So Justin and I went to Elli’s Backyard today for a late breakfast/early lunch. We did not intend to eat there. Justin had wanted to go to Toast (I’m a fan of the Asbury location NOT Red Bank but we did not feel like driving all the way down there). However, we were unaware that this Toast location is actually closed on Sundays (what kind of diner/breakfast/brunch place closes on Sundays???). Anyway, we walked around, saw Elli’s Backyard, and I remembered this thread. So we went in.
The hostess was very friendly, as was the rest of the staff. The interior is quirky/interesting. Everything from the tables (some actual picnic benches, others “normal” tables/chairs), the walls, and ceiling, are reminiscent of truly being in someone’s backyard. They actually have herbs growing on their walls-- mint and basil from what I remember.
I saw pumpkin pancakes were a special and so I figured in the spirit of Halloween I would order them. Justin asked if they could do a waffle with the pumpkin batter and our waitress, the owner’s mother as it happens, was very honest with us and said that the pumpkin flavor is not very strong and it is mainly just orange colored batter-- she did not want him to be disappointed. She did however recommend a “secret menu” item which was the cinnamon roll waffle. She said it was quite good, and the icing would be served on the side. He went with that and I switched my order to that as well. It came with a breakfast meat of choice, with us both choosing bacon.
The waffle ended up being delicious. There was plenty of cinnamon flavor and the icing made a nice touch. They also gave us enough maple syrup for several people! I was very content with the food and service, and after perusing the dinner menu, I would probably give it a try. Hard to recommend a place based just on a waffle, but hey, I’ve been let down by simpler at other places.
Some criticisms: the tree ring place settings are adorable and lend to the obvious “nature” feel of the place, but when it came time to setting our plates down, it was hard to maneuver the dishes. Since the bacon was served in a separate dish, that meant four plates on our table. Yes, the two main plates went right on top of the wood, but being so bulky meant moving some things around on the table. Not a big deal but a matter of design vs. practicality.
Also, as mentioned by others in this thread, I don’t know why picnic bench seating was ever thought to be a good idea even within the confines of their theme. We were at a regular table, but after having time to think about it, I’m not sure if I came for dinner here that I would want to eat their $42 rib eye steak while hunched over on a wooden bench.
But overall an enjoyable experience. The hostess also insisted we take Halloween candy on our way out. Such pleasant service goes a long way (see my upcoming post in the genera Red Bank thread).