By Corinna Lothar
The newest watering hole in Glover Park is the Mad Fox Brewing Company on Wisconsin Avenue. Calling itself a European style gastropub, Mad Fox specializes in house made beers (brewed in Virginia), showcasing approximately 10 draught beers on tap and a rotation of seasonal brews in German, English, Belgian, and American styles.
The main room in the long narrow restaurant, with its wide, open, front windows, has nicely spaced high tables with stools and a long bar. Behind, near the kitchen, is a smaller room with regular height tables and benches with seating for about 25 people. It’s less noisy and better for conversation than the main room. Exposed brick walls are decorated with copper pipes suggesting a brewery. Upstairs in a loft-style space is another drinking and dining locale.
Beer is not the only attraction at Mad Fox. The menu, although short, has some enticing options. “Sociables” are appetizers and include kohlrabi hummos—kohlrabi appears in a Caesar salad as well—pork belly confit, and mac and cheese.
A recent soup of the day was a mussel chowder, and hot mussels on the shell were a special appetizer. An excellent salad—almost a meal in itself—is the “GRomaine, made with grilled romaine topped with a delicious combination of crumbled bacon, blue cheese, and large foccacia croutons in a rich avocado yogurt dressing. It’s a large portion, easily shared by two.
There are only three main courses: a grilled ribeye steak, served with chips and some of that grilled romaine with blue cheese; ale-battered hake with radicchio slaw; and a vegetarian dish of mushrooms, cauliflower mash and roasted beet chips.
The sandwich menu offers six choices. Included are a hamburger, available with or without cheese, a turkey burger, a Reuben which comes with radicchio kraut, and a crab cake sandwich. The hamburger at a recent dinner was good, but somewhat overpriced at $14. The crab cake sandwich, on the other hand, was curiously bland. The house-made chips that accompanied both sandwiches were cold and stale.
The handful of desserts include a root beer float.
Along with its large selection of beers, Mad Fox also offers two varieties of hard cider and a short, well-chosen wine list which includes a very good Avalon Winery Napa cabernet sauvignon.
Service is prompt and courteous, with hostesses and waiters going out of their way to be friendly and helpful. While most of the clientele are young, oldsters too are made to feel welcome.
Mad Fox Brewing Company: 2218 Wisconsin Avenue NW, (202) 791-0389
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 4 pm to 1 am; Friday, 4 pm to 2 am; Saturday, noon to 2 am; Sunday, noon to 1 am. Dinner is served 4 to 10 pm on weekdays and all day on weekends. After 10 pm daily, appetizers are available.
Prices: Appetizers and salads $4 to $15; sandwiches $14 to $16; entrees $14 to $21.