First Impressions: A Healthier Monte Cristo at Scratch Kitchen

click to enlarge A Monte Cristo from Scratch Kitchen - ALEXIS BARNHART
Alexis Barnhart
A Monte Cristo from Scratch Kitchen

There’s something special about a house-turned-restaurant: it’s cozy, welcoming, and just a tad nostalgic.

Scratch Kitchen is no different. The bakery, which just opened its doors for the first time in San Antonio last week, is located in a restored historic home in the Alta Vista neighborhood. Unable to resist the allure of fresh baked goods, I stopped by on the soft opening date to grab lunch.

The building is a cheery yellow and therefore impossible to miss. It’s located right off San Pedro Ave. and there is ample parking, both on the street and in a small parking lot behind the house.

Scratch Kitchen’s dining area is located on the bottom level of the house. As you walk inside past the outdoor seating area, the first thing you see is a glass case displaying that day’s scratch-made desserts. Rows of brownies, chocolate mousse, and every flavor of cupcake you could imagine greeted me, and for a moment I swore I’d forgo lunch and eat only desserts instead.

If you can manage to tear your eyes from the beautifully-displayed desserts, you’ll notice that the rest of the space is absolutely charming. Owners Becky Medellin and her husband Jack Salmon restored the house themselves, and successfully kept the integrity of the historic home.

Now, onto the food. The soft opening menu consists mostly of sandwiches, soups, and boxed lunches, though Scratch Kitchen offers party trays as well. I settled on the Monte Cristo because I can’t say no to a sweet and savory combination. Every sandwich comes with two sides, and I chose Greek quinoa (which was cooked perfectly and had just the right amount of fresh, crisp veggies) and fresh fruit.

All meals also come with the mini cupcake or cookie of your choice. I selected a carrot cake cupcake and devoured it while I waited for my sandwich to come out. It was nutty and hearty, and the frosting was creamy and sweet without being overpoweringly sugary.

The Monte Cristo was a little different than the traditional sandwich; it was grilled instead of fried in batter. That meant it wasn’t as sweet (although I was missing some sweetness and would have liked a touch of powdered sugar) and it seemed healthier. Finishing off the sandwich was a homemade raspberry sauce, which was incredible. Tart and fresh, it complemented the Monte Cristo perfectly.

Scratch Kitchen is a welcome addition to the Alta Vista neighborhood. Its historic charm and incredible selection of baked goods and lunches are a combination that San Antonio is sure to love.

607 Russell Place, (21o) 630-2220.

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