Monday, December 5, 2011

Fox Field...Wow, not so sure

Neil and I are very passionate about locally owned businesses, especially restaurants.  We seek out mom 'n pop joints, holes in the wall, the stuff that Guy Fieri looks for.  So, a few months ago, when our friend Kathy moved Utopia down the street, a new establishment moved into her old space.  Fox Field Neighborhood Bar and Grille.  Since they've been there, I've been observing and asking around.  Here's what I learned up until now:

1st:  I asked around and heard NOTHING.  That's strange, really.  In a neighborhood like Rosewood, most of us have been most places and we talk about it.  In this case, tumbleweeds.  

2nd:  Not only do I drive by everyday, but our karate school is right across the way, so I have a birds-eye view several times a week.  Crickets and tumbleweeds.  I honestly don't think I've ever seen anyone there.  No cars in the parking lot, no one at the umbrella tables outside, nada.

3rd:  I noticed some creative marketing, which frankly I'm all for.  They have a VW "microbus" that they have parked strategically at the karate school, in front of their restaurant and at a secondary entrance to their parking lot with a Fox Field banner attached.  A sign was attached to the restaurant sign in the front yard announcing "free Wi-Fi."  Good creativity.  What I have not noticed is any traditional marketing such as print ads, radio spots, etc.  But, hey, I'm not scouring local media all day either.

So, the other day, I finished up my appointments for the morning and this place popped in my mind.  I stopped by to check it out mainly to see if it's a kid-friendly environment.  Since it was a Saturday, I thought the 3 of us could check it out for lunch.  I looked around, glanced at the menu and specials board and talked to a very pleasant lady who later told me she owns the place.  She showed me the Thai chili plants she's growing, told me about the organic "Kahlua" they make and described their Thai chili infused vodka that they use for Bloody Marys.  It all sounded good.  So, I came home, loaded up Neilio and the Vivver and we headed back over there to give them a shot.

Here's where this post is gonna get tough.  I want nothing more than to give a new, local business a glowing review.  But, unfortunately, I just can't do that here.  It truly pains me to say this too.  I wanted so badly to like this place and to be able to recommend that everyone get over there to support the biz, but it's just not happening for me.

The food wasn't the problem, although the menu is pretty sparse.  

The main problem was that we were the ONLY people there.  I'm not saying there were "no people there"; I'm saying there WERE NO PEOPLE THERE except for the three of us.  We ordered a glass of wine, one of the Bloody Marys and a Shirley Temple.  About 15 minutes later, they finally arrived.  It should be noted that the lady I spoke to earlier was also the only person working at the restaurant.  Even so, I've never met a person that takes 15 minutes to pour and serve 3 drinks;  oops, 4 including the glass of water.  

Then we ordered.  I had the smoked salmon on baguette, Neil got the daily special lamb stew and all the baby wanted was a croissant with honey.  Once again, time was ticking, ticking, ticking into the future (thank you Steve Miller Band.)  I was getting worried that Neil was going to make us bail.  We ordered two non-cooked items and one that came from a crock pot and we waited over 30 minutes for it.  Once it was on the table, we were never checked on again, except offered another glass of wine as the table was being cleared and we were preparing to receive the check.  

Regarding the food:  the smoked salmon baguette was pretty nice.  Crisp, fresh baguette with cream cheese, ample salmon, diced red onion and capers.  The pasta salad side was represented as homemade with balsamic vinegar.  Maybe I'm crazy, but I detected no balsamic and I'm pretty sure this was a store-bought pasta salad that we've all had 100 times before and I, for one, have never enjoyed.  

Neil's lamb stew was interesting.  It was packed with nice chunks of potato, turnip,carrot and awesome spices such as cinnamon.  But the one thing Neil noted was that it was sorely lacking in the lamb department.  Just not much there.  

Viv's croissant looked pretty authentic but I didn't try it because she (Vivian) had it slathered in honey and I didn't want to get into that sticky mess. 

I REALLY wanted to like this place, everybody.  REALLY.  But I've ruminated on this subject for a couple days now and I just can't endorse it.  I like the lady I spoke with there and I wish her the best, but from what I've seen and experienced, I fear that this endeavor is not going to be long-lived.  I hope I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm not.  

Fox Field Neighborhood Bar and Grille on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully, it's just start-up issues. I'd wait a couple of months and give it another shot. The menu (Lamb stew and Salmon baguette on Rosewood?) is pretty ambitious...but sounds good.



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