LTH Home

Scratch Kitchen & Lounge - Forest Park

Scratch Kitchen & Lounge - Forest Park
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Scratch Kitchen & Lounge - Forest Park

    Post #1 - January 13th, 2013, 1:34 am
    Post #1 - January 13th, 2013, 1:34 am Post #1 - January 13th, 2013, 1:34 am
    Another newbie to the scene on the Madison strip has opened.

    FULL DISCLOSURE - CHEF/OWNER IS A BUDDY.

    As the name indicates, not much here is outsourced. Even the ketchup and mustard on the table is made in-house. The current menu is pretty small, but there are plans to expand once they get in their groove. On offer now, are a few burgers, salads, fresh cut fries, and mac and cheese with schnazzy add ins. Liquor license is not fully "in effect" or something, so it's byo for right now, but the beer list is already up on the wall. It will be all cans, and the list was pretty long. 30 or 40ish deep. What we tried:
    Daily Special:
    Italian Sausage Sandwich -
    This was a grilled, then sliced, fancy sausage, then placed on toasted baguette slices served with homemade giardiniera. I liked it a lot. LOVED the giardiniera, LOVED the sausage. Forgot where it was from, the server told me it was some sausage maker in the west burbs somewhere, but I completely forgot. It wasn't too salty (which is my main gripe with pretty much all sausages) so I dug it. The Giardiniera was fresh and crisp, and packed a very decent kick. I really liked it a lot.

    Daily Special:
    Mac & Cheese with house roasted pork loin -
    I understood what they were going for here. There was a whole explanation of how the pork was prepared, and how it was slow poached after an x day brine or marinade, then seared on the grill for texture. The dish, as a whole was good. I'd try it again, I think the pork wasn't really what they wanted it to be for whatever reason that night. I'd try it again, but it wasn't something that floated my boat with the whole big back story. It was good.

    "Scratch Burger:"
    1/2 pound, fresh ground, hand formed, with truffled arugula, bleu cheese, house made pickles, and some other stuff.
    I dug this enuff, but I'm a burger purist. Pickle and onion would have been enough for me. Really liked the house made pickles. Light brine, super crunchy. I took a quarter of the burger, and cleared it down to just meat and bun. Then I tested the homemade ketchup and mustard. I really liked them both. The ketchup was lightly spiced, decent tomato flavor. Not a salt and sugar laden red goo. The mustard I can't really give a good description of. I can't really recall the flavor. I do remember the whole table commenting on really liking it though.

    Tex-Mex Fries:
    A mound of house cut fries, topped with cheddar, pulled pork, and cole slaw. I was all over these. I added some of the homemade giardiniera, and I was pretty happy.

    The "It's Greek to Me" Burger:
    Ground lamb, feta, tzatziki, mint, and some other stuff. This is what I'll be ordering again. It totally worked for me.

    Chicken "wings" (these were actually split legs and thighs:)
    These were roasted, and then slathered with bbq sauce, and given a nice sear on the grill, or from some form of very high heat. I liked them just fine. Crispy/ crunchy exterior, and juicy interior.

    If I were to go again, this would be my order:
    Greek burger "RARE" (in hopes of getting it medium rare.) and an order of tex mex fries "WELL DONE," with two sides of giardiniera. I think I'd be pretty happy.

    The opening night snafus were there, but all in all, what we had was pretty good, indeed.

    http://www.scratchfp.com/
    Website is still "in progress" as of this time. It's basically a handful of burgers, a veggie burger, a grilled chicken sammich, a few salads with sides of french fries and mac and cheese with some fancy add-ins.

    7445 W. Madison
    Forest Park, IL 60130
    708.689.8427
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #2 - February 5th, 2013, 1:18 am
    Post #2 - February 5th, 2013, 1:18 am Post #2 - February 5th, 2013, 1:18 am
    Staff, room, and music (Delta blues, folk, SRV, etc.) were awesome on my first visit to Scratch. Nice people with a good philosophy and some big plans. Their ambitious all-can beer list is not fully stocked yet, but already relatively diverse. Fried cucumbers and prosciutto mac and cheese were nicely done.

    My one issue was the burger: a brisket and chuck mix, and too densely packed. It did not work medium rare with the brisket texture protein (downright chewy), but I was only allowed that specific temperature order since it was a slow night, and the default is fully cooked. Truffled arugula reinforced the wrong flavors and textures, but I could see working well on a different sandwich. Overall, we had a great time, and I'll be back to try the lamb burger and potato offerings, and enjoy the music and beer.
  • Post #3 - February 6th, 2013, 12:29 am
    Post #3 - February 6th, 2013, 12:29 am Post #3 - February 6th, 2013, 12:29 am
    Website (http://www.scratchfp.com/) mentions "wild game" is coming. Would like to know how that can possibly be.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #4 - February 6th, 2013, 9:12 am
    Post #4 - February 6th, 2013, 9:12 am Post #4 - February 6th, 2013, 9:12 am
    Skeeball?
  • Post #5 - February 6th, 2013, 10:36 am
    Post #5 - February 6th, 2013, 10:36 am Post #5 - February 6th, 2013, 10:36 am
    My second visit was not as great as the first, though the second visit was for takeout. The Greek burger was packed far more firmly, and ordering it med rare was no help in getting it med rare, though that may be by design. The giardiniera lacked the same punch, but it was still homemade, crisp, and tasty. Won't deter me from going back at all - I have faith the chef there will get the kinks worked out.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #6 - February 6th, 2013, 11:33 am
    Post #6 - February 6th, 2013, 11:33 am Post #6 - February 6th, 2013, 11:33 am
    Is this place mostly burger joint kind of fare? Do they offer other entrees besides sandwich type of stuff?

    Just wondering as I'm thinking of hitting this place with my wife this weekend but we're both trying to eat kind of healthy right now. (Though, I'm interested in checking out their canned beer selection as well.)
  • Post #7 - February 6th, 2013, 12:19 pm
    Post #7 - February 6th, 2013, 12:19 pm Post #7 - February 6th, 2013, 12:19 pm
    Earlier this week, the menu only had burgers, mac and cheese, and various loaded potato dishes. As things are developing, I'd call and ask them; they're very friendly and like talking about their continuing rollout plans.
  • Post #8 - February 6th, 2013, 2:11 pm
    Post #8 - February 6th, 2013, 2:11 pm Post #8 - February 6th, 2013, 2:11 pm
    On my visits there were definitely a few salads on the menu as well.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #9 - February 6th, 2013, 3:36 pm
    Post #9 - February 6th, 2013, 3:36 pm Post #9 - February 6th, 2013, 3:36 pm
    Cool, thanks.
  • Post #10 - February 6th, 2013, 3:39 pm
    Post #10 - February 6th, 2013, 3:39 pm Post #10 - February 6th, 2013, 3:39 pm
    Bummed that they're not open for lunch.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #11 - February 9th, 2013, 11:28 am
    Post #11 - February 9th, 2013, 11:28 am Post #11 - February 9th, 2013, 11:28 am
    Though Scratch Kitchen has been doing business for a few weeks, they’re still in a soft opening phase and won’t have their official grand opening for over a week.

    We stopped in during last week’s freezing rain/sleet/snow storm, and it was reasonably crowded. This place has also generated a number of reviews on Yelp! and other venues, proving that even if you say you’re not really officially open, you’re still going to be treated like you’re officially open…especially if your doors are open, you’re serving food and you’re taking money.

    Image

    As the name implies, Scratch Kitchen makes almost everything from scratch, including their ketchup but not including (yet) their sausage. I swear, their ketchup tastes just like Heinz, which can be taken as either a compliment or a slam.

    Image

    The “It’s Greek to Me” Burger is all-lamb, ground with mint and oregano and topped with tzatziki, tomato and cucumber. It was a fine burger, not exactly a bargain at $11, but a good sandwich. There’s feta worked into the meat, and the whole thing tasted like a more tender and less greasy kind of gyros.

    Image

    We also had the mac n’ cheese with prosciutto, peas and roasted poblano, and although I must say (no really, I must) that I like my wife’s version is better, this was a good effort and a comforting bite on a cold night. The roasted poblano provided texture, color and a pleasant chili bite. One suggestion to the kitchen crew: I think this dish would be tastier if you put it under the salamander to crisp up before serving.

    Image

    Despite some positive comments on various blogs about the fried pickles, they’re coming off the menu. Cook Bobby was kind enough to make some for us, but he was just being nice. Apparently, they got so much push-back from people who wanted just regular potato fries that they decided they couldn’t keep handing out fried pickles with the burgers. Bobby made the breading for my pickle fries with Hamm’s beer because, he said, “any beer that foams is good.” The result was that these pickle fries were encased in airy, almost pastry-like breading. But I won’t go on, because you can’t have them anymore.

    Image

    There is a righteous beer menu at Scratch Kitchen. With some trepidation, I ordered a Hamm’s – I don’t think I’ve had one of these for maybe 30 years, and it was just as I remembered. All the beer here is in cans because, as the menu explains, its easier on the environment in that cans take less energy to ship than bottles and they’re all recyclable. I’ll buy that.

    People have commented on the music here, and it was, as I recall, from the era when people still bought vinyl, which I guess ties in with the name of the place.

    Servers and cooks were very friendly, seemingly excited about their new place, and pleasant to speak with, eager to get input on the food. I chatted with the lady in the picture, and she lives right around the corner -- said she's been to Scratch like three times already because there's nothing that's quite like it in the area (there are restaurants, of course, but Scratch is more like, and I paraphrase the chef, "an upscale burger shop").

    Scratch Kitchen replaces Deko’s (which was one of the most westerly outposts of the Big Baby), and I’m guessing that having a late-night spot is going to be appreciated, not only by neighbors but by those who, for whatever unimaginable reason, find themselves on Madison in Forest Park, in the early morning hours, hungry and in need of some belly ballast before sailing into the night.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #12 - February 9th, 2013, 5:35 pm
    Post #12 - February 9th, 2013, 5:35 pm Post #12 - February 9th, 2013, 5:35 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    The “It’s Greek to Me” Burger is all-lamb, ground with mint and oregano and topped with tzatziki, tomato and cucumber. It was a fine burger, not exactly a bargain at $11, but a good sandwich. There’s feta worked into the meat, and the whole thing tasted like a more tender and less greasy kind of gyros.



    Very well put, Mr. Hammond.
    The first one I had was sensational, the second one was packed much more densely, and it wasn't as great. Nice description, indeed. My dc said the same thing-"this is like a really good gyros.*"

    * I guess I should make note that he enjoys gyros from Sub T fwiw.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #13 - March 4th, 2013, 12:25 pm
    Post #13 - March 4th, 2013, 12:25 pm Post #13 - March 4th, 2013, 12:25 pm
    We enjoyed our first time there this weekend. I had fish & chips (solid), and table had Mac (also solid), Scratch Burger was tasty - surprised they didn't ask how we wanted them done - both burgers at the table were medium well. I thought there were a tad too salty, the flavor of the meat was drowned out a bit by the seasoning. Want to go back to smash some cans and try the loaded fries - will definitely give it another shot. House-made Catsup was good, but the mustard was very sweet, perhaps they used the wrong type of vinegar? I would have been bummed if I had put that on my burger without trying it first.
  • Post #14 - March 11th, 2013, 3:46 pm
    Post #14 - March 11th, 2013, 3:46 pm Post #14 - March 11th, 2013, 3:46 pm
    I visited Scratch Sunday afternoon and had a disappointing experience. We arrived around 1 to a restaurant that only had a few tables full. It took us a few minutes to decide what we wanted to order but the waiter (I didn't catch his name) was thoughtful and answered most of our questions. I got the impression that a few recent tweaks were made to the menu that had not been learned. Totally forgivable though.

    The problem was with the wait for the food. For our table we had 1 burger, and order of mac n' cheese and an order of fries. This took 40 minutes to arrive. The table next to us had small children and they finally had to ask for a mini order of fries just too keep the kids quiet while they waited. It was pretty bad. Our waiter was great- he kept offering us free beers (we weren't drinking) and kept our soft drinks refilled. He also apologized profusely which was appreciated.

    The food was good. My friend ordered the burger. The bun was good and while the burger was goo, it had the unfortunate distinction of being ordered the day after we tried Au Chevalle. I ordered the truffle mac n' cheese. It was rich and delicious and I found that the small portion was more than enough. We also shared the fries with the pulled pork and cole slaw that I read about on here. They were delicious and I loved the sauce. My friend was less excited by them though we finished them all.

    Overall, I might give the place another try but would give them a bit more time to get things worked out.
  • Post #15 - April 27th, 2013, 11:53 am
    Post #15 - April 27th, 2013, 11:53 am Post #15 - April 27th, 2013, 11:53 am
    Wildly successful visit last night. Table of 6, though we were, admittedly, 2.4 sheets to the wind and hungry after cheering on the Hawks at the UC - my standard greek burger with tex mex fries, was perfectly packed, and the fries were demolished by the tablemates. One other greek burger orderer said it was one of the best burgers he's ever had. The others just went with standard burgers and all were thrilled with their orders, and the house made condiments. Glad this place is in the hood. Mentioned to owner that though I'm not very particular when it comes to straight up burgers, that the greek lamb burger REALLY suffers when the kitchen folks pack it too densely.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #16 - May 3rd, 2013, 2:39 pm
    Post #16 - May 3rd, 2013, 2:39 pm Post #16 - May 3rd, 2013, 2:39 pm
    We had a very tasty dinner there last night. I had the lamb burger husband had the 3 little pigs, which is a pork burger with bacon and bacon jam. Both were juicy, messy in a good way, buns were light and squishy enough to barely hold the burger together. Both meats were cooked perfectly and the sriarancha sauce on the pork burger and tzatiki on the lamb added a nice kick and balance. Kids enjoyed the fries with pulled pork and cheese and cole slaw. My only quibble was with the chips. They are made in house, but tasted like regular kettle cooked chips out of a bag, plus there were a lot of crushed ones and overall they were tiny and a bit greasy. Normally I am huge fan of homemade chips, but these were not that great.
    Good beer selection as well, service was friendly.
    Kids lemonade was very refreshing, tart and not too sweet. My kids were getting annoyed as I kept asking for sips.
    Great music, fun place and and will be back.
    LO
  • Post #17 - January 21st, 2018, 10:02 pm
    Post #17 - January 21st, 2018, 10:02 pm Post #17 - January 21st, 2018, 10:02 pm
    The future of Scratch Deli...

    Ok, this may take a minute....
    So, I’ve had a night to sleep on the subject, here we go...
    Yesterday I posted that we would be shutting down SDC on Jan 31st...
    After countless texts, emails and FB posts asking me why? "where will I get my coffee? my tea, latte, Italian sub, panini. And on and on..
    I have been open 2 years and made some mistakes but have adjusted, I know Madison St has taken a hit and 2017 was not a good year for anyone, but my SKL prevailed, and SDC struggled, I introduced delivery, FREE coffee, homemade breakfast sandwiches, made from scratch,,, not the ones you wait in line for at DD to come out of the microwave,began opening at 7 AM, did I say free coffee, introduced cold brew (all coffee provided by the artisan, local coffee brewer, Two Brothers)Provide free internet, 6 flat-screens, local art showcased, and lots more…..
    Still we sit empty…now don’t get me wrong, we have amazing customers, some regulars and do a bang up job with Grubhub, and the private party business has been stellar (more on that in a few ), but as I drive by Subway and see people in line just a few block west of me, FOR SUBWAY!!, kinda makes me gag! (to those who love subway, that’s fantastic, please don’t start a debate about that right now, maybe next month)
    We roast our own turkey breasts, roast beef , homemade potato salads, buy the best Italian meats and local artisan breads AND SELL A SANDWICH FOR $5!!!
    Still we sit empty……
    I say this, with all the amazing feedback I received asking why, I will leave the fate of SDC in the hands of my current customers, residents and friends of friends, we will stay open into the spring, as a test, we will continue to make amazing, from scratch breakfast and lunch and keep our $5 sandwiches, and free coffee with any purchase, we will continue to deliver and open at 7am,all we ask is you come check it out, tell a friend, its that easy to save a local business.(I am truly blessed to own other businesses that make it possible for me pull this off)
  • Post #18 - January 22nd, 2018, 1:21 pm
    Post #18 - January 22nd, 2018, 1:21 pm Post #18 - January 22nd, 2018, 1:21 pm
    Just goes to show how spoiled Forest Parkers are. If they're selling made-to-order breakfast sandwiches and doling out free coffee in the forthcoming Harrison Street Scratch, I predict they will have a loyal clientele from the beginning.

    Looking at the menu, the sandwiches are between $9 and $12, which is probably a fair price, but not a Subway-killing one. What's the deal with the $5 sandwiches?
  • Post #19 - January 22nd, 2018, 3:33 pm
    Post #19 - January 22nd, 2018, 3:33 pm Post #19 - January 22nd, 2018, 3:33 pm
    I think those are the 1/4 sized sandwiches? Maybe? I went in for the first time and got the panini with house roasted turkey and bacon jam and whatnot and it was awesome, will be back (while I can).
  • Post #20 - January 30th, 2018, 4:41 pm
    Post #20 - January 30th, 2018, 4:41 pm Post #20 - January 30th, 2018, 4:41 pm
    Happened to be at the hardware store next door and spotted a sign out front...

    8FBD893B-7C9D-4F8A-8275-71CAA8C45615.jpeg

    ... so I decided to stop in for a taste.

    6B96DE2A-48C5-4C6B-A290-D13C2897FA24.jpeg

    With all the local taco action in the area lately I have to say these were the most tender and flavorful ones I’be had.

    Too bad they are not a regular menu item. Regulars know about their weekend Prime Rib sandwich special and if there is some left they will create a weekly special.

    They go fast and only announced on the sign board out front.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more