inducing, just-short-of-moist texture. A chocolate cupcake had rich flavor but was almost overpowered by the buttercream icing.
The breakfast menu consists of egg and pancake platters, plus quiches and a few French-toast options (will have to return to try “Rainbow” French toast, which features Nutella and rainbow marshmallows), but it was the crepes that called me back for another visit. Savory crepes are available, but I was in a dessert-for-breakfast mood, satisfied by a light strawberry crepe ($5.99), studded with strawberries, overflowing with fluffy vanilla cream, artfully drizzled with chocolate syrup and dusted with powdered sugar. I didn’t really notice the Nutella that’s supposed to be part of it. Didn’t really miss it, either.
Coffee drinks are wide ranging; the only disappointing thing about a regular latte ordered in-house was that it came in a to-go-style cup rather than in a latte-art-festooned mug. Offerings such as a Maui mocha frappe and a hot Mayan mocha are the kind of things that call us back, as do the Korean BBQ tacos, the yakisoba and the “Japanese Style Hamburger Steak Burger.”
Counter service was quick and helpful; the sound system on all visits played mainstream jazz, mostly instrumental, at a volume that allowed for conversation, a refreshing change from the blaring music we’ve experienced at a couple of other restaurants recently. It all adds up to a place that’s worth investigating further. Heck, we haven’t even tried the frozen yogurt yet.