Main Location: Minneapolis
Located Downtown, Scratch focuses on Asian-Pacific Island sandwiches made with sustainable and local ingredients. Friendly for carnivores and vegetarians alike, the menu consists of dishes such as a Shrimp-Pork Patty, Fried Chicken, and Spicy-Garlic Mock Duck, all shoved inside a crispy-toasted bread and topped with their own crunchy slaw. The longer rolls remind you of a bahn mi at times, except better.
I wish I had a fun story to tell, a rant I could go on, react to some minor detail nobody cares about, or just give a lot more insight on the truck design. But, I’m drawing a blank today, and that happens. Some truck summaries are just kept simple, and many times those can be the best ones… sometimes not, but luckily this isn’t one of those.
Oooooh wait, I just thought of a quick lesson. For those unfamiliar with Mock Duck, just think of it as a special meaty, slightly gamey vegan alternative with a much crispier texture after cooking. Truly doesn’t taste like duck, but I guess that’s the closest idea the creators could think of; doesn’t mean it still isn’t delicious.
This place has quickly become one of my new favorites; every single item which I have had there has been absolutely delicious. The glazes are pungent and delicious, meat tender, slaw perfectly crisp, your head rolls around in delight at just the fillings.
And the BREAD!! If you remember my little rant on Dandelion Kitchen’s sad offerings, then you know how important PROPER bread is to me, and should be to you. This bread… this is the kind Dandelion should use, and how they should prepare it. Super soft and easy to bite through, yet flavorful. Scratch cuts it in half, spreads butter or oil and then either puts it on the grill or through a toaster thingy. It comes out sooooooooo good, that nostalgic crumbly crostini crust along its inside. The bottom soaks up any juices, while still keeping texture to add with the crunchy top piece.
Combine these two, and you have the perfect sandwich to sit down and be happy with.
Oh, and did I mention they fry their own potato chips to go on the side? Yeah, and they’re the slightly thicker, super-crunchy kind. Not to mention they have a Toe Ring, but as is usual I’ll get to that later.
Served in a basket with chips, two hands are required. The bread is cut completely through, no connecting hinge, so it’s usually best to find a place to stop and set down while eating. This is especially true since many of the chopped fillings don’t always want to stay; juices absorb nice though. However, a couple of their hamburger-bun-like sandwiches, Shrimp-Pork Patty and Sesame Steak, are easier to hold one-handed in this regard. Not to mention the fried chicken is one big piece, so slaw is only real worry.
Besides, one of the best parts of the Mock Duck is scooping up any fallen pieces and sauce with the potato chips.
Along the same lines as Vellee Deli for pricing, while offering a couple more fun things on the lower-priced scale.
Very good speed, not immediate but no heavy feeling of waiting.
The TOE: 10
I have three words for you: Ginger Rice Krispies. Exactly what it sounds like, these are giant blocks of rice krispies folded with crystallized ginger (and probably some powdered as well). They are stretchy, marshmallow, tangy and cheap, and represent a perfect Toe Ring example. I ALWAYS get one whenever I stop by, because they are just so good and fantastic.
In essence, Scratch reminds me so much of Vellee Deli, because both of them excel in the almost the exact same ways. As they both excel in those ways, so too do they both carry that true feeling of what a Food Truck is and can be. Keep doing just what you’re doing Scratch, we love you for it.
First off, Ginger Rice Krispy: Get It! No matter what, you have to get that on your first visit. Even if you don’t want to eat it now, you can save for later; it works really well for that too.
Secondly, as far as sandwiches go, there is no one I would suggest you not get. All of them are great and give you a feeling of the truck. If you do want some guidance towards one vs others, and believe me they don’t actually help you with that (isn’t that the most frustrating thing? “I’m not sure what to get…” “Well everything’s good.”), the Mock Duck is my favorite. If that doesn’t float your boat, either the Fried Chicken or the Shrimp-Pork Patty is a good first sandwich.