Continuing the Tennessee back roads trip, we were just leaving Crow Mountain from stocking up on apples, cider and pears at the orchard. In doing this we had worked up quite an appetite. We drove back down the mountain, crossing the Tennessee state line into Winchester, with intentions of making the next stop on the "Hammer's World Tour", but our hunger began to beckon against the stomachs walls, the situation soon became "critical".
The first restaurant that we came upon was called Skips. It was located in an unassuming cinder block building.
Had we judged the place solely based on the outside of the restaurant, we would have let a good one slip by. I have learned this lesson by my dad, who loves a "hole in the wall" mom and pop place and has passed that affection for such places onto me. The parking lot, however, was a dead giveaway to good food. It was packed, even past lunch hour (it was 2PM). "It must be good", I thought aloud.
Inside we found the place to have that true "greasy spoon charm" as one would imagine of a diner of a different decade, perhaps back in the fifties. The decor was equally evident of the decade, with album memorabilia and Elvis & Marilyn cutouts dotting the interior walls.
We noticed the specials on a board in the front of the store, and began to discuss what we might order.
Our waitress greeted us with that unmistakable small town southern charm.
"Hey Ya'll! Here are some menu's to look over....What'da'ya have to drink?"
In glancing down at the menu, I began to wonder if I had traveled back in time to the fifties. The prices on the menu seemed to reflect it.
$2.98 for a hamburger. A handformed hamburger.
Unmistakable by the irregular form of the patty, as well as the lady behind the grill making them up. It's enough to make Spongebob Squarepants jealous.
Three at my table caught a glimpse of the said burger being delivered to another table closeby and immediately the decision was made.
Johnny and Jack both decided upon the bowl of beef stew with a side of cornbread ($2.79).
I ordered a grill cheese ($1.99).
My mother and I split an order of homefries. The homefries were fresh cut potatoes, sliced laterally and then fried. I added grilled onions to our fries. It wouldn't be a lie to say that they were incredibly good. I think they were better good than they were fattening. That's good.
As if our lunch wasn't filling enough, we decided to order dessert. We had blown the diets as it was....and almost everything in the diner is homemade. I chalked the sinning up to "reporting" for Bloggeriatville. We ordered a slice of chocolate pie and a bowl of blueberry cobbler to split.
Good. I have said before, I am not a big dessert eater. I found that I favored the cobbler. It was homemade perfection, in that it was not overly sweet....it was as good as it gets. The pie was also good. I do not like meringue, so I forged through to the bottom to slice out a scoop of chocolate. Any chocolate lover would be in pure bliss.
Perfect sin. If there was one.
Our waitress shared that food this good is one that is learned by experience. Manager Vickie Goodman has been the manager of Skips for over 20 years. She is often manning the grill and forming the patties into hamburger perfection. Skips has been in business for 35 years and is known for those tasty hamburgers. Many locals eat at Skips every day, and it is certainly a place where "everyone knows your name".
Meat and three dishes change daily, though some are kept as standards. Tuesday's promises grilled salmon patties on the menu, while Friday's standard is baked ham. Ocean perch and BBQ are also house specialties. But it is the Hamburgers that are the real stars.
By this time, we realized the real sin of gluttony we had committed. We hung our heads in shame, while patting our belly's at a good meal and thanked our kind waitress for the good meal and service. Skips is a place where from the cinder block building and old bar stools aren't fancy. Imperfect, really. But as we found, in the form an imperfectly formed burger, there really is a bit of true perfection.
5161 1st Ave SW
Winchester, TN 37398
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