There’s so much to love about Fox and the Hen, the new all-day breakfast joint by Carrie Baird—and then there’s the stuff I am obsessed with already. It’s fun; it’s playful; it’s got wallpaper I want to steal and design details I want to copy. Its color palette is perfect. I want the wallpaper. Need it. Want to put my TV in a frame surrounded by it just like they did at the Fox and the Hen. I want a hot sauce wall, too. I want a neon sign glowing against a minimalist wallpapered wall with custom designs. And I want everyone to be delighted to see a comma joke on a menu.
I’m obsessed with this place.
Sly, surprising, and—most importantly—delicious, Fox and the Hen aims to deliver the best breakfast in Denver. It’s the latest addition to the Culinary Creative empire, which includes Bar Dough, Ash’kara, Señor Bear, A5 Steakhouse, and other top local spots. Fox and the Hen is helmed by Chef Carrie Baird, a Culinary Creative partner, executive chef, a season 15 Bravo Top Chef finalist, and a James Beard semifinalist. Her partner in the project is burrito maker and entrepreneur Michael Fox, who, just like Baird, dreamed of opening a spot just like Fox and the Hen since childhood.
Located just around the corner from Bar Dough and Tap & Burger, both parts of the Culinary Creative restaurant group, Fox and the Hen, seem set to follow in their footsteps. Kumoya, Culinary Creative’s new Japanese and sushi concept, is opening in the old Tony P’s space on 32nd Street in LoHi, just a hop, skip, and a block away from Fox and the Hen. (Red Top Rendezvous is another new Culinary Creative concept joining the neighborhood shortly, bringing Detroit-style pizza and other Italian to a new build near Jeff Park.)
Don’t Eat Grampa
No joke: I sit down at the table, pick up a menu, and the first thing I see under the Morning Booze heading is a cocktail named after a comma joke. A comma joke! On a menu! Punctuation truly is a life-and-death matter when it comes to eating Grampa. So, of course, I ordered the “Let’s Eat Grampa! / Let’s Eat, Grandpa!” breakfast beverage, and it made my word-nerdy heart happy with each sip. It blends fresh blueberry gin, lavender, and lemon ($12). When I return, I order the Let’s Plump the Blakes (so-named for Blake Edmunds, another Culinary Creative partner and executive chef behind Mister Oso and Señor Bear). It’s got tequila, aloe, sparkling aqua chile, and cucumber, and according to the table next to ours, it is absolutely divine—and popular, too. They sold out of the mix the day we had our friends and family preview.
Elsewhere on the breakfast drinks menu, the Kick Rocks Nerd puts a Pop Rocks rim on a concoction of Woody Creek Mary’s Gin, Campari, OJ, and passionfruit kombucha. Do You Like Pork & Tequila—I imagine, sung to the tune of “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”—mixes Espolòn Blanco, Ancho Reyes, guava, and lime agave, garnishes it with a chicharrone, and gives it a chile rim.
From the “Ain’t No Fun If the Homies Can’t Have None” section of the menu—aka, the shareable starters—we opted for the Blue Collar Caviar, in no small part because I’ve spent a lot of time looking through the @foxandthehen Instagram as we’ve patiently waited for the opening day to arrive and this dish kept catching my eye. As did the sausage roll, which in the most recent iteration on Instagram was served Korean hot dog style. We didn’t try them during our visit, so I can’t confirm if that’s how they ultimately turned out on the menu. You’ll have to order some and let me know.
Of course, there’s a Fancy Toast menu section—fancy toasts helped put Carrie on the culinary star map during her Top Chef season, and the Food Network has since called her the Queen of Toast. The Avocado Toast, with its smashed avocado, pickled onion, poached egg, raw salad, chili crunch, and griddled sourdough, called to my poor Millennial soul, but our waiter talked me into the Summer Toast, and I am still thanking him. It’s perfect. A pea pâté, crème cheese, heirloom tomato, and griddled sourdough. It’s topped with some basil; there’s some dill mixed in there; it’s light and refreshing and somehow rich and indulgent at the same time. It tastes like spring.
Beyond the fancy toasts, the menu’s packed full of fun. The Beat Bobby Flay-vos are the pork green chili huevos rancheros that Carrie cooked to triumph over the titular star chef on Beat Bobby Flay. There’s a Le Big Mac Omelette (bœuf, fromage Américan, hollandaise, laitue, oignon, cornichon, pomme frites) and a Breakfast Salad served on “last night’s cold cheese pizza.” It’s not a huge menu, but it’s a good one, and you really can’t go wrong.
Unless you don’t go at all. You should definitely go. And if you go it alone, you won’t have to stay alone. By the hostess stand when you walk in, three fishbowls holding bobbing bettas are the restaurant’s version of a therapy animal. “No one should dine alone, so we’ll give you a fish to keep you company if you’re here solo,” says Baird. “And because no one should eat alone, we’ll give you some fish food to feed them, too.”
That is, unless your dining companion is Nemo. A post-it note on Nemo’s bowl warned against shaking some flakes into his bowl for a few days. “Trying to help his gas!” it read.
As Nemo does his fishy best to recover, we can all find comfort in the joy and camaraderie that Fox and the Hen brings. So, don’t wait for an invitation—get up, get out, and get yourself a seat at a table. You’ll surely find it to be delightful.
Fox and the Hen open in the former Cebiche space tomorrow, June 10, 2023.
Fox and The Hen
2257 W. 32nd Ave.