Seattle Weekly: Does Eating Out of An Airstream Make Everything Taste Better?

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You will now see a fleet of Skillet’s airstream trucks roaming around town, in addition to a brick and mortar diner in Capitol Hill, a counter in the Seattle Center Armory Center, and another permanent spot planned for Ballard this summer.

At 2011’s San Francisco Street Food Festival, amidst loads of vendors cranking out standout food ranging from Scotch eggs to moth larvae tacos, Skillet’s menu seemed subdued, but the truck got a lot of attention. I remember hearing one foodgoer gush over the Airstream: “I just loooooove that truck.”

Would Skillet be just as successful without the Airstream? Seattleites have an established love of all things retro and vintage.

Henderson, one of the pioneers of the modern food truck movement, may have drawn some first-timers in through the intrigue of his snazzy silver trailer, but converted many of them as regulars because of his
exceptional chef-inspired eats.

Another Airstream that recently hit the scene is Slate Coffee, parked in the Piecora's parking lot on Capitol Hill. Slate is family-owned by two siblings, Chelsea Walker, her brother Keenan, and their mom. This trio’s story and love of coffee couldn’t be cuter if they played the harpsichord and sang. You will also find former baristas from Zoka and Victrola at this coffee mecca.

I am confident this Airstream has got to be way more than just “cute,” after two of RN74’s dashing sommeliers, Luke Wohlers and Chris Tanghe, tell me about its greatness. Wohlers and Tanghe are studying to be master sommeliers (there are less than 200 of people in the world with this title), which means they have superhero tasting abilities and impeccable taste. They both order an Espresso “neat”, while I go with a Panamanian brew prepared through the Chemex. Everything is brewed to order so don’t be an impatient monkey when you make a pit stop here.

Owner Chelsea Walker tells me to expect notes of chocolate and fruit. As she hands it to me, I can smell chocolate and fruit through the lid.

She invites us on-board the pimped-out airstream, decked out with chocolate hardwood floors, and I have to admit, I am smitten with the truck and its charming staff.

But as my buddy Luke explains, the owners of this small batch coffee business take their coffee seriously. Luke half jokes he had his “little mind blown” after hearing about their rigorous process. For example, after roasting, you can tell which beans are good based on their shape. The crew goes through and discards the ones that aren’t up to snuff, one by one. No one will be surprised to hear they only use direct trade beans.

The crew is planning a retail space in Ballard so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can catch Slate and their Airstream from Wednesday-Sunday 8AM-2PM in the Piecora parking lot.

I have got a love of Airstreams and all things unusual, but I have got a bigger love for all things that taste exceptional. Skillet and Slate have nailed both.

Seattle Weekly

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