There’s a good chance you’ll undo the top button of your pants after eating at Skillet. It’s not a count calories sort of meal. Regardless of where you’re ordering, from the throwback diner chairs or through the slightly dented trailer window, you’re going to get rich down home food.
Skillet, well known for its Bacon Jam, is a “more cheese, extra butter, and lets top it with bacon when possible” kind of place. I would be foolish to tell you every dish here is inexpensive. A Salisbury steak will ring you in at $19. But, if I could direct you to my favorites, they’ll come in much closer to $10.
Before I get to my favorites, I have to tell you about The Burger. Always available at both the diner and traveling trailer, it comes with arugula, blue cheese, and their famous bacon jam. After hearing the rave reviews of this melt-in-your-mouth patty concoction, my expectations were unusually high. I was, unfortunately, disappointed. Between the patty lacking moisture and the bun being on the dry side, I needed every drop of my half-quart canning jar of water. I thought the bacon jam would be a prominent flavor and yet I could barely taste it. Not easily disappointed, I returned another day for The Burger to-go. Round two was a knock out. The burger was juiced and ready to go and the bacon flavor blasted me with a sweet and salty punch. While the bun firmly stood it’s ground, the creamy blue cheese and peppery arugula threw a one-two combination. Round two went to the burger. But, this is one loss no one could regret.
Eating at the Diner was a trip. The waiter and waitresses were hilarious and friendly. All around Lara Louise and me were tables of boisterous people who we swapped opinions with. It was as though we’d sat down in the middle of a mish-mash party, where no one really knew each other, but no one really cared.
My ultimate favorite of the night came from the Breaky section of the menu. This is particularly convenient because it means I can get it all day long. The Deconstructed Corn Beef Hash was filled with roasted fingerling potatoes, onions, carrots, and fennel. The fat from the beef had been rendered down, making the meat tender and full of flavor. I strongly suggest ordering your eggs over-easy. The addition of velvety yolk was like slipping freshly shaved legs between soft sheets on a December night.
The Griddle Cakes were also delicious, but I have to admit, they were more like dessert than anything else. Topped with a lemon zest butter and a peach and cinnamon compote, their sweet bites were filled with a hint of tartness. Upping the sugar frenzy was the brown sugar syrup served alongside.
Though the menu’s description of the Macaroni and Cheese sounds amazing, it lacked the expected indulgent creaminess. Unfortunately, the cheesy sauce was on the thin side. Bites with tomatoes and pine nuts added flavor and texture when you forked them, but those without were slightly soupy and flat.
For dessert we tried the special, a waffle topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel bacon. Though non-bacon lovers may find the flavor overwhelming, it’s sure to tickle the fancy of all salted pork goodness connoisseurs.
Needless to say, the two best dishes of the evening were the least expensive and perfect for sharing. Another time when dining for cheap wins!
(If you’re interested in a drink, there’s a selection of beers on tap and in the bottle. They come in very cute canning jars and are a good option if you feel like splurging a little. A cold beer with heavy food always tastes wonderful, but don’t forget, alcohol is one of the quickest ways to turn a budget friendly meal into a budget busting one.)
Deconstructed Corn Beef Hash: $12:00
Stack of Griddle Cakes: $8.00
Macaroni and Cheese: $14.00
The Burger: $12.00 (price only available from trailer), $14.00 (with French Fries), $17.00 (with poutine, price only available from trailer)
Bacon Ice Cream Waffle: $9.00
Beer: Between $5 – $8
1400 East Union Street
Seattle, Washington 98122
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