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.
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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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).
It really didn’t matter, however, because we requested extra plates so we could share.
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.
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.
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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.
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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Want to go?
WHAT: Ellie's Restaurant & Bakery
WHERE: Inside Mills Park Restaurant, 321 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs