Restaurant Review: Chicken Scratch

Chicken Scratch’s namesake sandwich (Photography by Kevin Marple)
Chicken Scratch’s namesake sandwich
(Photography by Kevin Marple)

As seen in our July 2013 issue.

As chef and co-owner Tim Byres explains it, ditching Chicken Scratch’s bone-in fried chicken breasts for fried chicken biscuit sandwiches was a reaction to customer demand, making the hip home-cooking spot and its next-door sibling bar The Foundry a cohesive experience. It’s not that the previous menu was poorly executed. In fact, most of it—including Chicken Scratch’s rotisserie chicken, tamales, chicken fingers, and vegetarian options—remains. But made-to-order fried chicken was an ambitious move for the tiny kitchen and bar nestled between a trailer park and abandoned motel on the edge of North Oak Cliff. Sometimes you just want something fast and easy, and these fried chicken biscuit sandwiches are towering, knife-and-fork gourmet beauties that are both family- and bar-patron-friendly, as evidenced by the mix of tykes and hipsters devouring Byres’ fare. All sandwiches feature succulent fried chicken and crumbly biscuits with diverse toppings. The Winter Original gets house-made pickles, roasted red peppers, and salsa verde; The Foundry gets mashed potatoes, house-smoked bacon, beer mustard, and oregano honey. Byres intends to rotate the sandwich offerings seasonally except for The Foundry and Chicken Scratch’s namesake sandwich. The latter is topped with an over easy egg, Tejano red sauce, and  turkey-smoked collard greens, and it deserves to stay put. It’s bar food of the gods. From the looks of the diverse crowd frolicking together on Chicken Scratch’s oversize gravel patio, Byres has finally found the recipe to success: put it on a biscuit.