Since lunchtime Tuesday, Hobart has been all a buzz. The paper is off the windows and on any given street you’ll find people carrying compostable takeaway boxes full of salads, bearing The Providore stamp.
Like an adolescent boy, the Ethos enclave just shot up overnight. Now they’re taller than everyone around them.
The latest venture by Ethos Eat Drink’s Iain Todd and Chloe Proud has opened its doors.
And within days of opening, its contribution to Hobart’s West End can’t be overestimated already.
The Providore has brought Ethos out into the daylight: unique ingredients, locally sourced, made by their own Chefs or their suppliers, now available for lunch and snacks. They’ve implemented Vita: Nature + Culture’s pay by weight business model on the salad bar. There’s a menu of sandwiches made to order, several sweeties, wine by the glass and bottle, coffee, juice and their own iced coffee and chocolate milk.
There’s meat, cheese and milk to take home. Add some of those salads and you’ve got a gorgeous dinner without the fuss.
They’re selling souvenirs too; artisan knives and cookbooks; and for those who don’t bottle at home: pears, tomato sauce, baked beans, a wall of shelves lined with little jars of preserves.
Chloe and Iain have created another simple, clean, light space: street-side seating, a shared table out front and café tables at the rear. The service is attentive and kind.
The Two Girls took the Only Child out for lunch on Saturday. We nabbed a table so we wouldn’t miss out and our attendant was quick to explain the workings of the place and continued in this role, welcoming each customer and talking through what was what. An important customer service when faced with a new way of eating.
We chose sandwiches and loved the delicate milky bread rolls the chicken, ox tongue and beef were served in ($12 each). With salads our lunches cost between $15-18.
We drank a bottle of Goaty Hill Maia 2010 sparkling wine for $40.
We finished off the meal with a large whack of rocky road with popcorn and sesame seed, pear syrup cake, and coffees.
Our meal was pleasant enough and we enjoyed the surge of energy that was the lunchtime rush.
And we love what the Ethos crew is doing: local, quality, sustainable, convivial, integrity.
Importantly, they are making a significant impact on food and space in the West End, and it’s turning that part of the city around, providing a real alternative to Salamanca, finally.
It’s unlikely to become a lunchtime destination for the Two Girls at the current price point though: there’s competition when it comes to food produced sustainably, interesting sangas, good coffee and awesome treats in a number of cafes within only a few blocks (and at home). On top of that, when you make your own sauces and preserves with cheap as chips, Cospak jars and homegrown produce for only a few dollars there’s no attraction in paying what’s on ask for their bottled goods.
But that’s just us.
The Providore has the potential to thrive with more growth in the menu options and some ironing out of their pricing.
Let’s hope so, their presence in the West End is influential.
Ethos Eat Drink the restaurant is definitely worth visiting. Find them here.
Here’s when we got a sneak peak on The Providore by Ethos. Find our post here.