by Carolyn Jacobson
Later this month Forest Hills will welcome Little Red Fox at 5035 Connecticut, the former site of Marvelous Market. Owner Matt Carr intends to become a fixture in our neighborhood.
“I want to be here for 20 years. Restaurants open every week on 14th Street, and I’m really not interested in that saturated, high turnover environment. Little Red Fox is really built to be a neighborhood hub,” says Matt. “It’s not a fancy place you go out to once a month, but hopefully a relaxed and affordable daily stop for folks that want to grab a coffee, sandwich, or dinner and wine.”
Matt’s inspiration was a favorite neighborhood shop in Portland, Oregon, which got its coffee from local sources and made simple, filling meals in-house.
“Though we’re emphasizing trendy concepts like local, the business model is really simple and timeless: it’s a market that will serve great coffee, grocery items, and meals made from scratch,” says Matt.
Many of those meals will be prepared so you can pick them up and take them home to your family. Also, as they note on their web site, there will be places to sit down with a hot cup of coffee and slice of pie: An eight-seat counter-height community table inside, and four tables outside with seating for up to 16 people.
Family recipes are also providing inspiration. Matt’s grandmother’s “really great” matzo ball soup will be on the menu in colder weather. Business partner and chef Anne Alfano will recreate her grandmother’s meatballs Bolognese. Their mouth-watering signature dish will be the breakfast burrito.
Both Matt and Anne are Washington natives and have known each other through family connections. They come to this venture from other careers and culinary experiences. Matt’s résumé includes a degree from Portland’s Western Culinary Institute and Anne’s, a degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley.
They will be cooking up a menu for vegetarians and vegans, as well as omnivores. Even those with food allergies – gluten, milk, and nuts – will have a place to frequent. If you don’t see what you need, just ask. They want to tailor their offerings to suit their customers. To assist them, they have hired a baker, and plan to bring on a prep cook and two baristas.
And they have made arrangements with these local suppliers:
Matt and Anne recently spent the morning at Polyface and helped process the farm’s pasture-raised chickens.
“We’ll be sourcing pork, beef, and farm fresh eggs from Polyface,” says Matt. “Have you ever seen the documentary Food Inc? [Polyface owner] Joel Salatin… is featured heavily in it as an example of someone who raises his animals the right way.”
Matt chose the fox mascot because it’s “fun and memorable,” like the experience he and Anne want to create for their customers. And they are chomping at the bit to get started.
“We really can’t wait to open. Everyone in the neighborhood has been amazingly friendly and welcoming so far, and Anne and I can’t wait to repay that kindness with our delicious homemade grub.”
We can’t wait either.
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