Monday, November 24, 2014

Ella’s Soul Food Sundays – Tampa, FL


I ate at Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café for the first time last month (see this post) and was blown away by the food.  Even before that, I’d heard high praise for their Soul Food Sundays.  Unfortunately Lance and I rarely have Sundays off together (downside of working retail…) so we hadn’t gotten the chance to try it out.

He’s been scheduled to work Thanksgiving night next week, so as compensation they gave him this Sunday off.  First time we’ve had a weekend day off together since Easter! 

Since I’ve heard that Ella’s gets packed on Sundays, we got there a half hour before they opened just to be safe.  There were already about a dozen people in line before us, and by opening time at 11am, nearly 50 people were in line!

We sat out on the patio to enjoy the nice weather and started with breakfast cocktails – I had their famous Bloody Ella, and Lance had a Mango Mimosa.  Lance’s drink was very sweet – there were so many mimosa flavors to pick from, but he seemed happy with the choice of mango. 

Their version of a Bloody Mary is garnished with an olive, lime, and a whole hickory smoked rib!   The drink itself was a bit spicier than I’m used to, but it was worth it just for the rib – I should have ordered a whole rack of them. 

For my meal I ordered the Funky Monkey Waffle – topped with Nutella, banana, and toasted peanuts.  I of course loved it, but Lance’s meal was really the one that stood out.  He had the Smoked & Fried Chicken and Waffles with a side of collard greens.  The chicken is marinated in buttermilk and tarragon, hickory smoked, then Corn Flake fried.  The two drumsticks and thigh were served with a Belgian waffle and bourbon maple gravy. 

It was the best fried chicken either of us had had in our lives.  The meat was juicy and bursting with flavor, and while most fried chicken has greasy skin, the corn flake exterior was perfectly crispy. 

The huge meal held us over until dinnertime.  After brunch, we stopped by Treasure Island Beach to check out their Sanding Ovations sand sculpting competition.  They’ll still be up for 3 more weeks if you have the chance to see them yourselves!

Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe is located at 5119 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33603 and is open 5pm – 11pm Tuesday through Thursday, 5pm – 12am Fridays and Saturdays, and 11am – 8pm on Sundays.

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