Ellies Family Restaurant
This Race Track Road gem is one of our favorite breakfast and lunch spots in the neighborhood for many reasons. First, the food is fantastic and the menu offers a wide variety of dishes. Second, the prices are very affordable, especially considering the quantity and quality of the food. Third, the casual environment and friendly staff makes you feel as if you were eating at a loving relative’s home. Last but not least, they are open seven days a week!
Ellie’s Restaurant is open Monday through Friday, from 6:00am till 2:30pm, and breakfast is served until 11:30am. On Saturday and Sunday they open at 7:00am and the best part? They serve breakfast ALL DAY LONG. Breakfast is my personal favorite food of the day, but sometimes I get too busy to enjoy a hearty share of eggs and bacon before noon. So I was extremely happy to find out I could go to Ellie's over the weekend, even way past 12:00pm and still order a delicious veggie omelet or 2 eggs over medium, with lots of crispy bacon and a couple of pancakes. And of course, a cup of their delicious freshly brewed coffee, which the staff happily refills as needed.
When you’re at Ellie’s you’re treated like family. The place is family owned and operated by Dino Mihalopoulos and his family. Dino acquired Ellie's a few years ago from previous owners Tom and Ellie, ergo the name of this cozy American eatery! Tom and Ellie owned Ellie’s for many, many years and were wanting to retire, but not before leaving their restaurant in the hands of people who were as family oriented as they were. So when Tom and Ellie met Dino and his family, who moved to Tampa all the way from Philadelphia, they knew that their diner was going to be in great hands, and that the family principles and values would live on, as well as the delicious and affordable dishes.
Since Dino took over Ellie's a little over two years ago, a lot of things have remained the same. The name Ellie's was a family staple so they held onto it, also because Ellie's had a great reputation in town and people from the neighborhood knew the name and loved the place.
“We also kept the back of the breakfast menu the same,” says Dino. “It depicts a lovely cartoon of Tom and Ellie, the previous owners. Also, a lot of our food items are named after the previous owners, and I would not have it any other way.”
Not only is Ellie's all about family, but the food tastes like it was cooked by your favorite and extremely gifted in the kitchen grandmother.
When I had a spoonful of their daily special broccoli and cheddar soup, and after I took a bite of my triple decker club sandwich, all I could think of was “Wow, this tastes like home." And I am not the only one who feels this way! “I Love this place,” says Vanessa Young, a local Ellie’s regular. “Such a great atmosphere, a very ‘homey’ feeling... All the servers are great, but our favorite is Toni. She is just so sweet and personable and attentive. She gets 5 stars alone in my book. We love her.”
Another happy customer, Andrew B., also agrees with the “homey” feels. “Awesome service and great menu for people that enjoy some food from up north like Philly cheese steak and scrapple. Made me feel right at home cause the owners are from Philly, PA. Near my home. Thanks guys and ladies love you!”
Ellie's offers an extensive Breakfast menu, including classics like bacon and eggs, french toast, biscuits and gravy (which come with a homemade sausage gravy that is to die for!), Tom's Famous Omelettes (I recommend their greek or their spinach, feta and onion), and a large selection of breakfast sandwiches and pancakes and eggs combos.
For lunch, Ellie's variety of wraps, cold or grilled sandwiches, hot or cold subs, melts and salads provide enough options to satisfy the entire family.
I have had the pleasure of trying many sandwiches at Ellie's, and they have all been fantastic! They just pile on the meats and cheeses, and the result is always great looking sandwiches that taste like they were made with lots of love! My personal favorite is the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. Dino recommended it to my husband and I when we stopped by, and we were both amazed at how delicious it was. I was pleasantly surprised after my first bite, especially considering how many places claim to have great Philly Cheese Steaks, but oftentimes they don’t meet my foodie expectations. But Ellie’s Philly Cheese Steak was pure perfection! It was perfectly warm, incredibly meaty and super cheesy… simply delicious! The big, warm hoagie roll was definitely a key factor in the wonderful taste of this sandwich. It was very fresh and moist from the sliced beefsteak juices. Each bite was better than the last, the remarkable mix of juicy steak, peppers, sauteed onions, mushrooms and the perfect amount of melted provolone cheese was to die for.
If you go to Ellie's for lunch and find yourself wondering what to get, trust me, get a Philly Cheese Steak. Remember, Dino is from Philly, so he knows the secrets on how make a truly authentic and fantastic Philly Cheese steak sandwich. I could seriously eat one every day, no joke.
But where would the fun be if I always ordered the same? I am a foodie at heart and I like to try everything once. That's why I love Ellie's daily specials, listed online and on a board inside the restaurant, you get a long list of fresh and homemade options available that day. You can always add a soup or salad to any entree for $2.00. Most daily special entrees are less than $12.00 and the portions are HUGE.
No other place can compare to the quality, taste and prices of Ellie's. So there's no need to go anywhere else! Don't drive around wondering where to eat today, avoid spending money on greasy and expensive fast food chains. Do your taste buds and your wallet a favor and head to Ellie's for the most mouth watering, homemade and affordable food in Tampa Bay.
Ellie's Restaurant in located at 12008 Race Track Rd, Tampa, FL 33626. Visit www.elliestampa.com to see their daily specials. __