The Fox and Hound
When you’re hunting for good bar food
Food is not a priority at sports bars. In fact, it’s usually little more than a fried piece of beer sponge. But at The Fox and Hound, hidden behind a tangled sprawl of restaurants west of I-25 at Jefferson, the food is taken seriously—frequently with good results.
With hip-hop music blaring, hundreds of televisions blasting every conceivable sport and waitresses dashing about the throngs of revelers, the place isn’t short on stimulation. But if you’re feeling sluggish, the Bible-length menu devotes a full page to combinations of alcohol and Monster energy drink. The Cougar Juice (Crown Royal and Monster) was mildly appealing, as was the O-Face (Monster with Bacardi). But I was there to watch some mixed martial arts fights, which had me amped enough, so I explored the beer menu and its section on pairing beer with foods. I learned that beer heavy on hops goes well with spicy food. Since I’m kind of a hoppy guy, I decided to test the theory with a Marble IPA and a Cajun spiced blackened mahi-mahi. To ensure that I would indeed test the hoppy/spicy combination, I asked for a bottle of hot sauce, which the waitress opened as she set down next to my plate.
I ended up not needing a single squirt of it because the dry-rubbed filet was perfectly spiced, and it mingled well in my mouth with the fragrant hops. Fresh tomato, cilantro, green onion and parsley proved to be a surprisingly thoughtful garnish for the fish and bell-pepper-slivered “Jambalaya rice.” It was topped with what was advertised as poblano remoulade sauce, but tasted like warm mayo. Never one to complain about the inclusion of mayo in my meal, I dug in happily, washing it down hoppily, while watching dudes bash each other’s faces in.
The meat was a tender puddle that fell apart along the grain lines and had gratuitous chunks of melted fat attached. I was a happy camper.
On a previous visit I tried a plate of beer-battered fish and chips that, despite being promoted by the menu as a “Fox Fave,” was uninspiring at best. The batter was bland and thick, with no taste of the Newcastle Nut Brown Ale it promised, and the fish pieces were thin. The coleslaw was soupy and the fries were soggy. Alongside that meal I drank a Patron Pomeade, with Patron Silver tequila, Cointreau orange liqueur and pomegranate juice. It was strong, but too sweet.
After my marvelous mahi-mahi, I asked the waitress, who called me “honey,” if there was anything less sweet on the drink menu. She confided that, unfortunately, most of their cocktails are at least this sweet, but she recommended the Pomegranate Margatini. Made with 1800 Silver Blue Agave tequila, Cointreau, pomegranate, and sweet and sour, it was the tastiest buzz I’ve had in a while.
On my next visit I ordered a leafy Caesar salad that was more tangy than creamy, and a “campfire” pot roast—kind of like an American version of beef bourguignon. The short rib roast was slow-cooked in wine sauce, served with buttery mashed potatoes and topped with thin frizz of onion rings. The meat was a tender puddle that fell apart along the grain lines and had gratuitous chunks of melted fat attached. I was a happy camper.
I flagged down the waitress who had done me right last time with the drink recommendation and asked if she had any other cocktail suggestions. To my surprise, she recommended the Sailor Jerry strawberry lemonade, which, while sweet, was adequately balanced with sour and contained a strawberry puree that was delicate and perfumey.
Between the pool tables, the many televisions, and the ambitious bar food and drink menu, there’s probably something for everyone at the Fox and Hound. While the menu does have its pitfalls, some of the dishes would make the trip worthwhile even you weren’t there for the tube. And if the game/
• Campfire pot roast
• Blackened mahi-mahi
• Sailor Jerry
• Pomegranate Margatini
4301 The Lane @ 25 NE
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday
Price range: Lunch specials start at $5.99. A combo platter entrée tops out at $15.49.
Vibe: Clean-cut and happily rowdy
Booze: Well, yes
Vegetarian options: Decent