After months of speculation – most by the swarms of middle school students who passed by– a new place has opened in the former Mama C’s restaurant. A farm-to-table sandwich shop dubbed Slamwich Scratch Kitchen is dishing out truly fresh food from the classic silver diner style digs squeezed between the Stop and Shop and the cemetery. “Everything is made by hands with love using only the most local and fresh ingredients,: the menu reads. Chef Sam Freund will gladly come up front to describe how the beet vinaigrette is made – as long as he’s not in back making sure customers are taken care of during the already dependable lunch-time rush. The kitchen produces it’s own housemade ketchup, mustard, and almost 20 other condiment options.
Slammies, as sandwiches are called here, include an impressive number of suggestions as well as a build you own option. You can get them on a variety of rolls or even a biscuit. There is a white bread option for the timid. The BLT features candied pork belly, macerated tomato chutney and arugula smoke mayo and the hamburger is made from brisket and short rib.
For the less indulgent tastes, there are also three salads, each available with that beet vinaigrette or one of a few other dressings. I chose the beets after Freund explained they were cooked in orange juice and the whole thing pureed and mixed with fresh herbs, vinegar and olive oil. It was delicious over a Kale salad with bite-sized helpings of the trendy burrata cheese tossed in. Freund’s partner George Braun was happy to offer suggestions and gave every entering customer the spiel about the restaurants’ clean fresh local philosophy.
Kids are thought of as well, with a comprehensive menu devoted to the simpler tastes. My 10-year-old swooned over the bread crumb encrusted macaroni and cheese. The usual suspects like peanut butter and jelly and chicken fingers were also on hand.
For now, the crowd seems to spike at about noon with local workers of the office or pickup truck stripe grabbing egg or pork (or egg AND pork) creations and heading back to the job. Families are more apt to eat in at the handful of tables and booths inside. Come September, expect an after school rush from sixth seventh and eighth graders who may prefer the soft drinks and sweest to the locavore’s delights.
Slamwich Scratch Kitchen, 143 Main Street, Madison, NJ
Open Monday through Saturday from 7 a m to 6 pm, Sundays 7 am to 2 pm. Call ahead for takeout or with any questions 973-520-8957