Restaurant Review: Fox in the Snow Cafe
Italian Village is well on its way to gentrification. Although gentrification itself has been a controversial subject of late, there is reason to rejoice when it comes to expanded eating opportunities. In Italian Village, the process includes a Fourth Street stop called Fox in the Snow, and there you can score a good doughnut for three bucks.
Okay, so the doughnuts at Kroger are something like 69 cents, that’s true. But the gentrified doughnuts at Fox in the Snow are really, really good doughnuts. Really good. And they’re gourmet. There just aren’t that many gourmet treats in this world that come with a price tag under five dollars.
Given the introduction, as you might expect, the crowd inside the bakery appears to be on the well-heeled end of things. It makes for an intriguing contrast, in a neighborhood butted with side streets of run-down houses. Conveniently, there’s a big parking lot for those who drive in. Interior-wise, the joint combines raw cement floors with shiny tile and big bright windows; it’s a combination that works. There’s lots of natural light, even on a cloudy day.
For the savory crew, the star of the show would be the Egg Sandwich ($6). It’s a sandwich worth several words, starting with descriptors for the bread: poofy and toothsome. It’s slathered with some sort of spread bearing a distinct Dijon accent. Inside are are velvety greens and a square of scrambled egg, heartbreakingly tender, melded with melted cheese. The resulting is sublime . . . and messy, but that’s not a legitimate complaint for egg art.
There are other options that might count as savory. The Biscuit ($3) is large, and heavy enough to provide some rib-sticking sustenance. Its flakey layers are buttery (an adjective that could accurately be applied to several of the options in house) and glazed with a sweet glaze that gives it shine and a citrusy accent.
Having finished off all the savory items in sight, the time for dessert has arrived. The aforementioned doughnuts would be a good place to start. The visit’s options featured both Vanilla and Salty Caramel variants, both worthy of stomach space ($3 each). They’re not traditional ring doughnuts with holes in the middle. Instead, the house donuts are fryer fresh pockets with oozy centers of subtly flavored filling. It’s actually the pastry that makes them spectacular, they have a lightness and a sweet fried-ness that stands out even more than the puddings inside.
Or vere off into the the land of the Pop Tart ($3.50). Of course, it’s nothing like the stale pie-crust, box variety. Fox in the Snow’s version is still rectangular, but the similarities end there. The kitchen turns out whisper-thin layers of pastry enveloping a sweet blueberry goo that’s well populated with exploding berries.
For sweet roll fans, there are two options: Cinnamon and Pecan. The Cinnamon Rolls ($4) have a dreamy, lavish layer of sweet frosting across the top. Underneath the frosting is a chewy, dewy bread foundation, with swirls that are separated with a light coat of cinnamon. The Pecan Roll ($4) scores too, on the wings of its uber-creamy caramel, clotted with pecans that forms a lid for the roll.
Of the treats tried, the Blueberry Muffin ($3) was likely the least favorite. Being less sweet and more healthy-tasting, it’s hard to compete with fried doughnuts and sugar-slathered sweet rolls.
You can find the cafe at 1031 N. Fourth Street.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/foxinthesnowcafe.
All photos by Walker Evans.