Restaurant Preview: Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe

Yea, so Ella's opened last Friday and no one should really be judging any restaurant at this point. But I couldn't help myself. As a resident of "The Heights", my yearning for new food in my 'hood bubbled over. And after months of anticipation, watching the building go up (they bulldozed an existing structure and built from the ground up), waiting on a variety of issues from construction delays to City of Tampa permitting, the locals were getting restless. And hungry for something innovative.

So I'll cut to the chase: The Heights finally has a place to hang. Cool architecture (complete with controversial yard art), unique decor, huge outdoor seating, food potential. The service and the grub aren't perfect yet but you feel the love. Highlights: Chicken Spidini ($16) and Ancho Crusted Salmon ($16). The lowlights: vegan roasted tomato soup ($6) completely void of salt, as well as two varieties of bland, chewy fritters: chorizo (called Masaladas on the menu ($7)) and peach ($4), which left me wondering what part of the fruit they wafted over the batter.

Drinks: Small yet well-chosen wine list, with a favorite featured: Crios Rosé of Malbec and the beer offerings should please any fickle brew palate. They sell locally-based Cigar City Brewing as well as craft beers from around the world.

Basically, just go and see what this place is all about. Owners Melissa and Ernie are waiting to greet you. (See more photos on

Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe

5119 North Nebraska Ave.




Taylor is the wine columnist for Creative Loafing Tampa. Reach Taylor at t[email protected], on Twitter @tayloreason, on Facebook and on her website,

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