Monday, January 3, 2011

The Blue Fox Cafe

Address: 919 Fort Street
Phone: (250) 380-1683
Price: $10-$15 per plate

OPEN sign at Blue Fox cafe in Victoria

The Blue Fox has a reputation as "the best breakfast in Victoria". I am continually skeptical, but we were up early and had an errand to run next door so we decided to sneak in before the crowd and give it another go. The Fox is a tiny place - there's maybe 25 tables, most of them seating 2-3 with a few tables for larger groups. If you go at peak times, even sometimes on a week day, you will wait.

I haven't been back here in a while, ever since I ordered the Bubble and Squeak and it was just a big, giant, greasy mess (I think I threw away the left overs. I never throw away left overs!). One of the customer-drawn pieces of napkin art speaks volumes: a graph with the fox coming out ahead of all the chain family restaurants. I think this is their niche audience - people used to eating at Denny's and White Spot but have heard about this amazing place that has a line up out the door every weekend.

Don't get me wrong, the food is quite good! My problem is that there are half a dozen other places in town that have equally good (or better) food, but those places are bigger in size so the giant lines go faster. I feel like the portions at the Fox are so big that most of the time, you're stuffing yourself to finish them. Combine that with the price (slightly higher than average) I'd rather go elsewhere if there's a line. I also just don't feel the community vibe like some of the other brunch places we frequent, and I'm not sure why. There's local art on the walls, and the staff are friendly enough... it's just missing something that I can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps it's that you feel guilty for holding up the line that there's no time to linger over your coffee after your meal and relax.

January 3rd, 2011
Relatively good service considering they were busy busy busy. Our coffees were refilled promptly and food came at a reasonable time. I feel like we got left out of being told the drink special, but it wasn't really on my radar anyhow. To their credit, they're a pretty kid friendly place - there were 3-4 tables with kids under 5 and they had high chairs galore and they even brought a scrambled egg at special request of the toddler at the table next to us.

January 3rd, 2011
First time we've been in a while, and it feels like the menu has changed. There's a decent range of stuff on the menu, enough to find something for everyone really. They have some things that you can't get anywhere else - bubble and squeak, for example - but lots of standard breakfast stuff like bennies and omelets.

I opted for coffee but should have asked for an Americano. Their "house beans" aren't my favourite, although they don't have the funny after taste that I often find coffee has when combined with spicy food. It might have just been a burnt batch, though. My partner-in-food-and-life had Earl grey, which was tazo brand despite fancier choices in the herbal tea selection. (I think we're spoiled because we have Adagio Earl Grey at home, and it's just so amazing no bagged tea can top it.)

The S.O. had Eggs in Hell, a benny on a bagel with chorizo, tomato and cheese. This was my second choice so I was happy to sneak a bite.  Nice chorizo, I have to say! Smokey with a nice texture. The flavours were nice together. It was a massssive meal though... hard to even fit in my mouth or on the fork by the time you combined all the toppings.

I opted to try the Huevos Rancheros. I love this dish, and have tried just about every variation at every brunch place in town so I'm pretty picky about it. This one wasn't my favourite, although astonishingly it wasn't too big. The texture just wasn't right, although some of that might have been my fault for asking for the eggs soft poached instead of easy over. It was super-duper cheesy and topped with a scoop of sour cream so big it could almost have been an ice cream scoop.  The home-made beans underneath were the best part - nicely spiced and not dry like you sometimes get. The flavours in the salsa were also quite nice, and I liked the corn, as well as the generous portion of avacado on the side.

We ordered the house spicy sauce on the side, and it was quite nice. Green and fresh tasting with a nice jalapeno kick - I would say it's worth the extra 50¢ if you like spicy food. 

I'm torn on how I feel about the side of potatoes. I think they've changed since the last time I was there. I'm guessing they are baked then deep fried and (too?) lightly seasoned. Huge chunks, though, which is nice because it means they're not overly crispy. I do love me some potatoes, and in theory these should have been delicious because of the crispiness outside and the softness inside, but they didn't quite stand up.


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