SKILLET STREET FOOD
Well I finally made it to the infamous (meaning more than famous…) converted Airstream that is Skillet Street Food. Founder Josh Henderson has been busy. Launched in 2007, his mobile trailer hauled behind someone’s pick up, he has had regular stops in SLU, Ballard, Fremont, various downtown Seattle stops and even Bellevue.
Building on the success of the mobile version, Henderson’s Skillet has added catering, a diner (Capitol Hill), a line of bacon jam, a counter (Armory at Seattle Center) and even a cookbook. Henderson has been featured on all of the local magazines, various blogs, and big time food TV.
I don’t know how many possible ways one can make a burger, but I suppose, like pizza, it can take on all sorts of interpretations. How else can we explain TV Chef Bobby Flay’s burgeoning Burger Palace empire, local joints like Lunchbox Laboratory (2 locations, SLU and Bellevue), and now our local hero, Tom Douglas, putting out great burgers at his Bravehorse Tavern (SLU)? On top of the always hip Dick’s (lots of locations) and even Red Mill Burgers (Phinney Ridge), it appears that it is now once again cool to eat red meat on a bun. The challenge, apparently, is to make it as unique as possible. It is now a given that great burgers have high-quality beef (usually grass fed for a “meatier” taste), but now there are more options than a typical sesame bun. Brioche, ciabatta, and even grilled cheese sandwiches (had one at John Howie Steak – Bellevue recently) are becoming expected to complement the flavorful, thick, touch-of-pink burger. Skillet Street Food is certainly no exception. Their “Burger” comes with a delicious buttery brioche bun, that honestly acts as a huge complement to their big burger.
Meat and bun does not a burger make (any longer)! Now comes the accoutrements. Want cheddar cheese? How old fashioned! Skillet served me up a burger with blue cheese and brie, almost a spread versus a melted slice, that had some nice zing to go along with the arugula and since ketchup and mustard aren’t hip any longer, their zesty and lovely bacon jam. Add some fresh arugula instead of the standard iceberg lettuce, and you now have a new burger.
A touch expensive, yet definitely filling, I was very happy with this updated interpretation of a burger. It was full of flavor, a touch messy (which is a good sign in this guys opinion), and had a great balance of freshness, substance, and like a good rock band, great individual ingredients that when combined…was edgy and enjoyable.
Going all out, I added the poutine fries. Not sure what poutine is? Simply put, poutine fries (hailing from French Canada) means that the fries are topped with cheese (sometimes curds), with brown gravy poured over the top. Although my fries were cold, in this case, it honestly didn’t matter. I like a fry that when bitten into has that first crunch, and then thick starchy potato after. The brown gravy was sweet and savory and the cheddar on top, along with the arugula was very nice. I suppose if I was hung over, these fries would be unbelievable…since I wasn’t, however, it was still an excellent way to experience a fry and certainly was a great partner to the burger.
Known for these great burgers and their poutine fries, Skillet also boasts, in fact are maybe even more famous for, their chicken/pork and waffles as well as their mac and cheese. I personally haven’t had either, but can’t wait for their “limited edition” release via the trailer sometime soon. The diner, and counter offer more options, so its worth heading over to just below the Space Needle or over to Capitol Hill and belly up and enjoy Skillet, and Henderson’s expanding line of excellent comfort food.