The Be Nice chain has moved one of its flagship restaurants, the beloved Foxy Brown, but they’ve managed to stay in the same neighborhood; relocating a few blocks east and north from the more established southwest corner of Victoria Park to the trendy southeast corner.
Although it has lost a bit of the charm of the old place, which felt like a hidden gem, it’s more than compensated for by the easier parking situation.
Many of the classic dishes still adorn the menu, including the signature patty melt, but there are a few additions as well. We stopped by on an early Sunday evening, managing to find the sweet spot between the hectic brunch service and busy dinner rush. Still, we were asked to wait for all of our party to arrive before we were seated. I understand enforcing that policy during busy times, but at that moment there was only one outdoor table occupied, while at least a dozen sat empty.
That proved to be the only snag in an enjoyable meal and the attentive service from Brandon, who explained that it was his first day. He was attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly, exactly what a server should be.
We began by sharing a delightful appetizer of fried hearts of palm. Slices of the beautifully tender shoot were coated in a light tempura batter and served with sriracha aioli. One basket was easily enough for four to share. Other starter options include deep-fried green beans, grilled artichoke, pretzel bread served with a duo of deviled ham and beer cheese spread, classic French onion soup, maple bacon wings, house-made Stracciatella (the creamy heart of mozzarella) and mussels.
Sandwiches average $15 and come with a choice of sides: French fries, tomato wedges, fried Brussel sprouts, deviled eggs, coleslaw, garlic-parmesan fries, mashed potato, or the vegetable of the day. My hubby went with his fallback option, the veggie burger, made in-house and topped with provolone, a fried tomato, and fresh spinach. Other sandwich selections include a meatball grinder, grilled chicken with bacon, mahi-mahi (simply seasoned or blackened), and, what I’m getting on my next visit, short rib grilled cheese.
Entrée salads average $12 and include a grains and greens bowl, the house salad (a Panzanella), pork, and a grilled Caesar Salad. Salads can be topped with a choice of chicken, shrimp, mahi-mahi, or salmon for an upcharge. My lovely sister-in-law opted for the day’s salad special: grilled peaches atop a bed of arugula and adorned with prosciutto and five perfectly grilled jumbo shrimp. It was beautifully presented (much like my sister-in-law).
The entrée selections are just as inventive and varied as the rest of the menu. The dishes range from innovative takes on childhood favorites such as Beef-a-Roni (combining house braised short rib ragout, local ricotta cheese, and tender pasta) and classics such as fish and chips, chicken with spaetzle, pork chops, pot roast, and roasted chicken. A grilled veggie plate featuring grilled artichoke with quinoa & farro salad, pan-seared sea scallops, and crab cakes are available for those seeking something lighter.
My brother-in-law and I both opted for the day’s steak special, grilled T-bone. It was a thinner cut than you might expect for a $31 price tag, but both arrived as ordered. Mine was a little gristly, but my brother-in-law’s steak was perfectly tender.
Of course, Foxy’s is known for its award-winning Saturday and Sunday brunch, and it too has made the move over beautifully. The pancake offerings are numerous. In addition to the standard version and weekend special, there are bananas Foster and raspberry and white chocolate versions. Waffle options are just as varied, including s'mores, and strawberries, and cream combinations, or slider-sized and topped with fried chicken, cheese, "Proper" bacon, and jalapeño jam. French toast gets all gussied up with white chocolate chips, caramel, blueberries, and granola. There are three versions of the classic Benedict; crab cake, veggie cake, or braised short rib (topped with chimichurri hollandaise!)
For those seeking a more traditional repast, there are steak and eggs, hangar steak hash, classic eggs and bacon or sausage, a pair of frittatas, and a breakfast sandwich.
There is a full bar and extensive wine selection. During happy hour (Monday - Friday from 4 – 6 p.m.) there is a half-priced appetizer menu and a buck off wine and beer by the glass, $2 off cocktails. Tuesdays and Wednesdays many bottles of wine are available at half-price bottles.
If you haven’t tried Foxy Brown yet, you’d better before the many folks living in the apartment buildings popping up just east of Federal discover it. It’s still a terrific neighborhood spot, just in a more congested neighborhood.
476 N Federal, Fort Lauderdale
There’s been a lot of moving around of restaurants lately. Phat Boy Sushi on North Federal moved a couple of blocks south to take over space formerly occupied by Even Keel. Meanwhile, Keel moved over to the corner of Commercial and A1A in Lauderdale by the Sea. Nick’s, the landmark Italian spot on Galt Ocean Mile had no sooner put up the out-of-business sign than Café Vico swooped in. And, of course, Hamburger Mary’s opened in the space formerly occupied by Rumors (if it hasn’t already done so by the time you’re reading this).