Breakfast & brunch is getting “Lit” in Trenton, a modern slang term meaning extremely exciting or excellent. The new Skil-Lit Cafe specializes in creative and modern breakfast and brunch dishes using generations-old family recipes. Of course, the name “SKIL-LIT” is a play on breakfast skillets, which they serve food on, and “Lit”.
Inside, the 1,200-square foot Skil-Lit Cafe seats 35 guests. There is no outdoor seating at the moment, but this is in progress. Co-Owner Robert Wilborn says they are partnering with Isles, a community development organization, to implement parklet seating; which will be available during the spring and summer seasons.
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Setting Up Shop
Before opening Skil-Lit Cafe, Co-owner Deonna Maldonado did market research, traveling around the country to breakfast / brunch restaurants. “I noticed that the most successful establishments had such a great atmosphere and felt very welcoming,” she says. “I’ve always had a creative vision, but never had the opportunity to fully implement all my creative ideas until now.”
The restaurant offers what they call a southern brunch menu. But they also serve standard breakfast items like bacon, sausage, eggs, and pancakes; as well as wraps like chicken Caesar, buffalo chicken, veggie, and BLT. “We like to describe our food as southern comfort food with the up-north swag,” Robert says. “Most of the recipes are passed down from generations and made with lots of love.”
The most popular menu item, however, is the “grill-lit”. This includes buttermilk grits (cheese optional) served in a hot skillet bowl with either Cajun shrimp or southern fried fish. In addition, both owners rave about the chicken and waffles. At Skil-Lit Cafe, they top a thick and fluffy waffle with juicy southern fried chicken and sweet syrup. “Our chicken for the waffle is marinated for 48 hours before serving, which brings out the wonderful taste,” Deonna explains. “I make the waffle and pancake mix from scratch every morning.”
They soon plan to host small events including open mics, poetry nights, sip and paints, and private events.
About the Owners
The co-owners of Skil-Lit Cafe have been in the hospitality industry for over a decade. In particular, Deonna was a traveling bartender for restaurants and nightclubs for many years. “Traveling and seeing how different operations worked helped me incorporate best practices for this restaurant,” she says. “Having the nightclub background gives Skil-Lit a different type of energy you just don’t see in most restaurants.”
Meanwhile, Robert started off waiting tables at Cracker Barrel during college. He moved up the ranks over his 6 years there, holding every position from dishwasher to line cook. He also has experience promoting events and concerts throughout the tri-state area.
Visit Skil-Lit Cafe at 113 S Warren St in Trenton. Look for them online to learn more.
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Skil-Lit Cafe FAQs
Yes, for parties of six or more. They also recommend calling ahead on weekends.
Yes, and will add more in the future.
Skil-Lit Cafe offers vegetarian options and plans to add more, yes.
Yes, but it’s call in and pickup only.
Not yet, but they will offer delivery services soon.
They are in the process of obtaining one, yes.
There is not a kids’ menu, no.
All Photos: © @SkillitCafe / Facebook