On the Hill of Capitol in the city of Seattle, there be a diner called Skillet. Like most things Capitol Hill, the joint is cool, the decor is trendy, and the parking is a nightmare. Unlike most, the prices are pretty diner decent. Me, I like diner food. There’s no better meal than a grilled cheese sogged down in dill pickle juice with a side of the perfect fries. From the twirling retro stools to the canning jar glassware and mismatched cutlery, Skillet stops at every depot on the retro railroad. The only thing missing was Flo telling me to kiss her grits.
Owned by Josh Henderson, one of the food cart pioneers in Seattle, Skillet is the brick and mortar answer to all of those people (me) who are never able to make it to the Airstream when it’s cruising the streets of Seattle on work days. I’ve even seen photographic evidence of that truck at weddings and I’m damn jealous that I wasn’t the photographer, because how cool is that?
Music in the the diner is played from the iPod of the chef and varies from 50s rock to the classic kind depending upon the mood of the day, providing a most appropriate soundtrack to this pretty cool joint.
Although the diner is known for its signature Bacon Jam, we had none that day. There’s always other days for bacon jam, and it’s a good excuse to come back, right? We started with a “Big Boy Biscuit” with butter and raspberry jam. If there’s an item on the menu called a “Big Boy Biscuit,” I’m getting it. I admit I order biscuits with an “Oh, you think you’ve got biscuits?” attitude, because most people don’t have biscuits, they have a cake of floury sponge with token butter smeared on top.
That was a goood biscuit. I like a crunchy, butter top with a fluffy (not spongey!) middle, and a crunch bottom. Breakfast is served from 7:00 am ’til close, and I thought James would jump on the breakfast menu. Have you ever met a man who wasn’t a big breakfast eater? I haven’t. Me, I couldn’t decide between a couple of items, so I ordered them both.
Grilled peanut butter and jelly, man. If you’ve never grilled your pb&j, you’re missing out. The jam gets all melty, the peanut butter all gooey, and grilling it means you can use old bread. Yay! The fries? Eh, ok.
To continue the Carb Fest, the 3 cheese Grilled Cheese (brie, cheddar and american) on toast that was thick and crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. These diner folk do know how to do their bread. The greens were tossed in a house dressing (vinegar and oil is what it’s called in my house). That three cheese blend was pretty frikkin’ phenomenal, but so rich and creamy, I had about three bites and took the rest home. Just a note, leftover grilled pb&j and leftover grilled cheese? Not really good.
As I mentioned, James is a breakfast freak, but the only thing that could trump breakfast is noodles, so he went with the Tuesday night special, spaghetti and meatballs.
As hard as I am on biscuits, he’s even harder on spaghetti because he makes a pretty notorious pot of spaghetti sauce. This was good, but he mentioned he wouldn’t order it again. The meatballs, however, were pretty phenomenal. Maybe a meatball sandwich, Skillet?
Overall, it was a good meal and if a parking spot were available, I’d stop by again when driving by. And I’d recommend it for folks looking for a decadent grilled cheese, fo sho.