Tag Archives: review

My New Lunch Hideaway: Fox in the Snow Cafe

As someone who works on the outskirts of downtown, I am always looking for a new place to escape and find lunch. Today I just wanted to enjoy what is likely one of the final remnants of sunshine and lukewarm days in Columbus, Ohio until spring returns. I planned to head to Chipotle but discovered some markers I need for a class were sold at Blick in the Short North. Let’s see (I thought)… markers or Chipotle in the opposite direction? Well, I decided on the markers and headed to Blick. On the way back I remembered that the last time I traveled 4th Street, I discovered the whereabouts of a cafe I’d read about on Columbus Underground. They gave it a write up that was just interesting enough that I’d want to check it out (find it here: http://www.columbusunderground.com/first-look-fox-in-the-snow-cafe-in-italian-village). The main thing I remembered about the review was that it was located in Italian Village (where the heck is that?) and that the pic made it look cool. So on the way back to work, I took 2nd Avenue over to 4th and turned right.

So, I found it and entered in what seemed like the back door (where there is off street parking) and made my way to the front. I’ll be honest- that part is awkward as you do something I absolutely hate: walk physically past food that is sitting out to be served. TherFISCPastriese was an array of pastries- cinnamon rolls, biscuits with jelly, muffins and a host of other options. I thought about all the hair and skin particles floating in the air and tried not to be grossed out enough to turn back. At the counter were friendly staff who helped me decide on a drink (a mocha) and convinced me to try a pastry despite my previously mentioned concerns. I observed that they serve slow drip coffees. While I was being rung up, I asked the cashier if they were “pretty much a coffee and pastry shop?” and he answered affirmative. But suddenly, a member of the kitchen staff comes out with a BEAUTIFUL breakfast sandwich served on a cutting board instead of a plate. I said- WAIT! We promptly changed my order (thanks for understanding bro!). By the time I finished ordering (interpret – holding up the line) my coffee was ready. It turned out my barista is a latte artiste and fashioned a beautiful feather from the frothed milk just for me. Ok- he does it for everyone. Dang it! Anywho- I danced a happy dance all the way to my table admiring my latte and took its picture.

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Lynne’s Latte – a beauty right?
FISCbarkitchen
The bar facing the kitchen

So, let’s talk about the overall place and atmosphere. I was probably the only non-local person in the place. Fox in the Snow is like the Cheers of coffee houses and folks were familiar and chatting. I’d forgotten that it boasted large windows as it was previously a garage. The wood work is beautiful and there are plants EVERY WHERE! I’m a such a sucker for succulents, hanging and other green plants (I found out some were fake, but that didn’t change my enthusiasm)! I chatted it up with a lady who sat next to me about the plants, particularly since she had some in a bag (she recommended my next field trip http://rosebredl.com/). The kitchen is open (like Northstar) with a glass pane through which you can see the cooks working if you desire.

My sandwich came out hot and delicious (I ate it all). The egg was fluffy and light, the bread fresh with a crunch on the outside and the spinach inside was flavorful. I was not disappointed.FISCSandwich

Oh! And I did drink my coffee. It was a different experience, minus all the extras from Starbucks. It was pretty and I will need to reflect later on if I really liked it. I like my milk with coffee if you know what I’m saying.

Overall- great experience. The food was good (Far above most of my daily options one of which is Wendys). The plants, sun-inviting windows and warm wood tones are incredibly inviting. I can see myself going there to hide out from my work peers, enjoy a sandwich from the kitchen and maybe, maybe- one of those beautiful pastries.

**One more thing- while traveling up 4th strFISClogoeet, the cafe is actually rather nondescript but you’ll know it by the fox on the wall. >>>>

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Review: Tyrese’s Black Rose

Tyrese’s 2015 release, Black Rose had me at liner notes, complete with vocal information, lyrics and a cover reminiscent of Marvin Gaye concert footage. I purchased the regular edition (the deluxe includes some stuff I don’t care about lol) and immediately popped It in for the ride home. Some folks (Tyrese included) have stated that he is bringing back real R&B. As a true fan of music I would say that R&B has never gone anywhere but what has changed are the faces of those being propped up by mainstream as current representation. This has been going on for years as somehow boy bands with mediocre voices replaced in popularity the voices of existing male groups like Boys II Men. But I digress (til another day my friends)… Tyrese does have a winner if you enjoy R&B music with smooth grooves and is of the sort where the singer can actually sing, without help from the studio gadgetry. Think of the rawness in The Five Heartbeats when Eddie King, Jr grabbed the mic and sang a capella during their first performance.  Tyrese has the grit and ability to star in a remake for sure!

So, let’s get into music. Black Rose is comprised of 14 tracks including the stellar lead song, Shame (matching the ever powerful vocalist Jennifer Hudson who shines on bgvs), features from  Chrisette Michelle (Don’t Wanna Look Back), Brandy (The Rest of Our Lives), Marsha Ambrosius (though not credited for bgvs on Picture Perfect) and his TGT homie Tank (Prior to You).  I don’t know about you but I like to be wooed by music. A good beat is great (Tyrese has them) but add some appeal by giving me some poetry and intellect in the midst of your pursuit.  That said, I’m not here for the ratchet, unnecessarily explicit lyrics that are highly over played by mainstream radio today. Tyrese brings us some balance. One thing that surprised me was that he had writing credit on every song. In fact, the Black Rose Tyrese reminds me NOT of the persona he displays via his social media accounts, but of the Lately, on-the-bus-singing-about-Coca-Cola-drinking-Tyrese of yesterday! I mean, I know he’s from the hood but he tricked me back in the day into thinking he was just a nice guy who liked to write lyrics and sing aloud on the bus like me! Black Rose is a love letter and this Tyrese is eloquently pursuing with words a love he has injured perhaps irreparably. This is evidenced on Leave where he croons- ‘if you ever leave, I would be helpless, you would be hopeless, like a sea without a beach, what would life mean?’ I don’t know about you, but I’d go back at least one more time!

This cd certainly deserves some major spin. You may find that it reminds you of some of the tone and angst experienced on a Marvin Gaye cd without stealing Marvin to make it happen (Cough! Robin Thicke!). Tyrese certainly has vocal chops and here he uses them well. On Without My Heart, he went so low and deep in tone that my passenger and I looked at each other and exclaimed “daaaaamn!” Other stand out tracks are-  Waiting On You, I Still Do and the sensual Gonna Give You What You Want. The only expendable is the song Dumb Sh-t which began as a diss song toward comedian Spanky Hayes (google it). Minus that one song, this entire project could be played during any radio station’s “quiet storm” show. It covers the entire gamut of a relationship from good to bad to “oh crap, I might have messed up for good this time”. Overall, this project makes me forgive Ty for becoming Black Ty and later his horrid, relationship advice. But isn’t that what music is supposed to do- Make you forgive and forget past transgressions, dance and bob your head until you forget everything becoming putty in his hands?

Speaking of new music: Goapele is back!

Most people are familiar with songstress Goapele (pronounced gwa-puh-lay) thanks to her song Closer (to my dreams). True fans know she has had much more to offer than her 2001 (yes, I said 2001) hit. But none of them have received radio play in my city, Columbus, Ohio. We may be fashion forward but when it comes to bringing new music- radio sucks. But I digress (pretty often too). Fast forward 13 years later and Goapele has delivered a flirty, radio friendly groove titled Hey Boy. It’s a great summer jam and infectious enough to get your head bobbin. Goapele teases, ‘If you want it, I’m not trying to wait around.’ Well, Miss Goapele- neither are we! Check it out via Soundcloud here:

http://soundcloud.com/goapele/hey-boy

Side note: Hey Boy was written by British singer/songwriter, Estelle. It reminds me a lot of another song, also titled Hey Boy by Hil St. Soul (another Brit) from her Soulidified project, released in 2006. Could be total coincidence but I must investigate that connection! Don’t know Hil St Soul? Check out her song of the same title below and then cop Soulidified in its entirety. You can’t go wrong with either track! 

http://youtu.be/eQSIiAnzWUA

 ~ Listen upside down

Music Review: Lil John Roberts ft Musiq Soulchild and Chantae Cann – It’s Your Time

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Woo! So hot off the presses, drummer Lil John Roberts has a new joint featuring Musiq Soulchild (one of my faves and I only have two!) and Chantae Cann. I love Chantae Cann’s voice! She can sang! And of course Musiq never fails. Lil Joh

n lets the artists do their thing on this release and together, their harmonies are magical- my sangin friends and I all agreed! Lil John has been playing the background for a minute as drummer (you may know him having been previously linked to Jill Scott, Ledisi, Saadiq and many other majors). Much as the lyrics proclaim- its your (his) time to shine! I dig the inspirational flavor of it and I’m a sucker for meaningful lyrics and a good track. What say you, listeners? I caught this on the singersroom.com and it deserves a listen. Can you dig it or nah?

Listen here:

http://singersroom.com/content/2014-05-09/Lil-John-Roberts-Its-Your-Time-Ft-Musiq-Soulchild-and-Chantae-Cann/