Features 2008 Economy Recession Busteron StarChefs.com
Recession Buster Vol. 2
January 2009

Skillet Street Food
Locations vary; check their website for a schedule
Seattle, WA

With wallets thin from the holidays and a persistent recession, restaurant-goers are splurging less on meals. Fresh-made gnocchi with toasted walnuts, sage, and reggiano, or a salad of local lettuces, candied hazelnuts, cranberries, Oregon bleu, and “herby” vinaigrette are not the sort of dishes that one might expect diners to seek out in a time of economic downturn. For Seattle residents, however, such meals are indeed a budget option—and served out of a converted 1962 airstream trailer, no less.

Skillet Street Food, winner of the 2009 StarChefs Restaurant Concept Award, is the brainchild of CIA graduate Joshua Henderson. With a desire to take “seasonally relevant, locally sourced and impeccably executed bistro-style food” to the streets, Henderson has made a wave in Seattle, a city known for its dearth of street food vendors. At a time when many restaurants are having a difficult time filling seats, Skillet’s quality offerings and low prices (the majority of dishes are $10 and under) continue to mean long lines for diners. Despite a triple-fold increase in sales since opening last year, Henderson has noted a distinct decrease in sales from the summer.

Unlike most street food vendors, which have set menus posted on weather-worn signs, Skillet Street Food changes its offerings weekly. Almost all ingredients are seasonally informed and come from nearby Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. (And if you’d like to bring a touch of Skillet Street Food to your kitchen, then buy some of their prized bacon jam at $10 a jar).

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