For years, Arlington friends told me about a good little lunch cafe, but I never could find it.
Every time I asked about home-cooking in Arlington, I heard the same restaurant name. But it wasn’t in any listings.
Now I know.
It’s not “Skeleton Grill.”
It’s Skillet N Grill.
The 21-year West Division Street cafe will serve Thanksgiving lunch this week, the first in its handsome new location.
The sparkling, polished new Skillet N Grill is now open at 1801 W. Division St., six blocks east in distance and several light-years removed in spirit from the timeworn old location at Division and Bowen Road.
The new Skillet N Grill, closer to Fielder Road, has high ceilings, sweeping arches, a garden patio and plenty of parking.
The location was built 40 years ago as a hacienda-style Tex-Mex restaurant. It’s has been everything from a fine-dining restaurant to a banquet and reception hall.
Now, it’s a breakfast and plate-lunch hall.
Skillet N Grill is all about breakfast. The restaurant opens daily at 5 a.m., catering to early blue-collar workers and crowds grabbing breakfast before a drive to Dallas or Fort Worth.
The breakfast menu features $7-$9 omelets including a Skillet N Grill junkyard omelet with three meats and all the vegetables. But from the looks of the crowd, many come for the $4.50-$6 senior breakfast specials.
There’s also a menu of $8.50 lunches with daily specials such as fried catfish, liver-and-onions or chicken-fried steak.
Thanksgiving dinner with turkey-and-dressing or ham, pea salad and sides will cost a little more — but still less than $20.
Plus, you don’t need a reservation. It’s first-come, first-served, and the new larger restaurant seats a lot more folks.
(It’s across from another popular breakfast restaurant, Division Street Diner.)
Last-minute picks for Thanksgiving
Here are a few more inexpensive Thanksgiving choices if you got caught without a reservation:
▪ The Ol’ South Pancake House, in its 57th year as a Texas landmark, is always open for the holiday and will serve a lunch and dinner with sides, a drink and pecan or pumpkin pie for about $13 (seniors about $11); 1509 S. University Drive, 817-336-0311, olsouthpancakehouse.com.
▪ The Heaven’s Gate Restaurant in north Fort Worth has picked up where the old Vance Godbey’s left off as the go-to buffet for northwest Tarrant County or Stockyards visitors.
▪ For a country drive, Jake & Dorothy’s Cafe in Stephenville, an hour’s drive from Fort Worth, a classic small-town Texas cafe for 70 years, is open and serving turkey, ham or chicken-fried steak as long as it lasts.
▪ The Koffee Kup Family Restaurant in Hico, also an hour’s drive away, is serving a turkey or ham lunch for less than $12 until 9:30 p.m. or until it’s gone.