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James Provisions’ BLTE — a BLT with a fried egg (“E”) done to your specifications — is a delicious treat. Photo by Laurie James.
James Provisions, 290 Grapevine Hwy, Hurst. 817-576-4323. 11am-6pm Sun, 4-9pm Mon, 4-9pm Wed-Thu, 11am-9pm Fri-Sat. Happy hour 4-5:30pm Wed, 3-5pm Fri-Sun.
The blood orange bellini was tasty if average.
Photo by Laurie James.

There’s no shame in coming home to where people love you. Especially if you’ve spent a decade and a half in the fast-paced, often exhausting world of New York restaurant-ing.

James Provisions is the second of its name from restaurateur Deborah Williamson, who grew up in the Mid-Cities before relocating to New York City. She founded the original James in Brooklyn with chef/husband Bryan Calvert in 2008. Tucked into the couple’s Prospect Heights neighborhood, it was a small affair, beloved by locals. Last year, the pair returned here to Williamson’s home state to open their second small (80-seat) restaurant. It looks a little like a NYC bodega with its counter service and merch for sale but also like most of the other casual eateries in the area.

The setup at James Provisions is confusing: You order at the counter, but if you’re seated and having appetizers, your server will take an order for more food when needed. This leaves you with a separate check that you’ll have to settle when they remember to bring it. However, you don’t have to face the line at the counter if all you want is a second drink. If you’re looking for the fast food prevalent in this suburb, you’ll be disappointed. This is real food, cooked and presented beautifully. My suggestion is to grab an easy appetizer and a couple of drinks and settle in to the pretty, airy space.

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The list of mains is surprisingly sturdy. My dining companion opted for the BLT: house-smoked bacon, delicious tomato, and a spicy aioli sandwiched between slabs of thick-sliced bread. The whole thing was crowned by a fried egg cooked to your specifications. This is a definite knife-and-fork sandwich, and the combo of salty meat, crisp lettuce and tomato, and the delicious egg will make you want to always add an “E” to your BLT.

The BLTE was accompanied by smashed home fries, a wonderful abundance of crispy goodness. James Provisions has a shtick about not frying their food in oils like safflower and generic mixed monounsaturated oil, but whatever they used on these potatoes was absolutely delicious.

If you’re not a bacon fan, the menu contains a good selection of vegetarian items. Still, I highly recommend the roasted chicken breast. After my experience with another restaurant serving me chicken tartare (please for the love of all that is holy, temp your meat before you serve me!), I was a little concerned. I did not need to be. The chicken breast managed to be perfectly moist, and a good part of that was the bone-broth natural jus gravy. The savory salad of fennel, radicchio, and celery was a healthy, crunchy offering, and the taste paired nicely with the herb-augmented bird. However, what I really wanted was some potatoes to soak up that heavenly gravy. Thankfully, my dining companion was a sharer. If you go and order the chicken breast, get yourself a side of spuds so that luscious gravy doesn’t go to waste.

The Pickled Things appetizer was a fresh, light blend of scorching pickled jalapeno and crunchy red onion, along with baby carrots, green olives, and sliced radish. The vinegary bite was assertive but not acerbic, and the veggies were al dente enough to create the illusion of a tiny salad. The jalapeno was best for imparting flavor and not actually consumption.

A quick pickle of olives plus red onion and carrot circles made for a zesty, toothsome snack.
Photo by Laurie James.

A second appetizer –– crispy chickpeas redolent of rosemary and sprinkled with black salt –– was much more pleasing to the eye than the palate. It’s entirely possible that the high crunch factor would delight some, just not me or my dining companion. However, the salt content was perfect.

For beverages, James Provisions offers an excellent selection of boozy and booze-free options. My (fully leaded) blood orange bellini was gorgeous and perfectly average. My dining companion’s Goldie, with turmeric, ginger, lemon, cinnamon, and honey, was a delight of warm earthiness in a cool cocktail.

The entrée portions are generous, and even if you’re eating healthy, you won’t leave hungry. We were too full to consider dessert, although there are some lovely homemade options, including chocolate chip cookies.

While you’re ordering at the counter, you’ll notice the bodega-esque options of bespoke spices, tote bags, aprons, chocolate, and other tchotchkes for sale. It’s not any different than any of the other, larger restaurants who peddle their bespoke spices or cookbooks. Anybody who managed to run a restaurant in the Big Apple or one of its boroughs through the nationwide recession of 2008 and also the COVID closures deserves full credit for time spent and effort. Williamson has landed back home near family, and James Provisions is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

James Provisions
Roasted chicken breast $25
BLT $17
Pickled Things $8
Crispy chickpeas $7
Blood orange bellini $13
Goldie $7

A tree grows in Brooklyn — but also patio plants and, for sauces, some herbs at James Provisions in Hurst.
Photo by Laurie James.
James Provisions’ Goldie, accompanied by some crispy chickpeas, was fabulous.
Photo by Laurie James.

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