The Beacon Cafe grew too big for its airport.
Beyond its tiny landing-strip cafe near Saginaw, it has added a second Beacon near Keller that serves the same impressive weekend breakfast buffet and towering burgers.
The first Beacon is known for the Bingham family’s cooking and its fun location. Windows overlook the Hicks Field apron, where kids can watch planes and pilots can taxi up for the Beacon’s half-pound BLT.
At the second site, in a shopping center on Golden Triangle Boulevard, there aren’t any takeoffs, but the new Beacon does have the same weekday menu and weekend buffet. And last weekend, the Beacon buffet, fruit and omelet station compared favorably to those found in many a four-star hotel.
Entrees included an egg-mushroom-chard casserole, migas, béchamel-Parmesan potatoes and baked French toast. Drop biscuits with sausage gravy were some of the region’s best.
Burgers start at $7.99, and a Japanese Wagyu beef burger is $12.99.
“Nobody wants to pay $15 or $16 — not for a burger,” owner Christie Bingham said this week. “We decided nobody out here was doing gourmet breakfast, so that could be our specialty.”
Of course, the Beacon already had a burger reputation. They came from Christie’s Extreme Burgers and originally, from another airport grill, the Blue Hanger Cafe near Roanoke.
Bingham said they’d considered opening a dinner restaurant, or another Beacon elsewhere, but ultimately, stayed in North Tarrant County.
“We decided to keep close to our roots,” she said. “People have been great to us here.”
Both Beacons are open Tuesdays through Sundays for breakfast and lunch only. The weekend brunch is served until 2:30 p.m.
The new location is 10760 N. Beach St., at the corner of Golden Triangle; 817-337-3262. The original is at 171 Aviator Drive, 817-439-1041, thebeaconcafe.com.
• Closer to the central city, Barbie’s Colonial House Restaurant, near Meacham Airport, is the destination breakfast buffet.
Its steam-table buffet features traditional breakfast items as well as chicken-fried steak, fried pork chops, eggs with chorizo and even menudo. The price is $7.99.
The 35-year-old plate-lunch cafe serves a busy lunch buffet daily with specialties such as meat loaf and roast pork.
(The breakfast buffet is only on weekends and only until lunch starts at 11 a.m.)
The Colonial House is at 3816 N. Main St.; 817-624-1262, barbiescolonial.com.
• If you’re fresh out of Valentine’s ideas, remember that both Cafe Modern and the Buffet Restaurant at the Kimbell Art Museum are open every Friday night.
The Kimbell buffet serves from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The menu is limited right now given the Piano opening, but the setting is elegant; kimbellart.org/ visit/dining.
Cafe Modern is open from 5 to 8:30 p.m. and might have an early or late table. Call 817-840-2157; themodern.org/cafe.
• One different Valentine’s idea: Shaw’s Patio Bar & Grill offers a “Family Valentine’s” with a half-price children’s menu and some familiar dishes from the former Scampi’s for adults, plus balloons and face painting; 1051 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-926-2116, shawspatio.com.