ELLEN’S BAKERY AND CAFÉ: EATING SHRIMP AND GRITS AND MORE
Last week my husband and I managed to be some of the first customers in the door for breakfast at Ellen’s. Eating at Ellen’s is a tremendous treat, and soon, some of the greatest food I’ve ever eaten anywhere was set in front of us, and we began to savor it. Ellen’s is a place we go to fairly often, but not often enough. If there is a better restaurant experience, I don’t know about it.
I took time to enjoy shrimp and cheese grits with bacon and poached eggs on top. My husband ate cinnamon raisin walnut French toast, his usual favorite. He couldn’t not eat that sweet crunchy goodness. I shared the grits, and he rated the dish a fourteen on a scale of one to ten. The grits were creamy and cheesy, topped with lots of sautéed shrimp and bacon and a perfect poached egg. The bacon they used yielded top quality flavor. The egg blends into the grits as you eat and….. well, it is just a heavenly combination.
He also says the house blend coffee is great. Oh, and he loved his French Toast, as always. I had a bite and there is no doubt why it is his favorite, or one of them anyway.
There’s a rack of unbeatable baked goods and a counter of pastries, muffins and desserts. The cookies are huge. The muffins are the best I’ve ever tasted. The glorious desserts are so inviting they hurt your eyes. These are all artisan house made, and I never go home without a treat of one kind or another.
The menu includes more breakfast good-to-eat food than you can imagine. And they serve lunch too. We headed out with a turkey avocado pita to get us through the day-long swim meet that was our next stop. It was stuffed with fresh avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and sprouts along with tasty turkey. (I opted out of the onion)
Credit where credit is due. Sylvia Rector of the Detroit Free Press wrote a great piece in the Nov. 14 “Play” section on Shrimp and Grits. Grits are a favorite of mine. I decided to do a series on grits for this blog. This is the first item. Look for future grits posts on the food page.
Everyone at Ellen’s was so very gracious to us, taking time from their busy duties to chat and allow pictures. I was extra giddy with how much I love the place and how good the food tasted and my concentration on what I might write, the information I needed, and taking pictures was somewhat compromised.
You must find a way to get to this place and enjoy the magnificent food they serve. The staff is as warm and welcoming as the food. If you can’t be there soon because you live in another state or another county, believe me, this is a place to put in your dreams.
For the locals. Where is this wonderful place?
This wonderful place is located at 2495 Orchard Lake Road in a small strip mall in Sylvan Lake, Michigan. They have a very good website www.EllensBakeryandCafe.com. They also do catering and wedding cakes. When I say everyone at this place works hard, it is not a cliché but a fact. And they do it with smiles and kindness.
By the time we left that morning, the restaurant had filled with customers. Ellen, George, and the staff thanked us for coming in, but my goodness, they deserve the thanks. Satisfying, delicious food like they prepare and serve is something to be truly thankful for, and never to be taken for granted!
Chef-Owners George and Ellen