The Snooty Fox, Fredericton

The Contender: The Snooty Fox, 66 Regent Street, Fredericton NB

When were you there? Sunday, August 9; 12:30am

How much? $4.99 + tax

The Experience: The Snooty Fox used to be pretty good. Decent food, (usually) decent service, reasonable prices, good drink selection, all within walking distance of my house. This is a recipe for win. However, my last several visits there were horrible experiences, involving screwed up orders, unbearably slow service, absentee servers, and questionable or dangerous food, so a little while ago I declared a full-on boycott. But it was late, we were tipsy, we were hungry, and we sure as shit weren’t prepared to walk to The Diplomat, so off we went.

Despite their inconsistent-at-best performances, The Snooty Fox is most often packed on weekend nights. Perhaps word has finally gotten out, though, because when we showed up last Saturday night, there were only one or two occupied tables, and I think at least one of those was populated by bar staff. All the tables in the back dining room were closed, with chairs stacked on top. Woo hoo, we get to sit in the window! And it’s apparently $3.75 cocktail night. Bring on the Slings and Alabama Slammers!

Right, so. The poutine. It’s served in a basket with a sheet of fake newspaper as a liner, like the fish n’ chips, wings, and a bunch of other things at The Snooty Fox. I always wonder about food served this way. Like, how many times have you eaten wings and ended up with grease and wing sauce all over the the basket? You can’t sanitize wicker, you know. Anyway.

SnootyPoutine

The portion size is good, not skimpy but not huge either. Fresh cut fries with skin on, this is a definite plus. And real cheese curds. Saints be praised! The Snooty Fox used to use shredded mozzarella, but they have stepped up to the poutine challenge in this regard. Good job!

The major point of fail is our usual suspect: the gravy. It was tepid at best, and way too salty. The fries were fresh, but their heat alone wasn’t enough to melt the cheese much at all. Not good, fellas, not good.

I’m not sure why it’s so tricky for restaurants to serve tasty gravy, but I think I figured out why so many places fail hard in this respect. The gravy you get at a lot of restaurants is bouillon-based goo that’s been sitting in a warming tray since the kitchen opened at 11am or whenever it was. Even if it was passable when they mixed it up, it’s going to lose moisture if it sits around for hours, and that will obviously affect the taste and texture. If this is what’s going on, adding a little warm water and giving the whole thing a good stir periodically throughout the day would probably help a lot.

The Verdict: I’ll give this poutine a “most improved” award, since The Snooty Fox’s version used to be absolutely awful. What they’re doing now isn’t amazing, but it’s on par with most of the other poutines available around town. You could certainly do a lot worse. The service this time was also much better than it had been recently, so I’ll end my boycott of The Snooty Fox on a probationary basis.

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