October 14, 2010

Fox Pub & Cafe

By Eric Shangraw

October 14, 2010 Updated Oct 14, 2010 at 9:51 PM CDT

A Peoria tavern portrays itself as an English Pub.

Eric Shangraw is sampling an imported beer with his meal, in this week's You Gotta Eat.

In England, most pubs are in two-three or five-hundred year old stone structures. The Fox Pub and Cafe is in a strip mall. But the brew, food, and folly is authentic ol' England. Just ask Norma McNulty, a customer and London native.

"It is a taste of it. A pub is usually a building that was always a pub. So quite often it is older. Sometimes it is modern. Sometimes it is more like this. But often they are old," said McNulty.

Owner-operator Mike Cheesman is from the U-K. He sings every Wednesday night, books musical groups on Saturdays, and hosts a traditional English Quiz Night every Thursday. Like Trivial Pursuit, the crowd is challenged to four rounds of eight questions.

The draft beer selection offers quality over quantity. Guinness. Two Brothers DuPage. Boddingtons.

London Pride is brewed in London. It is shipped to Peoria in a keg. Poured in a glass in exchange for $4.50.

"It is an English pale ale. So yes, it has got a slight hop taste to it. It is a great beer to drink. A pub beer where if you are eating fish and chips, anything like that, it compliments a meal real well," said barkeeper Matt Rixner.

I was sold on the match up. Ye Olde Fish and Chips. A battered white fish; Haddock and hand-cut fries. Truly an extraordinary pairing with the London Pride brew.

Photographer Alyssa Honert ordered the San Antonio; a brisket topped with grilled onions, pepper-jack cheese and dressing.

We split an American dessert flavored with English influence; a brownie made with Guinness beer. Spot on for the sweet tooth.

Our bill; $31.76 plus tip. The Fox Pub and café is an overseas culinary charade worthy of repeating.

The Fox Pub and café is in the Parkway Plaza in North Peoria.

The Fox Pub and Cafe
7800 N. Sommer St.
Suite 302

Monday-Thursday 11am-10pm
Friday-Saturday 11am-Midnight
(Kitchen closed 2-4:30pm)

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