We’ve been to Star Provisions on many occasions – to pick up cheese or bread or something else – even a perfect anniversary gift one year. But we had never been there to eat – until today. Heading to a 2:00 GT basketball game, I wanted something different than one of our usual stops, so we headed to Westside Provision District and found a place in the incredibly crowded parking lot. In addition to the wine, cheese, meat, seafood and gourmet foods for sale in the grocery, they also serve food from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. To get to that side of the store, you walk in the front doors, turn right, through the bakery, and head toward the giant ORDER sign. The options include sandwiches, salads and soup along with a daily blue plate special. After sorting through the choices and placing your order at the counter, the second challenge is finding a spot to sit, as they only have communal seating.
So if you are planning a visit, the first consideration is time of day. Noon on a sunny Saturday was very busy. And weather is definitely the second consideration. If it is too cold to be outside, as it was this afternoon, the two inside tables and one short counter fill up quickly. We (along with the others waiting) circled those eating like buzzards waiting for a spot to free up. I felt bad about doing that, but not bad enough to stop. As the two tables are also in front of the front doors, it was cold inside, too. I imagine on a warm spring or fall day, the space at the outside tables would be at a premium, as diners linger.
Jo ordered a hard salami and gruyere sandwich with meyer lemon mayo, which she said reminded her of the glorious street sandwiches in Paris (I saw that they had a prosciutto and parmesan on the menu as well). And, even though they don’t tell you about the pickle, they have the decency to put it underneath the wax paper below your sandwich. Nice touch.
I ordered the blue plate special – braised short ribs with mushroom gravy, smashed potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts. If you’re looking in the picture for the brussel sprouts, this isn’t a joke. So was I. They weren’t there. Not that I particularly wanted them, but I was surprised that they weren’t there and that they hadn’t mentioned the substitution when I ordered. Instead, it arrived with haricot verts (with more mushrooms) and carrots. The mushroom gravy was thick, savory and filled with sliced mushrooms, not just bits like you most commonly see. The short rib was fork tender and the combination of mushroom gravy, short rib and smashed potato made for a delicious forkful every time.
In addition to the eat in food, you can also order many of the sides along with the blue plate entree (and a couple of others), by weight, to carry out. They also have a fantastic bakery, which we had tested before and from which we brought this pecan sticky bun home for an evening snack.