Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published 12:01 p.m. CT Feb. 26, 2019 | Updated 1:42 p.m. CT Feb. 26, 2019
A lot of food trucks hibernate for the winter. Foxfire’s truck is in hibernation, too, but its crew cooks Wednesdays to Saturdays inside Hawthorne Coffee Roasters on the south side. I made a point to stop in on a Thursday. That’s when the special is a cheeseburger.
I know some of you are thinking, “Enough with the burgers! We’re overrun.” We are overrun with OK burgers, but there are not nearly enough excellent burgers. Foxfire’s is an excellent burger.
It’s my idea of a great burger these days: Stripped down to its essence, simple. A ton of outlandish toppings leave me cold now; I want to taste the beef in my burger.
Foxfire’s tastes of beef, all right. The cheeseburger is a double — two four-ounce patties of brisket that’s ground fresh. They’re well-seared to bump up the flavor but not overdone; this is a juicy burger.
Foxfire adds American cheese, which softens over the burger’s craggy surface. Pickle and shaved onion hit those desirable sharp notes that perk up all that richness.
And it’s all nestled in a well-buttered toasted bun. Perfect.
The burger ($10) comes with fries that are McDonald’s-esque, which is to say, pretty much perfect.
It takes some doing to acquire a Foxfire burger. Thursdays only, yes, and only from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you’re there, you’re probably nearby to begin with, or you have a day off, or you’re a second- or third-shifter. It’s worth the trip, I’d say.
You’ll have to walk past Hawthorne’s coffee counter when you enter (but return later for a beer, cocktail or other beverage) — Foxfire’s counter is at the back of the cafe.
Foxfire also makes one of my very favorite fried chicken sandwiches, and those are served every day they’re open. Fried fish sandwiches are the special on Fridays; Saturdays, it’s hot-fried chicken and waffles served with maple bacon jam and fried egg aioli. The waffles are by Press, another truck and soon-to-be brick-and-mortar that pops up at Hawthorne on Saturday mornings.
Foxfire’s menu is brief, but there are always a few snacks or appetizers, like brussels sprouts ($6). The sprouts’ flavorings might change; they were dressed in a spirited sauce of gochujang, soy sauce and sesame oil when I had them.
Foxfire owners Bryan Phillips and Maggie Reid always have a couple of other vegan dishes on the menu, too.
For diners who partake, though, that beefy burger is one to remember.
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4177 S. Howell Ave., inside Hawthorne Coffee Roasters
Fare: Sandwiches, snacks
Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; 12:30-6 p.m. Saturday
Prices: $6-$12; $10 for burger and fries
Parking: On street
Wheelchair access: Yes, entry and restrooms
Payment: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover
Of special note: Vegetarian and vegan options; takeout; high chairs; catering; Wi-Fi; Hawthorne Coffee happy hour 3-6 p.m. Fridays.
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