I have been hearing a lot of hype about Foundry Provisions-well, to be honest, I’ve been hearing hype about there being hype about Foundry Provisions-and decided to stop in for a quick lunch at 4 on a weekday afternoon. This place opened in March of this year in the just-starting-to-be-gentrified Herron-Morton neighborhood off 16th and Meridian and describes its offerings as “coffee, breakfast, and lunch offerings in the little red building on the corner.”
In all honesty, I don’t really need a new place to buy a tasty sandwich on artisanal bread, so I may be judging too harshly. A lot of the charcuterie offered here is actually sourced from Goose, which caused some head-scratching on my part since this sandwich shop is literally 20 blocks from Goose. In my mind, when you open a shop that sells the same type of food in basically the same neighborhood, you set yourself up for comparison. Overall, while my meal here was good, I just don’t know that it would be a lunch destination for me.
The whole cafe is very hip and modern, with its scarlet exterior and painted brick industrial-art interior. I will say that there is nowhere else (that I know of) within walking distance where hip young wealthy people would feel comfortable getting breakfast or lunch. This hunch was supported by the four o’clock influx of students from the arts-themed charter Herron High School down the block in their plaid skirts and angsty nose rings. The whole place sort of oozes a fair-trade, non-profit, artsy-fartsy vibe which is a little tired in my book, but undeniably nice to look at.
Basically the menu consists of coffee and an array of coffee drinks, pastries, oatmeal/granola and sandwiches of the breakfast and lunch varieties. We ordered the Tarkington: smoked turkey, whole grain mustard, provolone, tomato and romaine on some nice rustic bread. In retrospect, I should have substituted mayonnaise, but the sandwich was tasty and just the right size.
We also got a cup of soup, Spicy Chicken Rice, which had just the right amount of heat for my taste and reminded me of my mother’s turkey barley soup. The soup was served with two small pieces of bread, which was great for dipping.
To drink, we tried an iced coffee, which I found to be a little dark for my taste but perfectly fine, and a San Pelligrino Limonata, which is a personal favorite of mine. The whole thing was about $16, which actually makes this kind of a pricey lunch spot for just a bite with friends.
Basically this is a glorified grocery store that goes to all the places you’d go to make a great lunch-Goose for meat, Circle City Sweets for cookies, Amelia’s for bread, etc- then puts it all together and provides nice natural lighting and seats. As I type that, it sounds like such a great idea, but somehow having everything together in one place, I don’t know…it took the romance out of it. When I go to Goose, I want to grab a crusty baguette and some nice fatty soppressata and eat them with a bottle of something bubbly in the grass somewhere. When I go to Circle City Sweets, I want to salivate over the displays of candy and cookies and cakes, then pick one out and walk around City Market, munching an eclair (I always pick an eclair) and gossiping with a girlfriend. These places are all selling really good food, but they are also selling a feeling, and I just didn’t get that from Foundry Provisions.
That said, if I went to Herron High School, I’d totally be saving my lunch money for Limonata and a good book in this little corner.