Scott Shirley Comes Full Circle at Slaters Market
By Lani Gering
Scott Shirley started his restaurant career right out of college in the mid 1990’s when he landed a job at the then popular Bruscato’s Italian restaurant located on North Fairfax Street in Old Town Alexandria. He learned the ins and outs of the business working at this family owned and operated enterprise before moving on to managing corporate restaurants in D.C. for the next 25 years. He was the General Manager of P.J. Clarkes on K Street when the pandemic hit and all of the restaurants closed down. After a few months of trying to sort out how he was going to support his wife and three kids, he hit upon the idea of getting back into a venue similar to where he started those many years ago. The stars aligned when he and his wife paid a visit to Slaters Market in the north end of Alexandria commonly known as Potomac Greens. They met the then owner and put together a deal that was mutually beneficial during the trials and tribulations of the pandemic in 2020 and the rest is history.
While the word “market” connotates a small grocery store, Slaters is much more than that. The Market does handle a fair amount of dairy and grocery staples and all sorts of gourmet products but it is also a gourmet sandwich shop that also sells homemade soup, made-to-order salads, ice cream, craft beer and wine. Shirley prides himself on stocking some very eclectic wines from wineries that have top ratings but are very reasonably priced at $20 and under.
As you can see by the photos accompanying this piece, Slaters is very well stocked and featured on the large chalkboard are the many food offerings. This place has something for every palate. You will note that the Sandwich Lab creates both hot and cold versions and there are some pretty simple combos along with the elaborate! I also am impressed that the bulk of the sandwiches are Scott’s creations and that they have “names”. My personal favorite is The Last Waltz. Named after the ionic rock and roll documentary that took place on Thanksgiving in 1976, this sandwich has thinly sliced roast turkey breast, stuffing, mayo, turkey gravy and sour cherry jelly. Get it? If you missed your turkey dinner during the holidays, this is the sandwich for you. I recommend that you order it on multi-grain bread.
Until I did the legwork for this write up I didn’t realize that they offer some “package” deals. The Slaters Before Noon is available on Saturdays and Sundays and consists of two handcrafted breakfast sandwiches, a choice of LaMarca or 90 Plus Prosecco and a Natalie’s orange or grapefruit juice for $29.99 or you can double the order for $54.99. The second package Slaters for Two is offered daily and is made up of any two sandwiches from the Lab, two bas of Route 11 potato chips, your choice of a brownie, pack of cookies or a Nightingale ice cream sandwich, and your favorite craft beer or a bottle of 90 Plus wine at a cost of $39.99. Both of these packages are excellent deals.
Last but certainly not least, Slaters has a very impressive catering menu. This is something else I didn’t realize they did. All catering orders are delivered for free locally. We will be looking in to this for our next party for sure.
Scott and his crew use only high quality, fresh products in everything they make in the market. He is adamant about the quality of everything that goes out his front door. Customer service is also a priority at Slaters. You are greeted with a smile the minute you walk in the door and any and all questions about the inventory (Scott is a good wine guy) or the menu are welcome. That is what keeps his customers coming back on a regular basis.
After all of the holiday cooking and baking you’ve been doing, treat yourself to a trip to Slaters Market this month. You won’t be disappointed.
1552 Potomac Greens Drive