Food & Drink

Seven Mile Cafe goes the distance in Keller

Huevos rancheros at Seven Mile Cafe.
Huevos rancheros at Seven Mile Cafe.

Maybe I’ve been watching too many episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives lately, but Keller’s Seven Mile Cafe would make a good candidate for a future episode.

The new restaurant, part of a small chain with locations in Denton and Highland Village, is poised picturesquely (despite some gratuitous street construction) in Old Town Keller and meets all of the prerequisites for a Guy Fieri visit.

There’s its all-encompassing breakfast and lunch menu. Hollandaise sauce and homemade biscuits abound. Yet nods to healthfulness are also available, whether it’s the acai bowls, kale smoothies or gluten-free coffeecake.

Armed with an iced coffee from Portland, Ore.-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters, made on Seven Mile’s showstopping La Marzocco machine, plus a green smoothie to counteract any possible over-caffeination, we yinned and yanged our way through the menu, a tribute to “specialty pancakes,” “French toast creations,” “breakfast booze” and “bennys,” or Benedicts. (I can practically hear Fieri latch on to the latter’s completely unnecessary, too-precious nickname.)

Alas, no celebrities were present on our visit, just a bunch of townsfolk looking for, in Fieri parlance, good grub at a good price.

I could really get behind the green smoothie ($5.50), dense with kale, spinach, bananas and strawberries. Soy milk helped to thicken it, while agave was used as a natural sweetener. Our server cautioned that it was filling, so I only drank half because an order of huevos rancheros ($11) was in the on-deck circle.

Seven Mile’s version of the classic Tex-Mex dish has two tostadas loaded with luscious black beans and shredded pork. Melted cheese bound the ingredients, and two over-easy eggs topped them as if to taunt: “Think you can finish me?”

Uh, no. Two of us split one-half of the entree, which was well-matched with its Christmas sauce (red and green). This is hardly the stuff of noontime, “I’ve-got-to-get-back-to-the-office” repasts. I was reluctant to order the dish with the pork, but glad about the result: Sweet and peppery, the meat would hold its own in any barbecue joint.

Slightly lighter is the Benny Sampler ($12.50), a platter with two different Benedicts. (There are six on the menu.) The bruschetta rendition capitalized on the dependable combination of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, with a balsamic glaze to tie it together; a poached egg crested, all on an English muffin.

It was a savory and slightly acidic concoction that we wished we had more of … because the other half of the dish, the chipotle tofu benny, was near-flavorless. Fanned avocado and a grilled tomato slice did nothing for the brick of tofu, which was perched wanly on a sliver of thin sourdough toast. Chipotle sauce comes with; unfortunately, a poached egg did not. Despite it being listed under the “benny” menu heading, this iteration is vegan, all of which had me flagging down our server for a poached egg a la carte, stat.

A side of gouda grits ($4) annihilated any further designs on good health. Smoky and rich, the grits were cooked perfectly with enough texture to assuage the notion that one was eating a cup of melted cheese with a spoon.

From the lunch menu, typical sandwiches and burgers are available. The pesto chicken ($10), served on a sweet, way-too-pillowy bun, had juicy flavor; the bacon cheeseburger ($10.50) had our son happy, with its fistful of crispy bacon. Choose the coleslaw — an ideal vinegary foil with dried cranberries, cabbage and celery — over the salad as a side.

The vast dining room, which previously housed Keller’s City Hall, was renovated as best it could to look like a restaurant. There’s a weird, institutional-like hallway on the way to the restrooms that may yield an “I’m here to pay my parking ticket” reaction. But on the whole, the restaurant has a warmth that its chain brethren cannot begin to summon.

Engaging tattooed servers — everyone here wears short-sleeved black tees, even, apparently, in January — are able and affable, making the visit even more screen-worthy.

Add it all up, and the experience will likely take you to — sorry, I had to do it — Flavortown.

Seven Mile Cafe

110 W. Vine St.



Hours: 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Chrissy Crowell wants to spread the benefits of CBD oil to people who can use it, so she opened Your CBD Store in Keller. Her products are legal in Texas because they do not contain any THC and does not cause a high.