Coffee consumption has seen many reinventions throughout the years. Consider your Grandfather’s coffee (Instant, Black) or your Little Sister’s coffee (Frappuccino, Mocha) and then consider the ways in which coffee is sold in market: Ready to Drink, Diner Coffee, Gas Station Coffee, Third-Rate After-Dinner Espresso, and Third Wave Specialty Coffee. Just by examining the practice of business falling under the blanket term “café” we find that there are a number of different theories and applications resulting in a varied range of experiences.
Some shops go after that “really quaint” vibe and have cute art hanging all over the place and are stuffed with a dusty assemblage of “local” art and handmade jewelry and handbags indicating how cozy they are. These types of shops are usually cover ups for garbage antique stores; they typically don’t have any food that hasn’t been sitting in the pastry case for a 7 to 10 day gestation period and the espresso machine is probably dirty (always in relation to the owner of the shop never having bothered to learn how to use it because (s)he only drinks Black Instant, anyway). The espresso usually ends up being a sour watery luongo(sp) while the brewed coffee tastes like (you guessed it) stale Instant coffee.
Other shops mainly serve food creating more of a lackluster bistro than café experience: the menus are typically dominated by breakfast foods like omelets and lunch salads and sandwiches and yeah, of course they serve coffee; it has been sitting on the back burner since they opened at 9am (seriously, what type of breakfast spot opens at 9am?)
Foundry Provisions doesn’t quit fit into either of these niches. One of the few and far between gimmick-free cafés in the city, the menu as well as the atmosphere is pared down. The Café is bright and open with three giant East and South facing picture windows that fill the room with a soft glowing afternoon light. The space uses a coherent modern design using raw materials in a minimalist fashion; tables are constructed of raw plywood, steel, and glass with painted brick walls and a raw concrete floor. Despite the hard materials the space remains warm and inviting providing a utilitarian atmosphere with just the right amount of bar seating, two and four top tables, and overstuffed chairs for whichever type of visit you are trying to make. The short menu offers quality coffee beverages, pastries sourced from one of Indianapolis’ most credible bakeries, and small sandwiches. The counter service is genuine above all else and the drinks and food are consistent and carefully prepared. The espresso roast from Julian Coffee Roasters is exceptionally balanced with a complex and sweet finish.
236 East 16th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202