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Friday, March 15, 2013

Ellen's Southern Kitchen

This past Sunday I was at the Perot Museum with a few friends. We decided to go check out Ellen's Southern Kitchen for dinner since my sister bought a groupon from there. I love Southern comfort food so I'm not gonna say no! :P 

Ellen's Southern Kitchen 
1718 N. Market St. 
Dallas, TX 75202 
(469) 206-3339 
Price: $$ 

My sister had made a reservation for 7PM. One of my friends arrived 5 minutes before the reservation and the rest of us got there 5 minutes after. We stood by the front door for awhile before the host finally greeted us. He immediately said that we were late and he almost gave our table away but he didn't because "he was nice". What?!? The place wasn't completely packed, mind you. And my friend said "I was here before 7…" He continued to go on about how nice he is and how he's going to get us settled in… ok… So we waited around a bit more. We saw him putting 2 tables together for us in the back, but then disappeared. We ended up waiting about 20 minutes before we were actually seated. So bizarre!! 

Once we were seated, the sunset was shining through the window right in the faces of me and my sister. The host says "oh, the drapes don't move…maybe just lean your head over to the side for 5 minutes until the sun completely sets…" DOUBLE WTF?!? Seriously? They were just simple cloth drapes and they "can't be moved"?! Wow… that was a new one. We are not off to a good start.. :-/ So my sister and I had to scoot to the sides of the table for the next 10 minutes and wait for the sun to set. Weirrrrd. 

We were all starving and the menu looked so good. And while waiting for our table we saw many dishes go by. The mac and cheese looked amazing! So we each ordered our own dishes and my sister got a mac & cheese for the table. 

Chicken Fried Chicken (fresh organic chicken, breaded to order, fried and topped with cream sausage gravy and served with two fresh vegetables) $11.99~ With asparagus and braised swiss chard. 

This was my order. I wanted to be healthy... but oh hell. This is southern comfort food... there's no point being healthy here. haha. The chicken fried chicken was smaller than I expected. Normally I see them as big as an entire plate, right? Don't you agree? But I thought it was really good. I like the batter and crispness on the outside and the white meat chicken was quite moist. The gravy was pretty generic. It would be better if it was jalapeno gravy or something. The veggies were delicious and cooked well, but the portion size of the swiss chard was laughable... 

Buttermilk Fried Chicken (two pieces of fresh chicken marinated to perfection, fried crispy and served with two fresh vegetables) $11.49~ With green beans and braised swiss chard. My sister's dish. The chicken was fried well and moist, but the meat itself needed more seasoning. 

Pork Chop (grilled bone-in pork chop topped with roasted fig demi and served with two fresh vegetables) $13.99~ With fried okra and braised swiss chard. I only tried the okra which was fried nicely. My friend said the flavors of the dish were good, but the pork chop was kinda dry... The size of the chop was pretty small too. 

Ellen's U.S.D.A. Prime Meatloaf (prime angus beef meatloaf with pan gravy and crispy onions, served with two fresh vegetables) $12.49~ With buttered kernel corn and green beans. The meatloaf was not bad. I don't tend to order meatloaf but I've had better ones. It was moist enough though. My friend did not care for it. And she said her green beans were undercooked. 

Ellen's U.S.D.A. Prime Meatloaf (prime angus beef meatloaf with pan gravy and crispy onions, served with two fresh vegetables) $12.49~ With mashed potatoes and sweet potato fries. The sweet potato fries were yummy. 

Cajun Shrimp and Grits (cheesy grits topped with spicy cajun shrimp and fresh spinach) $15.49~ I liked the grits a lot. The texture was great. Nice and creamy. I didn't get to try the shrimp but my friend cleaned his plate so I'm assuming he liked it! haha. 

Joe's Mac & Cheese (a big bowl of our famous smoked mac & cheese mixed with your choice of ingredients) $6.99~ Plus veggies $0.49 each. Plus meats $1.49 each. We got it with bacon, broccoli and mushrooms. Everyone was waiting for this. It looked soooo good. And it was! The pasta was cooked well and the toppings were perfect in the melty cheese. Best dish of the night by far! 

Just an FYI. The service here is SUPER slow. As if waiting for the table wasn't a warning already. Several of my friends ordered Chai Lattes and Lattes, by the time one comes out, the other person had already finished theirs. It came out one by one.. and very slowly. The waiter didn't apologize when he brought one out either... "The machine only makes one at a time" is the excuse we got. What kind of place can only make one cup of beverage at a time?!? What happens during brunch when a whole table orders coffee?! And the food took forever to come out as well. We saw several tables finish their food and leave while we sat with nothing. And other tables sitting there drooling when we got our food and watched us finish before they got theirs... It's not a big restaurant, I wonder why it's so slow... 

Anyways, we wanted dessert, so we decided it was a good idea to order it in the middle of our entrees. Genius! haha. We didn't have to wait long for them to come out after we finished eating. But guess what... our bills came out before we started our desserts! I see where they pick up the pace! 

Unfortunately I do not know the prices of the desserts since they don't have a printed dessert menu... 

Banana Pudding (topped with Nilla Wafers). Pretty decent sized bowl topped with wafers. There were tons of bananas in there. I really liked it. 
Fried Strawberry Shortcake. When I first heard this, I immediately thought of the Texas State Fair. haha. I was pretty close. It's like a fried biscuit topped with strawberries and whipped cream. Eh. None of us cared for it too much. 

Coconut Pie. I don't like shredded coconut and there were some throughout the pie, but it was tolerable. There wasn't too much. The rest of the pie was great. I loved the coconut flavor and texture of the pie. It was almost similar to a really soft bread pudding... 

Rum Raisin Bread Pudding. This was pretty good. The top was nicely browned and middle was super moist. It needed way more sauce (or glaze) or something though. 

It was unfortunate that the service was so lacking because the food was actually enjoyable. If the service and wait time had been somewhat decent, all of us would probably go back. However, none of us wanted to deal with the frustration and said we wouldn't return. And it wasn't just slow for our table, we saw it across the board. I wonder what other diners thought of their experiences?? There are better places with southern cooking anyways, spend your money (and TIME) elsewhere. 

Quality of Food:




Overall Experience:


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