January 4th, 2011
Ellie’s Kitchen: Feast on Greek Throughout the Week
In 7 Words: Love, άνεση, Lamb, Butterscotch, Ellie, Bright, Pies
I have driven by Ellie’s Kitchen a time or two whilst visiting my family in Friendswood. That which kills cats—curiosity, not mean little Timmy down the street—set in after the first time. Who is Ellie and why does she deserve a kitchen all her own? The skepticism and persuasions of my inner-monologue went a little something like this:
“An authentic Greek restaurant in a Friendswood shopping center? Yeah, right. And what’s this? Tender lamb, Beef Stroganoff, Tatziki and Pita that’ll conquer a ‘Thanksgiving Appetite’ … Oh, AND save room for dessert? The best Banana Butterscotch Cream Pie anywhere? I’ll believe it when I eat it.”
I pull up to this quaint little eatery nestled cozily in between an Auto Zone and a Tuesday Morning. First appearances are usually deceiving as I found out with Antigua Coffee House—shopping center schmopping schenter. Upon entering through the glass door any and all doubts about quality or atmosphere are washed away. Scenes from Greece are neatly painted on the walls and smells of fresh pita bread and pie crust linger in the air as I am warmly greeted by Ellie herself.
Our drink orders are taken as we the rest of our belated party files in; there are eight of us when all is said and done. The waitress brings us fresh pita bread, hummus and tatziki to hold our hunger at bay. Ellie comes by to talk with us and I find out that she was in quite a different profession not three years ago. One day she decided that she loved to eat and she loved to cook and a twenty something year career in graphic design was not going to hold her back from this aspiration. Her love for food is very much evident in the hummus and pita bread alone.
Ellie takes the time to greet every one of the crowd of regulars and newcomers filtering into her Kitchen. Having adjusted to quick-paced life in the big city, it’s always nice to see personal, albeit fleeting, relationships formed between owner and patron. It’s enough to make me forget the fact that we ordered a variety of dishes including Lamb Gyro, the Chicken & Dumplings, the Beef Stroganoff, and the Lamb Shank nearly 30 minutes ago.
It’s a good thing I’ve come here today with the intent to catch up with family. Just as my stomach growls in anticipation our food arrives. The table is overthrown by an army of plates of steaming food that you expect for a party of eight. At this point the food has inspired that “Thanksgiving Appetite” mind trick and I swear I could at least try to eat everything on the table.
Having defeated my Gyro and sampled at least a bite of every other dish, I can confirm that the rumors, as well as my sense of smell are rooted deeply in truth. The lamb was cut-with-a-spoon tender, the Beef Stroganoff was flavorful in the perfect amount of sauce, the Chicken & Dumplings in their lightly salted broth were plentiful and soft. Each plate rests naked in front of a diner. The doggie bags will have to be saved for another day.
“Room for dessert?”
“No, but we’ll take some anyway.”
We order the Banana Butterscotch Cream Pie and Baklava. To say they are “amazing” doesn’t quite grasp it. Once again we scrape our plates clean, making the task of the dishwasher in back that much easier. We sit, far too full for a weekday lunch. This sort of gluttony is usually reserved for special occasions. Perhaps that’s just what I’ve found.
Where – Ellie’s Kitchen and Catering (108 South Friendswood Dr.)
When – 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
What – Delicious Greek food and an assortment of tasty desserts
How Much – $4.00 to $6.00 for appetizers $6.00 to $12.00 for the rest