Why you need to check out the restaurant inside the Yellow Springs hotel 

OMG! The Shrimp & Grits at Ellie's Restaurant & Bakery iis a must try. Tiny sweety drop Peruvian peppers make this dish unique. The restaurant is inside the Mills Park Hotel, at 321 Xenia Ave., in Yellow Springs. It features Southern-inspired comfort cuisine with a modern twist. (Connie Post)

If you haven’t been to Ellie’s yet, what are you waiting for? It’s the restaurant inside the Mills Park Hotel in downtown Yellow Springs.

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Ellie’s is open for breakfast from 7-11 a.m., then serves lunch until 3 p.m. Executive Director Grant Petersen has put together an extensive menu of traditional Southern comfort food with a modern twist. The cuisine fits in with the décor and ambiance of the hotel. Be seated inside to enjoy air conditioning, or sit on the front porch and watch the world go by.

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 Beautiful day for some delicious crab cakes on the porch of @millsparkhotel #yellowsprings

 

A photo posted by Lesli Beavers (@leslibeavers) on 

My dining companion Karen Wintrow, the executive director of Yellow Springs’ Chamber of Commerce, went for the Shrimp and Grits ($14) while I went into a different direction with the Chicken & Waffles ($14).

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It really didn’t matter, however, because we requested extra plates so we could share.

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The Shrimp & Grits was super tasty and we were both intrigued by the tiny red peppers that gussied up the grits. When Petersen came by our table, Wintrow asked him about the peppers. “Those are sweety drop peppers,” he said.

Try the Chicken & Waffles at Ellie's Restaurant & Bakery, inside the Mills Park Hotel, at 321 Xenia Ave., in Yellow Springs. (Connie Post)

If you’ve never heard of sweety drops before, they’ve only come on the scene in American cuisine fairly recently. A cross between a cherry tomato and jalapeno pepper, they come from Peru. These little jewels flirt with the back of your throat – not terribly hot, but enough to get your attention. Wintrow and I were instant fans of the sweety drop pepper.

 
 
 

 Hhhhh deep southern style eggs Benedict

 

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As for the Chicken & Waffles, this is a dish for when you can’t make up your mind between savory and sweet. The chicken is all thigh meat, juicy and tender, and the Belgian waffles come with powdered sugar and lots of whipped honey butter.

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Desserts change, so ask what’s available.

“Every week we play with different desserts,” Petersen said.

Wintrow and I tried a luscious oatmeal apple cobbler as well as flourless chocolate cake that was a cross between chocolate pudding – both to die for.

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Then we saw the key lime “pie,” served in a crème brulee dish. It looked outstanding, and I’m certain I’ve dreamed about it at least once.

Want to go?

WHAT: Ellie's Restaurant & Bakery

WHERE: Inside Mills Park Restaurant, 321 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs

INFO: millsparkhotel.com or 937-319-0402; menu PDF

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