Late lunch at Foxfire Grille
I don't normally write dining reviews because I'm not what you would call a discriminating diner. Iﾠ totally enjoy Vienna sausages, rice and beans, hot dogs and ramen noodles (I do insist on the "top" ramen and never get the bottom stuff, though). I enjoy almost all foods including every one of the Roadkill Festival dishes I've sampled.
Basically, if there's enough to fill me up, I'm a satisfied customer. So, restaurant reviews are not my thing.
But when I came back to work after a week's vacation and my boss reminded me the deadline for Mountain Times was "yesterday," I had to come up with something.
Fortunately, my girlfriend, Astrid, was in town for a visit.ﾠ She's been to cooking school and her favorite hobby is cooking. I figured she could help me do a quick dining review and get something turned in fast for the Mountain Times.
Forced into time management mode, I cooked up a plan. I had an appointment at Snowshoe for an interview later in the day. I would stop at my cabin in Frost, pick up Astrid, do the interview and then we would head over to Foxfire Grille for lunch.
I'm happy to report the plan worked out perfectly! Not only did I get the dining review done, but the meal was great, even by connoisseur assistant's standards.
Foxfire Grille is my kind of place. Sort of a cross between a southwestern cafe, rustic mountain lodge and sports bar.ﾠ A nice, casual atmosphere. A big screen TV sits in the back corner. When we arrived, a group of customers were having some beers and watching Olympic hockey.
We picked a table by a window in a quiet corner. The mountain was socked in with fog or we would have enjoyed beautiful views across the mountaintops to the west.
Our server, Autumn, was really great. She didn't hesitate to tell us her favorites.
We looked over the lunch menu, which includes appetizers, salads and different varieties of barbecue, chicken, ham and beef sandwiches.
Astrid, who's from Germany, picked an all-American specialty - the Honest To Goodness Southern Barbecue sandwich. She said it was hard to find good barbecue in Germany. I selected Gyros the Greek - a gyro sandwich.
I was pretty hungry so I was happy when the food arrived quickly, served up in baskets.
The barbecue sandwich was huge and a generous helping of BBQ spilled over the sides of a large bun.ﾠ Crispy fries filled up the rest of the basket. My date/assistant thoroughly enjoyed the meal, although it took her a while to finish it off.
Foxfire provides four sauces with their sandwiches and Astrid's favorite was a mustard sauce called "Bucket Hill."
Like barbecue in Germany, good gyros are hard to find in the US.
I was fortunate to be stationed in Germany for three years. Over there, it seems every town has an authentic Turkish or Greek gyro shop, with a rotisserie of mutton spinning around in the window. Gyros are a GI favorite because they're tasty, cheap, and one will fill you up.
When the experts make a gyro, they shave the rotisserie meat onto a thick pita bread and then smother it with salad and cucumber sauce. I haven't been able to find the same thing here in the States, probably because I don't spend much time in cities, where good ethnic food is plentiful.
But the best gyro I've ever had in the USA was at the Foxfire Grille. It was big and beautiful.
Thick slices of lamb were covered with lettuce, tomatoes and onions that seemed fresh out of the garden. The creamy cucumber sauce was just as good as the overseas stuff. The side salad was fresh and delicious.
Astrid sampled everything and the expert confirmed it was delicious.
Quite satisfied with my meal and most of my date's French fries, I didn't think I had room for dessert.
But the fraulein never says 'no' to dessert and looked over her options:ﾠ Big Slice apple pie, Irish cream mousse cake, S'mores for two, Krispy Creme bread pudding, Dulce de Leches cake and a mousse du jour. A tough decision but she picked the Dulce du Leches cake.
Autumn brought a huge piece of the caramel-chocolate-cream cake and Astrid feared she couldn't eat it all. I generously offered to help and we both entered a state of euphoria as we gobbled it down to the very last crumb.
Both of us were impressed with the quality and quantity of the entire meal. The bill was just a bit more than $40, including an appetizer, minus the tip - not unreasonable considering the excellent food, generous portions and nice atmosphere.
The final verdict on Foxfire Grille is two thumbs up.ﾠ Even if you're not at Snowshoe for skiing or anything else, it's worth the drive to the top of the mountain for a really great meal.