Foodie Road Trip: National Provisions & Boulangerie

Photographs by Evan Sgouris

Earlier this week, while returning from a fall getaway to Asheville, we ducked into this brilliant little café for a mid-afternoon snack. It was, in fact, the best afternoon snack ever: a slim chorizo tartine tied with red-and-white bakers’ twine, a parchment-wrapped Benton’s bacon quiche Lorraine, and a pot of Bellocq Tea served in café au lait bowls.

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Francophiles will delight in Andrea Sims and Krim Boughalem’s baskets and shelves overflowing with fresh baked baguette, epi, and boules, not to mention pastry cases bursting with flaky croissants, enormous cookies, colorful macarons, meringue-topped tarts, and sumptuous cakes. While we thoroughly enjoyed the food—bread and quiche are baked in-house and filled with locally sourced products—I was thrilled to sample some Bellocq tea.

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If you read food and design magazines (Bellocq is the brainchild of three individuals who cut their teeth at Martha Stewart Living and Anthropologie), you may recognize the Brooklyn-based tea atelier’s signature bright yellow tins filled with loose leaf tea that they personally source from small batch producers committed to the traditional craft of tea. But until we stumbled into this little Lexington gem—which also has a new full-service restaurant—I’d never had the pleasure of sampling, not to mention smelling, a variety of their teas.

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And I’ll let you in on a little secret—National’s prices were cheaper than the retail prices on Bellocq’s website. If you find yourself in Lexington anytime soon, make sure you stop and check out the boulangerie, attached beer hall (serving a broad lunch menu and plenty of beers by the bottle and tap), and their carefully curated retail selection. I know I’ll definitely be back.

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National Provisions, 710 National Ave., Lexington (859) 303-4763

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