DeVivo Bros. Eatery ~ Keller, Texas
We actually had intended on writing about DeVivo Bros. back in 2014, not long after it opened, and was receiving rave reviews even then, while racking up some local awards. We had a visit in October of that year, and unfortunately we weren't impressed, and decided to wait it out. Today, DeVivo Bros. is considered the #1 restaurant in Keller for both TripAdvisor and Yelp, and #10 in Zomato (where they list it simply as a "bakery"). But we all know that the latter is completely broken these days (we really do miss Urbanspoon). In any case, all these people can't be wrong. We must try it again. And are we glad we did!
Food: Self-described as "Rustic Comfort Food", that seems as good as any definition I could come up with. Rural Italian perhaps would be another? A very unique concept (for America anyway), where you order up at the counter, sit, and wait until your meal is actually prepared and cooked. And then delivered to your table. Chef driven quick service restaurant? Yep, pretty much! The food quality reminds me of what we would get in Italy itself. All made with fresh ingredients, and unique recipes. Our first experience was a meatball sandwich, which wasn't distinctive enough for us to recommend. Something wasn't right, and the meatball seemed bland to me. On this visit, I tried the chicken parmesan lunch meal and it was absolutely delicious. Finally, someone understands the concept of crispy breading! The pasta was definition al dente, cooked to perfection. The sauce is a bit more chunky than I prefer, but it was delicious all the same with fresh basil, tomatoes, onions, and spices. And it was served hot! Mrs. RJG enjoyed a Devivo's Omelette, which is basically a vegetarian omelette with potatoes, and she stated it was excellent, though she would have preferred a bit more cheese. While not cheap, the prices are fair considering what you get. We just settled on water to drink, and so our total bill was under $20. And they show the courtesy of not expecting a tip, when indeed it is counter service. So we have every intention of going back and trying multiple things on the menu, as there are many tantalizing looking items. And yes, Zomato is right, they do have a bakery. But it's far more than that! They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Drink: It's BYOB, so yet another chance to save. Since we were there for lunch, we didn't partake early (not that we haven't done it before...). Otherwise the usual assortment of fountain drinks, etc...
Location: Anchors the first of the endless row of strip centers fronting the railroad, south of downtown Keller (and south of Bear Creek), on the west side of US 377. The restaurant is very pleasant, airy, and bright. White dominates with black color enhancements. Ordering at the counter seems a bit awkward at first, since it doesn't look like a place to order. But they'll guide you through if you appear lost (which I often do...).
Notes: You can read all about the actual DeVivo brothers here. Solid, hard working duo. They've also expanded to Southlake and operate a Latin Fusion restaurant that we'll need to try. In addition to that, they also have a mobile fire truck (yes, a real fire truck) known as the Hook and Ladder Pizza Company, that provides catering. These guys are clearly on the upward trajectory. Bravo to them!
Rating: 4.0 We anticipate this will go up to 4.5. But we need more visits to confirm.