Scratch, Durham NC



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Valrhona Chocolate Hand Pie

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Peanut Butter Chess Pie

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Banana Cream Pie

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Buttermilk Biscuit

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Chocolate Donut Muffin

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Buttermilk Donut Muffin


Located directly across the street from Loaf, and actually the space where we indulged in many of the wood-fired bakeries goods, it was onward to Scratch that the three-stop breakfast progressed and not exactly a direct competitor to the spot across the street it was again to a vast number of goods I was tempted – the sugar pie unfortunately proving unset when the young clerk cut into it, but the other half-dozen selections showing a deft hand from the team working in the kitchen at back.


Admittedly a bit chilly, the weather outside just above 40F and the large glass windows doing little against the whipping wind outside the panes, it was perhaps a miscalculation on the part of the staff not to have turned on the heaters when they arrived but with both servers and patrons all bundled up against the elements it was still in a half-full café that selections were made, each item plated and delivered to the table up front where my mother and I sat.


Undoubtedly a place for pie, no less than nine varieties offered amidst a variety of cases both chilled and room temperature, it should come as no surprise that half of our order was comprised of these signatures but beginning first with a trio of items hot from the kitchen one would be hard pressed to call any of them less than excellent, the butter-brushed biscuit flaky and light while both ‘donut muffins’ were virtually oilless, a delicate crumb beneath the sugary topcoat with both the buttermilk and cocoa notes surprisingly restrained.


Onward to pie, at least in a way, suffice it to say that the rustic hand-pie trended far richer than did the aforementioned muffin and with a the center falling halfway between ganache and brownie each bite disappeared fast – the theme of richness assuredly carrying over to an all-natural banana cream pie using housemade yellow-cake crumble as a makeshift crust while the peanut butter imbued chess slice featured a hearty all-butter shell more than capable of standing up to pudding-moist filling that again scaled back the sweetness with just enough cornmeal to make the top crumbly and soft.

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Category(s): Breakfast, Chapel Hill, Dessert, Durham, Food, North Carolina, Raleigh, Scratch, Vacation

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