Every once in a while, I have treated myself to breakfast at the wonderful Silver Skillet, a sixty year-old diner on 14th Street in midtown Atlanta. In 2010, I wrote about the place, and, as we’ve been spending time and money at Atlanta’s older restaurants lately, I figured we should go back, and have lunch. That, I’ve never done before.
On the weekends, the lunch menu is abbreviated, which is a shame, because they are said to have some pretty wonderful meat-and-three specials. But a couple of Saturdays ago, we all began the day with a couple of hours at Zoo Atlanta looking at reptiles and lions and elephants and giant pandas, and arrived at the Silver Skillet a little before noon, joining a long line for a booth. Even though we came at lunch time, Marie ordered breakfast, because I’m mean and have never actually brought her here to try their celebrated country ham and red-eye gravy.
You could make a pretty strong argument that the country ham here is the best you can find anywhere. It’s great, but it is also incredibly salty, and so is the gravy, so anybody watching their sodium level should probably tread very cautiously, and maybe have somebody else at the table order this and let you sample a few bites.
My daughter ordered the burger, which she really enjoyed, especially the lettuce and tomato, which she said tasted surprisingly fresh. The fries here are battered, not unlike what you’ll see at several places in south Georgia. I had the patty melt with onion rings. Big mistake; these are bland, frozen truck rings. Get the fries. And save room for dessert, because the pies here are pretty amazing.
Our son had a scoop of ice cream. Marie had a slice of chocolate cream pie, which was really good, but the coconut cream that our daughter had, and the lemon icebox that I ordered, were even better.
A trip to the Silver Skillet will probably not be a short one. This place is incredibly popular and there is often a wait, not only because people enjoy the food and the awesome service. In these pages, I have often scoffed at restaurants that try to fake the nostalgia and pretend that they’re a “fifties diner,” but this one’s the real thing and people enjoy the authenticity. They don’t imitate it with new chrome and posters of Marilyn Monroe. The reason so many film and TV people shoot scenes here – something like two dozen, by the restaurant’s count – is because this place is one of the most honest throwback experiences in the Atlanta area.
Well, they probably didn’t have lines quite as long in 1956. That part is relatively new.
Other blog posts about Silver Skillet:
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