On many occasions I have sung my praises for going splitsies as a means of saving $$ without having to settle for lesser foods. At Skillet Diner, that is the best route to go. By no means is the signature Skillet Diner burger the cheapest burger in the city (or even cheap at all, for that matter—although there are certainly pricier yuppie burgers); however, the sheer magnitude of this burger pretty much necessitates sharing. Unless of course, you have a hyper intensive burger capacity, in which case this may not be the deal for you. But if you are like me, i.e. ravenous and want to eat a nice assortment of yummy things, then Skillet Diner is the perfect place to bring your like-palated pals for some burgers ‘n thingz.
The signature burger at Skillet Diner costs a whopping $14, but before you get in a huff about the price, allow me to explain why. Firstly, I wasn’t exaggerating about the size. You can expect a thick, juicy Painted Hills patty, smothered with creamy bleu cheese, a generous heap of the ethereal Skillet Diner bacon jam and a sprinkling of peppery arugula, all sandwiched between a toasted, buttery brioche bun. The burger comes with fries or salad (or you can substitute either for the famous poutine for $3—the poutine is literally and figuratively killer!!), and whether or not you opt for poutine substitution, or go for the full shebang and get fries and a salad, if you go solo on the burger, you can definitely anticipate at least one full meal of leftovers later on. Mammoth portions!! But that brings me to part 2 of burger priciness: the quality of ingredients. Sure, you could head over to Dick’s and get a pretty yummy burger for only $1.25+. However, I have profound respect and appreciation for places that are committed to serving up only the best quality menu items with the freshest, most delicious local ingredients. Skillet definitely falls under that umbrella. Local meaty superstar Painted Hills beef (swoon) can be found in some of the trendiest, priciest steakhouses in town, and for a damn good reason. That stuff is the bomb diggity.
Deserving equal recognition for its contribution to burger superstardom is the bacon jam, which is a Skillet Diner staple. The bacon jam has rightfully earned a fabulous reputation in the foodie world. So much so, in fact, that it is regularly featured and available for purchase nationwide on adorable artisan food sites such as Foodzie. The bacon jam is the genius product of Chef John Henderson. The rich jam is a chunky, flavorful puree of bacon (what else?), caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar, and it is indeed as wonderful as it sounds.
Since the burger is so protein-packed, what with all of that beefy, cheesy, bacony goodness, the best sharing option is to split the burger and the kale salad (comes free with burger if you don’t want fries), and add fries or poutine for a few extra bucks if you’re über hungry. The kale Caesar is another Skillet Diner classic, and it makes for a lovely green counterpart to the heavy burger. I’m a kale addict, and this is one of my favorite kale salads in existence (second only to Northern Spy Food Co.’s in NYC). It’s refreshing, light, crunchy, and packed with creamy Caesar flavor. You may never want to go back to regular Caesar salads again after this one, guys.
A burger and salad split is a great way to go at Skillet. This is a great way to enjoy what I guarantee is one of the greatest burgers in existence, notably due to that delicious bacon jam. If you are supremely hungry, substitute poutine for $3 extra, and get a regular size kale salad for splitting. If you do just the burger and salad/fries, your total is $14—or $7 each—or if you want to go to town with the triple whammy, your total is $24—or $12 each. Just know that if you go with the latter you will be disturbingly full and most likely unable to finish everything. The poutine is shockingly heavy, albeit luscious and delectable. Either way, this Seattle food truck-turned-restaurant is well worth every penny and calorie.