Seven Mile Cafe opened on the corner of Bolivar and Congress last week. We talked to the owners a week or two before and finally ate there this past weekend. Get caught up below.
We had originally intended for our interview with Kevin and Josi of the Seven Mile Cafe to run before the restaurant actually opened; however, busyness on our part prevented that from happening. That said, at this point we have already eaten at Seven Mile Cafe and thought it pertinent to write a review to accompany the video above.
Actually, read the last sentence in the above paragraph again and replace the word “pertinent” with “necessary.” Our experience at the new partially-vegan cafe was less than stellar to say the least. We arrived mid-morning on a Saturday (the first Saturday they happened to be open) and were promptly seated in the half-filled space. The waitress was nice enough, the menu read well (although it was missing a few choice items that were mentioned in our interview above) and the smell from the coffee bar was pleasant. Everything from that point on, however, was like the first half of any show with Gordon Ramsay’s name in the title.
Looking around the restaurant, we started to notice frowns on people’s faces. “Maybe those are Brave-Combo-polka-dancing-hangover frowns and they just need caffeine,” we thought to ourselves. We were wrong.
About fifteen minutes after ordering, our waitress stopped by our table to inform us that our food was almost ready and would be right out. We quickly figured out that this was the beginning of a pattern. She stopped by every ten to fifteen minutes to tell us the same thing for the next hour or so. Once we caught on to the pattern and the rumbling in our bellies got down to a D-flat, we decided it was time to leave. We put enough cash on the table to cover the cost of our coffee and made our way to the door.
Now hold on. Let me assure you, we aren’t a bunch of jerks. This is not a common occurrence. I checked at our table and none of us had ever left a restaurant before. In fact, I was most likely the biggest jerk of the table and the only thing I’ve ever walked out of was the Carrot Top movie, Chairman of the Board, when I was 12.
On our way to the door, Kevin, the co-owner of Seven Mile Cafe, stopped to ask us how our food was. We informed him that we had waited a long time for our food and that our younger counterpart needed sustenance promptly (he was fine, I was the hungry one, but he will forever be my excuse). He ensured us that the food was soon-to-come, that some of the meal would be comped and went to check in the back things out. We heard some arguing in the kitchen and then our waitress arrived with about 2/3rds of our meals in hand and convinced us to sit back down. If you’ve ever wondered what the most-awkward thing you can do in a restaurant is, let me assure you that it isn’t breaking up with your significant other. Nor is it falling out of your chair and spilling soup on an elderly woman. No, the most awkward thing that can happen to you in a restaurant is attempting to leave when you’ve had a bad experience and then be convinced to sit back down and eat what you had originally ordered.
Eventually the rest of the meals came out, and lo-and-behold the food was good. Not necessarily worth the wait, mind you, but what would be? The scramble was well thought out and the raspberry cake that accompanied it was muffin like in a good way. The fruit was fresh, the eggs were cooked just as requested and the order-er of the blueberry pancakes enjoyed them enough to not want to share with the rest of the table (either that or they might be an avid Miss Manners follower). A few small things were wrong with our order, but at this point, causing any more of a scene was out of the question.
At some point during our meal, a popular local band came in with a local coffee roaster. They ordered their food, sat down and eventually got frowns and caught on to the patten. They managed to successfully leave the restaurant upon realization that they wouldn’t be eating anytime soon. They’re a nice bunch of dudes, so that’s saying something.
Our awkwardness must have been palpable because the check arrived long before we had finished eating. And low-and-behold, nothing was comped even after being assured two times that it would be. We ended up paying full price and promptly exiting to our cars.
I really want Seven Mile Cafe to succeed. In two or three months Kevin and Josi should have this down and I will don a disguise and give them another shot. We need more interesting, local eateries in town and the ambition this duo has shouldn’t be written off easily. That said, give these guys a while to work out the kinks before giving this place a shot. In the meantime, let the people who don’t read scantily updated blogs go and wait a long time to be fed while Kevin and Josi figure things out.
From the people who brought us Denton favorite The Greenhouse Restaurant, Loco Café offers a casual dining breakfast and lunch menu with drink options to compete with the many coffee joints around town. I step up to the counter and place my order, have a seat and take in the local vibes as I wait for my food to be delivered (I don’t have to wait for long, though; service is quick). The décor is streamlined, minimalist and diner-chic, with photos of local sites and delights hung about for nostalgic enjoyment. A compass on the wall compels me to think I’ve been guided to just the right place for a Monday morning brunch.
The menu offers a unique selection of breakfast and lunch dishes. The produce is local (hell yeah!) and all the food is prepared in-house. For breakfast you’ll find choices ranging from huevos rancheros, to Johnnycakes (a solid stack of cornmeal pancakes soaked with maple butter), to the Loco Café signature, Loco Moco. Inspired by the popular Hawaiian dish, but with an all-American breakfast twist, the Loco Moco is a stack of biscuit, hash browns, eggs cooked-as-you-like, cheese, and their exceptional 603 salsa. I kept it simple and ordered the “Kid’s Meal”, which comes with an egg, savory hash browns, and a hearty honey butter-drizzled biscuit that was simultaneously doughy and flaky and left me perplexed and amazed and wholly satisfied. At only $4, I thought I’d died and gone to Americana breakfast heaven. For lunch the highlight is red snapper—you can get it in a sandwich or in some tacos; both are topped with carrot slaw and served with a side of black beans. Not big on fish? Get yourself a grilled three-cheese sandwich or a B.L.T. Sounds simple enough, but I’m sure the Loco Café has found a way to make their sandwiches distinctive. And for all you vegetarians out there, this place will surely please with its many veg-head options.
With my brunch, I ordered one of their shaken iced teas. Best. Idea. Ever. Iced tea and homemade fresh flavors like hibiscus and blueberry, tossed into a cocktail shaker with ice, then poured into a frosty glass… it was the perfect post-bike excursion tonic. I had the fresh mint flavor and learned the mint was picked from just across the street on Greenhouse property. I was ecstatic—local-food fanatic ecstatic. Their coffee is local, too; it comes from the Ruta Maya Coffee Company in Austin, TX. All fruit juices are fresh-squeezed and their wide variety of tea is all loose-leaf. Get creative with any drink and add one of their fresh flavors to your coffee, tea, juice or soda; the flavors are just too good to pass up.
You can book your next company luncheon, book club meeting, or motorcycle gang reunion in their private room. A special group menu is available. If you like fresh, local food that mixes the traditional with the unique, be sure to check out Loco Café. Hangovers welcome.
-- by Liz Hopper
603 N Locust
Denton, TX76201(940) 387-1413
Mon-Fri 6 am - 2 pm
Sat-Sun 7 am - 3 pm