December 11, 2005

Staff of Life

The original name was Biofournil, which made me think the haz-mat squad might show up at any moment. In fact, it was the first US venture of the most successful organic bakery in France, based in Seattle's French sister city of Nantes. And with that combination of innocence, confidence and arrogance that characterizes entrepreneurs of all nationalities, Biofounil shipped its French bread ovens, French bakers, even a supply of its own sourdough starter to Belltown.

True, they'd picked a residential building with no parking for customers and no loading dock for deliveries. And the original configuration had room for barely ten seats: not really enough to make it a lunch spot. It took almost six years, but owner Jean-Yves Fouché finally agreed to remodel...and to rename the place.

Boulangerie Nantaise opening.jpg Boulangerie Nantaise breads.jpg Boulangerie Nantaise baguette wrappers.jpg

It's now called Boulangerie Nantaise and it seats 24. New graphics, new colors, and new packaging, too. They'll do sandwiches, pastries, coffee, soups, just like every other lunch spot in town. All this might be comical except for one thing: the signature baguette, $3. It's a terrific loaf, with crunchy crust and a chewy, slightly sour taste. It's got my vote for Seattle's best-tasting bread.

So why not just call the place Belltown Baguette and be done with it?

Boulangerie Nantaise, 2507 4th Ave., 206-728-1874 Boulangerie Nantaise on Urbanspoon

Posted by Ronald Holden at December 11, 2005 10:41 PM