Blog No. 344
I have a false memory that persists every time I drive down University Ave. I distinctly recall an ex of mine mention that her father used to take her to Skippy’s for breakfast (I think pancakes) when she was little. I’ve mentioned this to her, but she insists it wasn’t her who said that (and she says that she has never been there). Either way, it’s a longtime establishment in the city, and they serve breakfast, so it’s a place I’ve tried. The parking may be inconvenient, but their hours are good, the food is breakfasty, and they are close to my day job, so it’s become a fixture in my rotation.
Breakfast Spot Six: Skippy’s Restaurant
I couldn’t tell you the first time I went to Skippy’s. It was several years ago now. I can say that, for a place that’s been around for so long, it was pretty recently. Thankfully, like most of my favourite places, it has a counter. I love doing things on my own, going out to eat included. I do not, however, enjoy taking up a whole table for just me, especially when places are busy. Counters (or bars depending, I suppose, on what they sell) free me from that guilt. While Skippy’s has a counter, the restaurant is also quite large, so even on a busy Saturday on my way to the day job, there is room for little old me. The one thing about counters is that they are usually populated by regulars and regulars are usually friends (or at least friendly) with the staff. I wouldn’t call myself a regular, but I have been there often enough to get a sense of the staff and their relationships with the customers, and it’s pretty relaxed. The servers that I’ve had are pretty good. They are friendly and attentive. When a regular walks in, though, the whole atmosphere can change. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. They are just very close and the jokes tend to start flying.
For the most part, I just focus on my food (or coffee) and let it all happen around me. There are places where I am close with the staff (either because I know them outside of the job, or I’ve been going there so long that I develop a genuine friendship with them). So, I get it. It’s just not that place for me. It doesn’t keep me away, though. As far as the food goes, it’s pretty standard fair. The eggs are consistent (not fluffy) the potatoes are fine (though a little on the bland side, occasionally) rye is available (my favourite) but the sausage is not up to snuff. It’s fatty and gristly and not so good. The bacon is okay, though. It comes out fully cooked, but with just a bit of chew. That’s fine by me. I do sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the plate, but I’ve been trying to cut back and with less, the meal is still tasty (and hits the spot). The plate is rather full, and they add a piece of lettuce and either a slice of orange (yum) or melon (no thanks) which adds to the crowdedness. It’s worth it about half the time.
Other than the parking (and the sausage) there are very few downsides to Skippy’s. The food comes out pretty quickly (even when they are busy) there is usually room in the place (and the counter eases my solo guilt) and the breakfast is pretty standard (which, for a bacon and eggs breakfast is a good thing). The kicker is that it’s close to the day job, so on a Saturday when I’m not up to making breakfast myself, or I need to get groceries, or I know the day is going to be a slog and I want to treat myself to a diner breakfast, I know that I can go, have a seat, take my time, and still get to work early (a prerequisite for having a good day). Add some standard diner coffee into the mix, and things are alright in my book.
I give Skippy’s a star for being conveniently close to my day job (without being in the same neighbourhood) a star for being a staple in the city, one for the counter (and lets say general ambiance) and one for the food. They lose a star for the sausage (I can’t do anything about that one, it’s just a fact that sausage controls the ratings). I’m not going to take away a star for it, because they are not the only culprits, but I feel the need to point out how full the plate is. Sure, that means more food, right, maybe. But maybe it just means small plate. Either way, it’s the most full I’ve dealt with, and it just makes things slightly awkward. (if I’m being petty, which I am).