By Amanda Rogers
The Food: American, burgers, salads, sandwiches, breakfast
The Story: We arrived on a busy Sunday morning, wading right into the after-church crowd and were told that we would have a 35- to 40-minute wait. So we found a nice bench nearby and settled in. Within 10 minutes, the hostess called my phone and had us at our table.
Our server Maya was fun and entertaining, giving tips when we asked and checking on us frequently.
We weren’t planning on an appetizer, but the chicken-fried bacon ($9.99) was just too interesting to pass up. And it was everything you would want it to be. Maya soon delivered a dozen thick slices of bacon (seriously, an inch wide by six to eight inches long) coated in a heavy flour batter and served with a side of creamy white gravy – and she offered to help us if we couldn’t finish. We couldn’t. But we tried.
The bacon was cooked just right, not too crispy, not chewy, with a batter that would make a Southern mama proud. You could taste just a little pepper in the batter and the creamy white gravy.
We tried really hard not to load up on the bacon because we still had meals coming.
The Rancheros Verde ($9.99, plus $2.49 to add chorizo) came piled in a mound with layers of spicy chorizo, cheese, corn tortillas quesadillas, charro beans, two over-easy eggs and a zippy verde sauce, topped with sour cream, chunks of tomato and cilantro. My dining partner couldn’t finish his meal, but he definitely tried. The combination of all the flavors gave a slight after-burn that was just hot enough to be pleasant.
He did wipe out the side of cubed home fries that came with the meal. These were crisp on the outside and soft inside.
I love chicken-fried chicken ($11.99), and this is one of the best that I’ve ever had. The tender white chicken was flattened and as big as my outstretched hand, coated in the same flour batter as the bacon and served with the same white cream gravy. This is good stuff.
The meal included a pair of sides, and since it was brunch time, Maya gave me the option of breakfast or lunch sides. I went for the mash potatoes and fried okra, which turned out to be good choices. The mash potatoes looked like a double serving and had a trace of garlic flavor – just right. The okra was coated in cornmeal and fried crispy but still tender inside.
The Atmosphere: Even though it’s located in a busy shopping center, The Porch gives off a friendly diner vibe with booths and tables inside and on the sidewalk surrounding the restaurant. Servers walk around with coffee pots, constantly topping off your mug. Decorations are Texas-inspired, and social distancing is observed with every other table left empty. We saw lots of cleaning going on.
The Details: 2771 E. Broad St. Open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. 817-592-3656
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.