Mystery Diner: Skooner’z in Princeton offers bar favorites with homemade flair

Beef roll is a favorite dish of the night

If you find yourself in Princeton looking for lunch or dinner options, drop into Skooner’z Grill & Bar on North Main Street for a large selection of local bar favorites.

Skooner’z has a generous but not overwhelming menu featuring appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads and dinners offering homemade tastes at barely more than fast food prices.

The restaurant has indoor and covered patio outdoor seating; my dining companion and I opted to sit at an outdoor table to enjoy the weather, starting with a mixed appetizer, followed by a taco salad and a horseshoe. We also ordered a beef roll to go for another diner who didn’t accompany us to eat in.

Skooner’z has a generous appetizer menu featuring favorites, such as onion rings, mushrooms, garlic nuggets and a few more unusual selections like Filipino egg rolls and mac and cheese wedges. For $9.95, you can make a combo from a select few; my friend and I went with pickles, onion rings and garlic nuggets. The pickles and onion rings, which were hand-battered and fried perfectly golden brown, were accompanied by ranch for dipping. The nuggets, fried pizza dough doused in butter and Parmesan, came with a spicy marinara that complemented the salty cheese and slightly sweet dough.

For entrees, we went with a classic taco salad, served in a fried tortilla bowl, which comes with a choice of seasoned ground beef or chicken atop shredded iceberg with tomatoes, shredded cheese and a side of sour cream and salsa. It’s not a fancy take on the taco salad, just a good classic version that hits the spot for diners who don’t like to veer from the original.

The horseshoe is a hand-pattied grilled burger served on top of Texas toast, covered in homemade, hand-cut fries and smothered in cheddar or nacho cheese sauce and sprinkled with chopped bacon. Again, a classic done right.

We also ordered the beef roll to go for our fellow diner who didn’t join us at Skooner’z. It was brought out to us precisely as we wrapped up eating, so it arrived home still hot.

This may have been the favorite dish of the night. Thinly shaved grilled steak was accompanied by grilled peppers and onions with melted cheese, all wrapped in a lightly grilled, flaky flatbread. It was served with au jus for dipping and a side of hand-cut fries.

The service was fast and friendly, the food was hot and fresh, and the prices were low. All in all, Skooner’z is a solid bet for a good, homemade and filling meal option.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee at Shaw Media. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff when ordering or picking up the food. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.


WHAT: Skooner’z Grill & Bar

WHERE: 912 N. Main St., Princeton

PHONE: 815-875-9464

INFORMATION:, Facebook at