During our recent trip to Seattle I was enlightened to learn that even people who work at über hip places like Seattle's mobile restaurant Skillet have bad days at work. On Fridays no less.
On this particular cold, gray Seattle late morning Skillet was parked in Queen Anne for its lunch service. Upon our arrival, it was clear the morning was off to a rough start for its crew. A woman ahead of us ordered a burger and we dutifully followed suit, upping our order of two burgers and a side of poutine with cheddars, gravy and herbs, which I'd been dreaming about for weeks. A sweet kid with a folding table and cash box reminiscent of elementary school bake sales took our dough, only to be informed moments later by a voice from deep within the bowels of the airstream that three burgers would not be possible. Glancing at my watch, I was admittedly a tad confused, seeing as it was barely 11:00 a.m., the official start time for Skillet's lunch service. In a completely selfless and "pay it forward" manner, the woman who had ordered burger numero uno turned to us and said, "Have you had the burger before?" I confessed that no, we had not, adding for extra sympathy that we were in town from Utah, and were aching to try Skillet. "I can get the burger anytime," she assured us. "You take it and I'll have the roasted pork instead." Seemed simple--and entirely kind--enough.
We soon realized the key issue at stake was not the number of burgers on hand but rather the Airstream's hood, which had decided to get an early start on the weekend and was filling the vehicle with smoke anytime they tried to fire up the grill. But the chef du jour powered through, delivering:
The Burger: Oregon Natural Beef, Cambazola, Arugula, Bacon Jam, Soft Roll, Handcut French Fries - $7.50
True to my complicated relationship with meat I am clearly no connoisseur of burgers, so my praise (that the burger was juicy, the bacon jam a savory alternative that appeased my disappointment over the absence of cheese) may fall on deft ears. But J is quite the epicure when it comes to this American Classic, and for a roach coach with a bum hood he was notably impressed. Now burger enthusiast he may be, but ketchup fan he is not--yet he found the house-made ketchup at Skillet actually tasted like fresh, summer tomatoes.
We were still dusting fry salt off our hands when a Budget rental van pulled up and the trailer was hitched to the back, pulling the plug on Skillet's Friday afternoon in Queen Anne. Many thanks to the stranger who went with the roasted pork sandwich in order to make our Skillet burger dreams a reality.
Skillet Street Food
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