Scratch on 23rd promises fast, ‘gourmet’ and homemade for people on the go is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

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Scratch on 23rd is designed to serve busy people on the go with ‘fast and fresh’ gourmet food and coffee. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)

WILMINGTON — Scratch on 23rd, the first restaurant in the new ILM Business Park, is setting the pace for food in the area around Wilmington International Airport. Scratch offers “fresh and fast gourmet breakfast and lunch,” in a quaint café style setting, with most menu items under $10.

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Scratch on 23rd offers a variety of gourmet items, quick service, and at a reasonable price. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)

Catering to busy people on the go, Scratch aims to fill a void in the mostly industrious area around airport. According to General Manager Shanille Johnson, people who work in the area normally go to either Castle Hayne, or downtown Wilmington to get food.

Johnson says that, since opening, “We’re always busy, a lot of people work close around here. We have the VA, 84 Lumber, the airport and the National Weather Service. We’re in the middle of it all.”

“Our concept is pretty straight forward,” said Mitchel Provens, corporate operations assistant for Tailwind Concessions, parent company of Scratch on 23rd. “The idea coming into this was just to get people in and out. A lot of times when people think of food being quick and to-go they think of fast food, but that’s not what we’re doing here.

“We try to source locally whenever we can, and even if we can’t get something in Wilmington, we try to get ingredients in state,” Provens said.

Scratch offers a “unique” and eclectic menu suited to the tastes of even the most particular eaters, offering gluten free bread as an option on their sandwiches.

Made from scratch

The Croi
The Croissant Cristo. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)

Dishes like the “breakfast brisket taco” and “croissant cristo” adorn the menu. The brisket taco is made with brisket, slow-cooked in house for 14 hours, scrambled eggs, and served on an 8 inch flour tortilla with a side of salsa. The croissant cristo is served on a fresh croissant, topped with powdered sugar and stuffed with black forest ham, Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard and raspberry preserves.

Scratch on 23rd also offers homemade breakfast staples such as pastries, biscuits, sausage, burritos and gourmet coffee.

Homemade sausage, egg, and provolone cheese, served on a made-from-scratch biscuit. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)
Homemade sausage, egg, and provolone cheese, served on a made-from-scratch biscuit. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)

“We blow the competition out of the water as far as the quality of our biscuits are concerned,” Provens said. “It’s flaky, it’s buttery, it’s good. It’s not massive, it’s just a normal-sized portion. We’re not trying to put workers — blue or white collar — that come in here in a food coma or anything like that.”

For lunch, Scratch offers an assortment of soups, salads and sandwiches, from classics such as the pastrami Reuben, to items like the pickled pepper pork sandwich, made with thick sliced, slow roasted pork tenderloin, provolone cheese, pickled sweet and hot peppers, and garlic pesto on a fresh baked French baguette.

“If you’re looking to go a lighter route, we also offer salads, wraps, and veggie bowls,” Provens said.

Keeping with the Scratch theme, the restaurant even makes its own dressings in house. In addition, Scratch offers a variety of fresh smoothies.

Breakfast and lunch are served during all hours of operation, “because we feel our clientele is mostly busy people on the go,” Provens said.

“We want to cater to them not only with a quality product, but also with great service,” Provens added. “You don’t want to stand around for half an hour waiting for a sandwich or coffee, time is of the essence. But almost everything we make is from scratch, we want people to have high quality breakfast and lunch food, gourmet coffee, and a handmade product.”

Scratch on 23rd will be celebrating its grand opening Friday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to spin a prize wheel for coupons offering free menu items, as well as a raffle for tickets to country singer Chase Rice’s upcoming show.

The Breakfast Brisket Taco (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)
The Breakfast Brisket Taco (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)

Scratch is open Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. It offers call ahead ordering for those on the move, and will soon offer online ordering as well.

Scratch on 23rd is located at 1724 Gardner Drive Suite 160, Wilmington.  For information, visit its website at