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Origin of the 'skillet'?

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Does anyone have any notion of where the chain 'skillet' dish thing came from? You know, your 2 eggs, hash, and potatoes coming out in a hot mini cast-iron skillet rather than on a plate.

Did a particular chain invent it? Was that style popular in family diners somewhere in mid-America? Some kind of mutation of the 'fajita grill'?

I know that when visiting Dollywood (TN) and Silver Dollar City (Branson MO) amusement parks, they had the 6 foot diameter 'skillet' style cooking, but also I didn't know if they were trying to emulate something country-ish.

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  1. I'm going to guess it's been around a LOT longer than these chains- I think of westward settlers who were eating off single dishes so they'd have less to carry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jpschust

      It also means less to wash. Just cook and serve in the same dish.

    2. They all seem to be what some in my family call Egg Messes, sort of a deconstructed frittata, sometimes with egg scrambled in, sometimes with fried eggs on top. Although I've eaten and cooked a lot of these over the years, I never encountered them in restaurants until I came out to California, though JD says there are varieties offered in Branson and at Dollywood. The first one I saw that was called a "skillet" was on the menu at Rusty's, a very good local café up in Victorville, though I never saw the dish itself so I don't know if it was served in a skillet, nor if the different items were tossed together or set out in separate piles. The ones at a coffee shop near my house are cooked together, and come on big plates. Mine are like that, too.