Whether you call it farm to table, pasture to palate or just a place to get really good food, Scratch Farm Kitchen is thriving in downtown Lafayette. Owners, masterminds, chefs, farmers and hard-working ladies, Jamie Harson and Kelsey Leger have never taken the easy road, and the diners that fill their restaurant for breakfast and lunch are grateful. Their journey began with overambitious group dinners at their farm, then a tent at the local farmers market, then a food truck. Two years ago they shifted to a bricks and mortar setting, where the duo has continued to stay true to themselves.
When I asked about the food, expecting their replies to be about supply chains, and how they survived the past year of uncertainty, they talk about joy and real food. They mention joy a lot, even though they are obviously tired from a busy Friday, serving constant lines of people since they opened. Often, they leave the restaurant and go home to work outside harvesting food.
They still grow their own figs, pears, blueberries, hibiscus, and even get honey from their own bees (with some entertaining bee stories along the way, too). What they don’t grow themselves is sourced from local farms wherever possible, and the menus are driven by seasons and availability.
The menu is filled with “slow” fast food, easy-eating items derived from street food, such as burgers, burritos and bowls that evolve as the produce changes. The burger deluxe may be brie and basil one week, bacon another, cherry chèvre the next — it’s why their customers become regulars. They always have a choice of proteins — usually chicken, eggs, wagyu beef, tofu, pork, beef, boudin or veggies.
This isn’t your pretentious “look at us” type of restaurant. They are creative, not to look cool, but so nothing goes to waste. They invent new menu items to use up excess foods and make their own condiments, because it makes sense. They also know that first-timers need extra time to order from the ever-changing chalkboard menu.
Grab yourself a table in the restaurant, at the bar, or outside in the charming courtyard and eat your (locally-sourced) vegetables.