Mad Fox Brewing Company

Written by on February 5, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Falls Church, Virginia

How I heard of this place: Our friends, Jack & Lenore wanted to celebrate the Super Bowl with good food, drinks and our company! They selected the joint, we showed up.

Type of cuisine: Mad Fox features a chef-driven, seasonal menu and frequent specials including pizza, panini, salads and vegetarian friendly foods; fresh, locally grown seasonal produce, cheeses and other ingredients; locally raised lamb, bison, beef, chicken and game; and house-cured meats. Mad Fox has a 63-foot long bar showcasing our seven to ten standard, house-brewed beers on tap as well as a rotating selection of seasonal brews in German, English, Belgian and American styles. Also, don’t miss our cask conditioned proper Real Ales served through water jacketed Angram beer engines, ensuring that every pint is served at properly conditioned cellar temperatures.”

Ambiance: “Mad Fox Brewing Company offers a dining experience unique to the Washington, DC, area: upscale casual dining in an English-style gastro brewpub with an emphasis on high-quality food to complement our house-brewed beers.” Walking through the double, hearty, oxblood-colored wooden doors, the cozy warmth of Mad Fox Brewing Company was immediately felt. A mini, windows on all sides lobby area kept the heat in the restaurant and the cold outside, as we made our way through the next set of doors. Immediately ahead of us, four, large, sparkling urns of brewing beer stood high and mighty drawing our attention from the hardwood floors up to the intricately tiled ceiling. Rounded amber lights gave a soft glow to the space, while more recessed lighting assisted to keep the melatonin from setting in. To our left, the restaurant looked peaceful, barren, yet similarly cozy. Fourteen or more wooden kegs of beer at the far wall, amber lights above and varnished den-like wooden seating throughout the space, although inviting, was unoccupied. The hoards of restaurant dwellers, including one small child were in the bar to our right. Booths along the windows, where we requested to be seated, were set apart from the tall tables and stools hosting the majority of Super Bowl viewing patrons. The long bar, just beyond also stead diners and football fans, while the two flatscreen televisions boasted Super Bowl LXVI.

What I ordered: We started with drinks. I enjoyed sips – numerous sips through a straw – of Chris’s house-made Rootbeer ($3.50 for unlimited refills). Our dining companions enjoyed a selection of house-made beers: 80 Shilling ($3.75), Saison ($3.75), Batch 100 ($6), another Saison ($5.75) and one Broad Street ($6). Our drink orders placed, the game in full swing, it was time to order our appetizers. We knew we were going to try one order of the Dutch Style “Bitterballen” ($8.50):

Curry Balls

A traditional Dutch bar-snack of creamy beef and vegetables with a hint of curry, coated with bread crumbs, then deep-fried, and served in a metal basket with curry aioli. In addition to the deep-fried yummy balls, we also selected one order of the Soft Baked Pretzel Bites ($6):

Pretzel Bites

House-made, baked in a pizza oven, topped with smoked sea salt and served with house-made grain mustard in a paper-lined metal basket. The final decision was between the Buffalo Chicken Wings and the house special “healthy” Nachos ($8):

Healthified Nachos

home-fried tortilla chips topped with fresh arugula, a black & kidney bean salad, including diced red onions, quartered cherry tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice, avocado mousse and crumbled feta cheese. The intrigue of the nachos won. For our main entrees and the half-time show, our lady from the south ordered the special Chicken & Waffles ($14):

Chick'n Waffles

three strips of fried chicken served alongside four quarter-circles of fluffy Belgian waffles topped with a cranberry-apple chutney and served with warm maple syrup. On the side, smoked gouda grits, rounded into an ice cream scoop shape. My husband, while initially excited about the Grilled Pork Chop ($21), instead opted for the Stuffed Meatloaf ($18.50):


fresh ground beef mixed with spices, stuffed with thin sliced prosciutto and aged provolone cheese, wrapped with applewood-smoked bacon, served with Yukon gold mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts and pan gravy. On the side, he couldn’t pass up the made-to-order Mac & Cheese side ($3).

Mac 'n Cheese

Our third dining companion and myself, after hearing the daily special burger, had to pick our jaws up off of the table, while nodding a delirious, I’ll have that!

Burger Plate

The Big Game Burger ($14 each) was a fresh ground 8-oz beef patty served on a house-baked bun, topped with lettuce, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, smoked Gouda cheese, fresh jalapenos, a house-made bacon jam and a house-made smoky tomato jam. Served with skin-on, soft, fried house fries and fresh made in house ketchup, the juicy meal was finger lickin’ good! Just when we thought the food had ended, the game continued…so we worked up the appetite for two orders of Wings, Buffalo ($10) and House BBQ ($10), each served with bleu cheese dressing and raw slices of carrots and celery.

On a return visit, Sunday, January 6, 2013Playoffs begin, the Seattle Seahawks take on the Washington Redskins, and we are back at our favorite brewery for pizza and football. Tonight, we enjoy the 16″ Truffled Mac & Cheese Pizza ($23), completely ready to “indulge in creamy cheese macaroni, bacon and truffle oil that makes this pizza a must for any mac & cheese enthusiast“.

Truffled Mac & Cheese

To round off the evening’s fare, we also enjoyed the 16″ Fig & Balsamic Blues ($22) with rogue smoky blue cheese, artisanal bacon, port infused black mission figs, caramelized onion, rosemary, and a balsamic glaze.

Fig & Blue

What I loved: My burger was the most amazing burger I have consumed on the east coast. The flavors, the textures, the package, all delicious, mouth-watering, juicy, flavorful…

Spicy Burger

The fries, equally good. The ketchup oddly, curiously, vinegar-y delicious. While I don’t remember having ever had meatloaf in the past, this one at Mad Fox truly made it a taste for which I would return. The mac & cheese, gooey, soft, hot, with crispy cheese on top and along the edges of the small bowl could not have been more comforting. Of the appetizers, the nachos were the most surprising delight, yet we all agreed that the Bitterballen stole the show! The rootbeer verdict: best I’ve ever had!

Why I loved it: The atmosphere was cozy, the space uber-clean, the service friendly, the nostalgia of Portlandia abundantly apparent and the Northwest vibe and calibur of food: perfect.

Cost: Average ($10-$22 per dinner entree)

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