Meatless Monday: Blintzes at Skillet

Anthony Dominic, Crave

When it's warm outside, I can get away with a lot-like running out the door with a half-empty stomach. Something about the creeping cold makes me crave a complete breakfast. Whether I'm cooking at home or eating out, I don't need anything fancy; just something to warm me up for the brisk day ahead.

Skillet in Merion Village is one place I seek this kind of comfort. The wee-size restaurant is no secret-show up too late for brunch or lunch and you may wait 30 minutes or more for a table. Get there early (weekend brunch starts at 8 a.m.), and you'll be treated to a seat near the open kitchen's counter, where you can watch chef-owner Kevin Caskey and his son, Patrick, cook familiar-yet-gussied up breakfast fare. I've come to expect more than omelets and pancakes from Skillet's daily-changing menu, as well as half a dozen thoughtfully crafted meatless options.

My latest squeeze is the Cheese Blintzes ($11). (Blintzes are similar to crepes, but often fatter and spongier in texture.) Caskey lightly griddles the dough, which he folds over generous dollops of honeyed ricotta cheese. On top, he sprinkles a little powdered sugar and whatever berries he has on hand. (It was preserved blackberries with a little black pepper and basil during my last visit.)

The ricotta, berries and honey offer just the right punch of sweetness. It's a reminder we don't need vats of syrup and whipped cream to pep up a breakfast dish.

If you want something extra, the caramel-drizzled Griddled Cinnamon Roll ($6) is sized to share. And an unlimited cup of Cafe Brioso's Columbian coffee ($3.25), brewed dark and strong, is a perfect wake-me-up.

Skillet, like many city eateries, is closed Monday, so plan your trip ahead of time. Lunch runs 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and brunch is 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.