How does one even begin to choose among the numerous burger options in the West 7th district of Fort Worth? Old-school Fort Worth-ians insists that nothing surpasses Fred’s Texas Café, a funky, greasy-spoon style spot justly lauded for its legendarily fiery Diablo Burger. More recently, though, gourmands have been flocking to Rodeo Goat Ice House, which DFW.com declared the best hamburger in all of North Texas in last summer’s “Battle of the Burgers.”
Meanwhile, fast food burger aficionados can choose between In-N-Out burger and Wendy's, both also located nearby. And that’s not even to mention some of the excellent burgers you’ll find on the menus at non-burger restaurants in the region, like Bite City Grill and Café Modern.
And now comes the opening of two more West 7th restaurants that specialize in burgers : Brewster’s Burger Bar and Bottlecap Alley Ice House. If Popeye’s pal Wimpy decides to visit Fort Worth, he’s going to be a very happy man.
Brewster’s, located on Crockett St., is a large, airy space, with a long, handsome bar where you can keep your eye on the latest sporting events. The burger menu features the standards, but also a number of adventurous specialty options, including the peanut butter burger (topped with candied bacon and a crunchy peanut butter spread); and the "Humpty Dumpty," sure to make cardiologists across the land shudder (the patty is infused with sausage and maple syrup, and then topped with candied bacon, a fried egg, American cheese and salsa).
For those of us cursed – wait, I mean blessed – with spouses who prefer to eat vegetarian, props also here to the Quinoa burger, a far more imaginative veggie patty (made from red quinoa and cannellini beans) than you usually find at burger joint.s Beer drinkers, too, should be very pleased with the extensive menu, which features nearly 50 beers on draught and hundreds of bottle options.
A few blocks away, on Foch St., is Bottlecap Alley Ice House, the fourth location in an expanding mini-burger chain that originated in Grapevine. The atmosphere is casual, with an ordering system akin to Which Wich? – you fill out a slip of paper marking the toppings you want on your burger, and how you want it cooked). There are also numerous televisions around the room for the jocks and sports junkies in your party.
On our recent visit, we had fun building a burger with mustard, lettuce, tomato and some nicely grilled, not-too-hot jalapenos. Ordering from the specialty burger list, we were also impressed with the avocado burger, with fresh slices of avocado and pepperjack cheese combined to give the burger a terrific creamy-spicy kick. For those looking to snack during happy hour, we were also big fans of the queso and chips and the crispy, salty and altogether addictive French fries.
All of which means the decision of where to have burgers in the West 7th section of Fort Worth is more difficult than ever before. My best advice (keeping in mind I’m definitely not a cardiologist): Try them all. Indeed, life’s too short for burger joint monogamy.