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Friday, August 7, 2009, it was my turn to choose (and pay for) the meeting place of the Sacramento Breakfast Club.  If you're a fan of breakfast in Sacramento, the saying, "So many places, so little time" can be aptly applied, as if you're a regular reader of this web site, you'll note that we've been to many different breakfast establishments, and we've only climbed to the tip of the Sacramento iceberg of breakfasts!  Years ago, I had the opportunity to enjoy a few brewskies and a delicious lunch of fish and chips at Fox and Goose, yet I had never had the opportunity to enjoy one of their authentic breakfasts of English cuisine.  Well, to make a long story short, since it was my turn to choose, we made the trip over to Fox and Goose to hold today's meeting.

Photo:  Sacramento's nickname of "Tree City" is intact, as Fox and Goose is located in a former paint warehouse, shaded by many trees.  That's my green, 1996 Camry parked in the center of the photo.

How many restaurants in the United States offer an authentic English breakfast?  How many authentic English pubs are there in the United States? ... especially in a medium-sized city like Sacramento?  Not many...

Fox and Goose is located south of downtown Sacramento at 10th and R Streets, in a former paint warehouse, and the restaurant has been in business since 1975, and has become a Sacramento institution.  Fox is your classic British pub, down to the picture of Queen Elizabeth, the dartboard, the fish and chips, and a wide variety of beers from across the pond.  Oh yes, we absolutely love fish and chips, but on this Friday morning, our mission was to enjoy an authentic English breakfast.

Photo:  The pub section of the restaurant is more "intimate" than the dining room.  Note the British posters, and the dart board mounted on the wall.

You walk into the restaurant, and voilą! you've just been transported across the pond, and you're now in the 200-year old original Fox and Goose pub, located in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, a small town located near the scenic Moors of northern England.  Yes, the decor is authentic English pub, down to the dark wood paneling, the wood floor, the posters and photos of British heroes that adorn the brick walls, not to mention a mannequin of a "bobby" and red London phone booth, that are perched above the restroom.  Then there's the bar... ahhh, the bar... which features a wide array of British beer on tap, and any variety of mixed drink that your palate desires. The only fault that I could find with the decor is that the ceilings are very high, which isn't the case in a British pub. But this building used to be a warehouse, so I can excuse the high ceilings.  Plus, it allows more room for photos, posters and knick knacks.

Photo:  The London phone booth, and a mannequin of a "bobby" reside on top of the restrooms.

Actually, Fox and Goose is divided into two parts.  As you enter on the "R" street side, you enter the pub, and you face the bar.  The pub section has small tables, the seat either two or four people, and it doesn't have the natural lighting that the dining room has.  You walk straight past the bar to enter the dining room, and you pass the kitchen on your right.  The dining room is much larger, much airier, and features mostly natural lighting, provided from skylights in the roof, a leftover from the days when the building was a paint warehouse.  The pub section is much more "British" in decor, and more intimate in atmosphere than the dining room; in fact, I was struck by how much the dining room resembles the dining room of Everett and Jones in Oakland, CA, the premiere barbecue restaurant in the East Bay area.  I only describe the "pub" section and the "dining room" section to clarify the decor issue, as both food and drink can be ordered and consumed in either section.  In fact on our Friday morning visit, the "pub" section was filled with happy diners enjoying delightful British breakfast cuisine.

Photo:  Looking into the dining room from the entrance; the kitchen is to the right of the photo.  Note the light and airy atnosphere, compared to the more "intimate" decor of the "pub" section of the restaurant.  Our table is in the extreme right rear of the photo.

Fox and Goose is one of the more popular breakfast restaurants in Sacramento, so even on a Friday morning, I had to put my John Hancock on a sign-up sheet, and I couldn't be seated until our entire party arrived.  A sign at the doorway to the dining room announces this, and they call it "House Rules."  Since I arrived before the rest of the club members, I had to wait a few minutes for everybody to arrive.  I made the most of the time by snapping a few photos, and surfing the web with my always-present cell phone.

When the club members arrived our table was ready, and we were seated by our friendly waitress Krissy B., and another hostess, Crescent, brought glasses of ice water, which was a nice touch.  Menus were almost superfluous, as we'd surfed Fox's web site, where their menus are posted, so we knew what we wanted.  The six core club members were present today, and we were split evenly between ordering the Pub Grills, featuring British Bangers, and the British Omelets.  If you're a coffee drinker, you've come to the right place, as two pots of delicious coffee were brought to our table, so we could refill 'em ourselves.  OK, many coffee purists call pots of coffee a cop-out, but to us, it doesn't make any difference, as long as the coffee is delicious, hot and plentiful, and Fox and Goose meets the aforementioned criteria.

Photo:  Krissy B. has just placed Mark's breakfast on the table, as I say "cheese" and get her to smile for my digital camera.

Allow me to describe a pub grill breakfast.  First, there are many options for meat, including bangers, kippers, sausage, bacon, linguica, and many more, but to me, it was a choice between either bangers or kippers, as I wanted my breakfast to be totally British.  My breakfast included two perfectly grilled, juicy bangers.  As an aside, Dan remarked that the bangers served at Fox and Goose are better than the bangers that he enjoyed when he was station in England, during his Air Force days.  You have a choice between hash browns, or English country potatoes, which are red and russet potatoes, grilled with onions and bell peppers.  Guess which option we chose? Next, you get two eggs, cooked any way you like 'em, even poached, British-style.  On the side, you can choose from English muffins, toast, bagel, or an authentic British crumpet or scone.  I stayed on our side of the Atlantic, as I ordered my eggs fried over easy, and toast... Before you shout Bah! Humbug!, please consider that I don't care for poached eggs, nor do I care for crumpets or scones.  As an additional option, Dan, Brad and I ordered our potatoes topped with Welsh Rarebit cheese... Oh baby!

Photo:  Crescent rings up a customer, with the kitchen in the background.  I basically barged in, without permission, and snapped the photo, and beat a hasty retreat.

Photo:  OK kids, here's my delicious breakfast.  Note the Welsh Rarebit cheese that covers the potatoes.   To the upper left of the photo, Dan cuts one of his juicy bangers.

Is the breakfast good?  Answer:  A resounding YES!  The eggs were perfectly cooked, I mean perfectly cooked (it's not easy to cook a perfect fried egg, but Fox managed to complete the task,) the bangers were tasty, juicy, and perfectly grilled, and the potatoes were grilled just right, as they weren't mushy, nor were they burnt, and the toast was practically dripping with real butter.  The Welsh Rarebit cheese that topped the potatoes added a slice of heaven, so when you visit Fox and Goose, I'd suggest you order your taters topped with rarebit, and the coffee was some of the best in town.  Judge the presentation from the photos; I'd say it's attractive.  The portions are very generous, but not huge, and for me, my breakfast was enough to keep me going all day until I enjoyed a light dinner of soup and salad in the early evening.  The price is very competitive, and represents an outstanding value.

Photo:   Core Sacramento Breakfast Club members, from left to right:  Dan MacLeod, David DeMario, Mark McIntire, Brad Holther, Matt Donnelly, and Eric Rench, your web master, writer and photographer.  Krissy B. graciously snapped our photo using my camer.

Fox and Goose has built themselves quite a reputation in Sacramento, and for good reason, they have become a landmark breakfast restaurant.  The decor is very British, right down to the dart board on the wall, the staff are friendly, the service is excellent, the cuisine is very British, the breakfasts are outstanding, and the restaurant is a fun and comfortable place to enjoy an excellent breakfast.  In Sacramento, or in the United States, Fox and Goose is about as British as it gets, the only glaring omission is the fact that you won't hear a British accent spoken in the restaurant; British accented English is very rare in Sacramento.

Fox and Goose is highly recommended by members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club.

Fox and Goose
1001 "R" St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
916 443-8825

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