The word “foxy” most often implies cleverness or attractiveness in a person. There’s a less known definition that applies to a fruit flavor, sometimes in reference to wine appreciation. At the Churchill, the shipping container food court and outdoor bar in downtown Phoenix, a tenant named Foxy Fruit doesn’t pour wine, but it does offer intensely fruity concoctions as part of its entirely vegan menu. It’s a stall where those conscious about health trends might enjoy a full meal, but even Churchill visitors with other tastes can find a snack, breakfast, or dessert.
Foxy Fruit’s space is found in the southwestern corner of the Churchill, right at the corner of First Street and Garfield and just a two-block walk from the Roosevelt/Central light rail station. Bike racks are found along the sidewalks on both First and Garfield streets. Foxy Fruit has two windows bracketing its narrow kitchen. The one facing the street is used during morning hours when the Churchill’s interior is closed and customers may just want something to go. Later, the focus moves to an inward facing window located just inside the Churchill’s main entrance.
The menu takes the form of both laminated, printed sheets and colorful signs displaying seasonal specials and signature items. Foxy Fruit is not entirely devoted to raw foods, but it has a kitchen in which the only cooking appliance is a toaster. The workhorse of the establishment is a blender, which is used to puree trendy tropical fruits like acai and pitaya, as well as long established favorites like strawberries and bananas. The fruit finds its way into bowls, smoothies, and shakes in colorful combinations generally available in large and small sizes.
The bowls and smoothies are most often built on purees of either acai, the red-purple berries of the acai palms of Central and South America, or pitaya, the cactus fruit with an off-white flesh and red exterior. On top of these bases, a variety of toppings and additional flavors add dimensions of taste and texture. The PB&J Coco blends acai with blueberries, bananas, strawberries, peanut butter, dates, and almond milk with granola and whole fruit on top. A seasonal special, Flower Power, layers pepitas and pedals of edible blossoms over pitaya.
Additional smoothies incorporate other types of fruity foundations. The Tangerine Dream incorporates bananas, tangerine juice, turmeric, and a date puree that adds both thickness and sweetness. The Ocean Breeze smoothie, also available in a bowl format, derives its distinctive aquamarine color from spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, that has moved from use as animal and fish food to human consumption. A summer seasonal slushy made with watermelon offers concentrated flavor, a bold red color, and an icy consistency to counteract the hot weather.
Although the smoothies can make a meal for some customers, it’s the shakes here that are by far the most filling category on the menu, even without the presence of ice cream or dairy. A chocolate peanut butter cup shake mixes blended bananas with peanut butter, raw cacao, almond milk, and date puree, all accessorized with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and peanut butter. Mint chocolate and salted caramel varieties are equally hearty. At the other end of the spectrum, a lighter drink is the tart pink dragon lemonade or a seasonal pomegranate variant.
Avocado toast is the most solid of the foods here, the one item that can be consumed by hand rather than with a spoon and straw. It comes in two varieties, one that combines mango and coconut as an additional layer above the avocado, and another that contrasts the sweet taste of pineapple with the spice of Tajin seasoning. There’s also a banana and peanut (or almond) butter toast with additional seasonings of chocolate and cinnamon. All of these toasts are available in one or two-slice configurations, allowing them to serve as snacks or meals.
With a vegan menu and an emphasis on fruit-based, mostly uncooked foods, Foxy Fruit won’t be everyone’s idea of what to pair with a pint of beer or a craft cocktail from one of the Churchill’s bars. Nevertheless, it’s an appealing alternative for someone who wants lighter food, a healthful alternative, or even just a fruit taste in a dessert or non-alcoholic drink paired with pizza, a burger, or tacos procured elsewhere at the Churchill. This stall may specialize in a fruit flavor, but it’s also clever and attractive, embodying the idea of foxiness in its multiple meanings.
1/2/2023 Update: Foxy Fruit has changed ownership and adopted the new name Infruition.
901 N. 1st St. #101, Phoenix AZ 85004