Eats Beat

Last-minute Thanksgiving dinner choices, including Arlington’s new Skillet N Grill

Breakfast at Skillet & Grill, now in its new Arlington location.
Breakfast at Skillet & Grill, now in its new Arlington location.

I confess.

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.

Eats Beat Ep. 147

DFW Restaurant Week

Plus, you don’t need a reservation. It’s first-come, first-served, and the new larger restaurant seats a lot more folks.

Skillet N Grill is open for breakfast and lunch daily on West Division Street, 3 miles from AT&T Stadium; 817-795-8682,

(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,

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.

A lunch buffet features turkey and prime rib for about $16; 3820 N. Main St., 817-624-1262,

The Humperdinks Restaurant & Brewpub locations are popular on holidays. Thanksgiving dinner starts at 10 a.m. and costs about $22; 700 SIx Flags Drive, 817-640-8553,

Most cafeterias and buffets are open, including Luby’s, Furr’s, Golden Corral and the classic Highland Park Cafeteria, 1200 N. Buckner Blvd., Dallas, 214-324-5000,

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.

Jake & Dorothy’s is at 406 E. Washington St., 254-965-5211,

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.

The Kup is one of Texas’ favorite stops for the sky-high meringue pies; 300 W. Second St. (Texas 6 at U.S. 281), 254-796-4839, koffeekupfamilyrestaurantcom.

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Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 16 Texas Legislature sessions. First on the scene of a 1988 DFW Airport crash, he interviewed passengers running from the burning plane. He made his first appearance in the paper before he was born: He was sold for $600 in the adoption classifieds.