The official debut date for Skillet Diner's new Ballard location is Monday, August 12, though you may have noticed some soft opening days happening this week as servers and cooks learn the lay of the land.
Aesthetically, the diner is just like the Capitol Hill original—booths upholstered in avocado green, big round globe lights, and that familiar sign out front. This Skillet, however, has a curved dining room with an eye-catching 40-foot diner counter that runs the length of the space. While still compact, the bar area has tons more elbow room than the other location, and the patio out front adds another 20 seats in nice weather.
The menu should look very familiar, but there are a few just-for-Ballard items, like Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam that were an early favorite at friends and family events this past weekend. I'm excited to try the ebelskivers, even though they can't help but elicit bad flashbacks to this. On the plus side, you can order the Skillet version filled with bacon jam. Those two call out to the neighborhood's Scandinavian roots, obviously, but you'll also find barbecue shrimp, an oyster po'boy, seared scallops with a summery corn risotto, and a manila clam dish.
The new items are the work of executive chef Jon Severson, who made a rather unorthodox jump from executive chef at CenturyLink field to a kitchen with fewer nachos and more kale caesars (though let me be clear—I'd totally order nachos if I saw them on a Skillet menu).
The diner, part of the Greenfire Campus at 2034 NW 56th Street, will be open daily from 7am to midnight. Here's the website.