FOX'S RESTAURANT & PUB
Fox's has been a fixture on Chicago's South Side and in the southwestern suburbs since the 1960s, and it's making its first foray into the western burbs with this new Plainfield restaurant. Known for its pizza, it also offers a full soup-to-nuts menu with a wide array of salads, sandwiches, steaks, seafood and lots of Irish favorites.
Appearance/atmosphere: This freestanding, strip mall restaurant was built to Fox's specifications. Its high-ceilinged interior offers lots of natural light thanks to awning-covered windows and its layout has tables and booths surrounding a central bar area. Done in shades of brown and blue, the space is comfortable and unpretentious. Perhaps the only downside is that there's not a lot of space available for parties larger than six or so. At least on the day we were there, restaurant staff was scrambling to figure out how to get all eight of us at one table.
Menu: Fox's is very proud of its Irish roots -- and what else would they have given their start Chicago's Beverly community -- so you'll find lots of favorites from the old sod, including shepherd's pie, Guinness pie and fish & chips. And where else would you find not one but four corned beef sandwiches? However, the menu also has just about anything else you might want, from chicken wings and burgers to baby back ribs, grilled porkchops and homemade sausage lasagna. Another nice feature is you can order veggies -- broccoli, green beans, mushrooms and onions -- on the side for just $2.
Prices: About what you would expect. Most of the single appetizers runs from $6.99 to $8.99 (more for combos or larger serving sizes) and salads and sandwiches fall into the $8.99-to-$13.99 range. Chicken and fish entrees come in at about $14.99 to $17.99, with steaks starting at $12.99 and topping out at $16.99. You'll find lots of burgers here, including the breakfast burger (fried egg, bacon, pepper jack cheese) and the West Coast burger (bacon, avocado, mayo), both $9.99 with a choice of sides. Pizza starts at $12.99 for a small and goes up from there, depending on size and toppings.
What we ordered: Given the size of our party, we were able to put a pretty nice dent in the menu for our first visit here. Appetizer-wise, we sampled the Tuscan bruschetta ($7.99) and the mozzarella cheese sticks with marinara sauce ($6.99 for four), the blue cheese burger ($9.99), a turkey club sandwich ($8.99), the garbage salad (pepperoni, provolone, sweet peppers, green olives, red onion, boiled egg tomatoes, $7.99, $11.99), the grilled steak and blue cheese salad ($13.99) and the grilled chicken bruschetta salad ($9.99, $13.99). All in all, not a dud in the mix but a few glitches. For example, the burger and grilled steak salad were to feature onion straws but came with red onion instead. If there were onions in the bruschetta salad, we were hard-pressed to find them. Still, these are not deal-breakers and size-wise, the meals were generously proportioned, especially the salads.
Service: If we had to lodge one criticism, it would be the time it took to get our meals served. Not a problem if time is not an issue, but definitely problematic if you have a prescribed amount of time for lunch. Given that this restaurant's only been open since February, however, we'll chalk it up to the kitchen staff still getting their legs under them. And the manager, to her credit, solicited our opinion at the end of the meal and was properly concerned about complaint.
FOX'S RESTAURANT AND PUB
Address: 14206 S. U.S. 30, Plainfield
Web site: www.foxsrestaurant.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday