Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ella's Folk Art Cafe

This weekend our gang of eight headed off to Ella’s Folk Art Museum….errr…Cafe. Confused? Me too, at first. We followed our GPS directions to Seminole Heights, not your typical fine dining neighborhood we thought, as we passed a myriad of used car dealers and Popeye’s Chicken stores. Let’s keep in mind that the mandate of our Great Escape Group is that members can pick ANY restaurant their heart desires. That includes a hot dog stand if it pleases them. So we were ready for anything.
I’m always amazed at how easily a neighborhood can transition from depressed to avant garde at any given turn. In this case Ella’s Folk Art Cafe rose up out of the debris laden establishments surrounding it and presented itself as a big gaily painted harlot. The 2-story terra cotta stucco façade was beautiful and welcoming. Some really cool metal sculptures dotted its landscape and the lawn was edged with rows of half buried bowling balls in every color of the rainbow. Delightful! A side patio with more crafty iron works provided for dining al fresco when the weather cooperates. Inside was a variety of folk art paintings, art installations, sculptures that drew the eye up and down and around. Very entertaining.
When their small parking lot fills up you'll want to find something within a block given the less than desirable neighborhood. We were there on a quiet Saturday but they feature live music on Fridays and Sundays. In a nod to our vintage past, they also offer Wax Wednesdays where a DJ spins classic vinyl records. Remember them? They’re making a comeback!
The room filled up quickly with a nice mostly youthful crowd proving that old adage “if you build it they will come”, no matter what neighborhood you’re in. Service was very friendly and efficient – sometime a challenge with a party of eight. And for the most part everyone enjoyed their food. Delicious and generous salads. Sandwiches and entrees to suit any appetite or budget. Hubby regretted not ordering the special when he watched jealously as a waitress delivered a Neanderthal sized short rib platter to a nearby table. An excuse to go back. And I would definitely return, maybe on a musical night.
They offered some awesome looking desserts but we opted to head back to one of our homes where we partook of drinks, coffee and donuts, swapped stories and shared some laughs. Another successful escape plotted and executed. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe on Urbanspoon


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