We started day two of our Elizabeth City Roadtrip by heading over to the Scratch Bakery in Durham to find out what makes the Pastry Chef Phoebe Lawless a 2013 James Beard Award Semi-Finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef. After driving in circles a few times trying to find the elusive W Orange St (thanks for nothing Google Maps) we discovered Scratch & W Orange St are only accessible on foot. After parking around the corner then walking past a bunny hopping around a tree on the sidewalk (yes it was real) we finally found Scratch.
We found nothing other than pies listed on the online menu but once inside there was a diverse and ever evolving menu written across the wall. After a couple of seconds of second guessing and uncertainty we settled on trying the Buttermilk Donut Muffin, the Shirred Egg with Buttery Toast, the Fried Duck Egg Sandwich, and a couple of hot NC Apple Ciders.
The Buttermilk Donut Muffin was light, dense, fluffy, crumbly, sweet, and ridiculously delicious.
The hot NC Apple Cider made for a perfect pairing with the donut muffin and we found ourselves wanting a lot more of it… like a whole lot more!
The Shirred Egg with Buttery Toast reminded us a lot of the Soft Truffled Egg over Toast we ate while at the Fire on the Rock Competition Dining event. We didn’t immediately fall in love with the shirred egg but I think that was only because we were expecting something a little different. It was our first shirred egg experience and although it wasn’t love at first bite… it was very delicious with the buttery toast.
The Fried Duck Egg Sandwich was probably the biggest mystery of our morning. We didn’t love it… we didn’t hate it… we honestly weren’t really sure what to think of it. The pickled onions were definitely good and the bacon jam was good (as is everything with bacon) but I would recommend using a little less next time. The home made bun was very good (a little out of place on a sandwich) and the pesto mayo was delicious but used a little excessively on our visit.
Scratch wasn’t the mind blowing experience I was looking for but with an ever evolving menu featuring local and seasonal ingredients its pretty likely that something will rock your socks. We loved Scratch as a bakery… the decor, the vibe, even the menu itself, but we’re still looking for that special menu item to add to our favorites list.