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Friday, May 2, 2014

Seriously Playful Food: Bread & Circus Provisions is a Welcomed Wildcard in the Lafayette Culinary Scene

The Chop Block Melt on Rye: Pork Cheek Pastrami, Corned Beef & Smoked Beef Tongue, Slaw, Swiss and Celery Salt Mayo. Pictured with a Swamp Pop Noble Cane Cola.
The Chop Block Melt on Rye: Pork Cheek Pastrami, Corned Beef & Smoked Beef Tongue,
Slaw, Swiss and Celery Salt Mayo. Pictured with a Swamp Pop Noble Cane Cola.




Bread and Circus Provisions started out providing different preserves and sauces at a farmers market in Lafayette, LA. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, they now grace a new brick and mortar location that packs a lot of character. The term Bread & Circus comes from a Roman method of politically appeasing the masses, not with good policy, but instead with distractions such as food or entertainment.



Co-Owner and Chef Manny Augello prepping for dinner service







Inside you'll find a hostess stand/bar combo, shelves of their homemade preserves and sauces as well ask books about Lafayette's culinary scene and dinner series, a fresh cooler full of local veggies, a fridge full of Swamp Pop and a dining room full of atmosphere.





Owners Manny Augello and Abi Falgout are dedicated to sharing their love of food with Acadiana and it doesn't just come through, it slaps you in the face. Their infectious personalities and passion for what they do make their slamming food monumental in this community. I had the fortune of stopping by Bread & Circus while filming the Louisiana Culinary Trails project for Louisiana Travel. The place filled up quickly for dinner service packed and the food was rolling. I can definitely say that if you're looking for great, local, modern and amazing cuisine and environment, you need to check out Bread & Circus.

Pictured at the top of the post is a hearty, but tastefully balanced lunch. The Chop Block Melt, composed with different cuts of meat such as Pork Cheek Pastrami, Corned Beef & Smoked Beef Tongue, that provide savory and salty elements while the sandwich finishes with a fresh slaw gives that crisp clean crunch.

If you're a big fan of Asian style soups this is the one for you. The Boneless Pork Rib Ramen has a broth that knocks your flavor socks off. Rich, but light at the same time; the savory tones from the pork spark up garlic spikes throughout sips. The udon noodles and sprouts absorb the flavor well while the pickled quail egg has a tiny kick that sends the dish over the top.

Boneless Pork Rib Ramen: Soy Braised, Miso Broth, Udon Noodles, Pickled Quail Egg and Sprouts.
Boneless Pork Rib Ramen: Soy Braised, Miso Broth, Udon Noodles, Pickled Quail Egg and Sprouts.

If you aren't used to eating things like beef tongue and lamb heart, don't be freaked out. The Braised Heart Tacos are reminiscent beef fajitas with a stew meat-type texture and sautéed onions. The feta is saltier than a normal taco cheese and brightens up the dish. Add a few sprigs of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime and you've got a fiesta!

Braised Heart Taco: Slow Cooked Lamb Heart, Cilantro, Curtido, Lime, and Feta. Pictured with a Parish Brewing Co. Canebrake.
Braised Heart Taco: Slow Cooked Lamb Heart, Cilantro, Curtido, Lime, and Feta.
Pictured with a Parish Brewing Co. Canebrake.

Chef Manny Augello cares about his diners. To prove it he makes each batch of noodles for the House-Made Pasta Carbonara fresh to order. Some say that's crazy, I say it's genius...and delicious. Savory, cheesy, tangy. Get it and stick your head through the window to watch him make the pasta by hand, from scratch, and to order.

House-Made Pasta* Carbonara: Pork Cheek, Black Pepper Butter, Pea Shoots, Goat's Milk Cheddar, and Toasted Breadcrumbs. *Pasta Noodles made Fresh to order.
House-Made Pasta* Carbonara: Pork Cheek, Black Pepper Butter, Pea Shoots, Goat's Milk Cheddar, and Toasted Breadcrumbs. *Pasta Noodles made Fresh to order.

PCP Home Fries. Translation: cheese fries on steroids. Instead of the basic popular girl, bacon, Bread & Circus chose the sexy cool nerd with more substance: pork cheek pastrami. Topped with tangy swiss and a garlicky finish, these fries are more than satisfactory.

PCP Home Fries: Pork Cheek Pastrami, Garlic, Smoked Meat Gravy, and Melted Swiss.
PCP Home Fries: Pork Cheek Pastrami, Garlic, Smoked Meat Gravy, and Melted Swiss.

Not your mom's charcuterie board, Bread & Circus keeps a well curated selection of cuts for their board lovers. The saltiness of the meats with the cream of the mozzarella provides your taste buds with balance... add stone ground mustard for a zingy surprise! 

B&C Charcuterie Board: Stone Ground Mustard, Fresh Mozzarella, Assorted cuts of Pork, and Salmon.
B&C Charcuterie Board: Stone Ground Mustard, Fresh Mozzarella, Assorted cuts of Pork, and Salmon.

Crispy-tarty goodness, Fried Green Tomatoes at Bread & Circus Provisions is the best combination of this classic dish I've had in quite some time. The natural tanginess of the tomatoes and the smooth savory tasso tartar sauce sustains this perpetual mouth yin and yang...until it's gone.

Fried Green Tomatoes: Panko Crusted, Tasso Tartar Sauce, and Crab Claw Relish.
Fried Green Tomatoes: Panko Crusted, Tasso Tartar Sauce, and Crab Claw Relish.

Don't be afraid of the rawness or the slightly-different-than-what-you're-used-to texture of the Lamb Tartar. The lamb is mixed with sweet red onions and spices that lend a hand to this creatively yet literally plated dish. Creaminess from the raw quail egg yolk acts as a thicker substance and tangy Tabasco house mayo kicks the flavors up another notch. Slap on some crunchy rye bread and it's a date. I love lamb.

Lamb Tartar: Raw Finely Diced Lamp, Tabasco House Mayo, Raw Quail Egg and Onion on Rye.
Lamb Tartar: Raw Finely Diced Lamp, Tabasco House Mayo, Raw Quail Egg and Onion on Rye.

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