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Voyages: Elle’s Bistro

Voyages: Elle’s Bistro

Located in Halifax’s historic downtown district near the corner of Prince and Barrington St., you’ll find Elle’s Bistro – one of the most easygoing and welcoming restaurants I’ve had the pleasure of visiting so far.

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Upon walking in, I am greeted by owners Mary “Elle” Planetta and Pete Slipp alongside their adorable 2-year-old son Jacob. Right away I feel at home. In order to emphasize their dedication to the community, the walls of the bright open space are adorned with vibrant pieces from various local artists. While some people may not love the idea of brunching with a three year old, the position of lil’ Jacob’s playpen right next to my table provides for some hearty entertainment and much-appreciated smiles.

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To start, Pete brings to the table an order of four deep-fried mac & cheese balls ($5.95) wrapped in bacon… need I say more? If mac & cheese isn’t your “jam”, you can also order these divine bacon nuggets stuffed with pb&j, peanut butter & banana, peanut butter & fluff, or thanksgiving stuffing. On top of being a delicious way to start the meal, the dish also sets my expectations high and has me super excited for what else is to come.

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Next, the grilled cheese club on rye ($8.50) is brought to the table accompanied by an order of fresh home fries (+$2.50). With cheddar, provolone, bacon, turkey, lettuce, tomato, and mayo piled high, it has everything you could want in a club sandwich and more. From the rye being dipped in egg wash and then tossed on the grill French-toast style, to the 2 types of cheese and crispy bacon strips, the club is a dream sammy to say the least. The ingredients are fresh and light and the presentation is classic.

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The home fries, which typically are served as a side to all-day breakfasts (umm yes plz), burgers, and sandwiches, are made fresh every day from PEI potatoes and remind me of the big family brunches that my mom used to make (bless her soul).

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Last but certainly not least, the namesake Elle burger ($6.95) is my personal favourite of the lineup today. Pickles, mustard, old cheddar, a juicy beef patty, lettuce, mayo and a crunchy onion ring… how could you go wrong? The deep-fried crunch of the onion ring brings a unique twist to the burg, and is complimented by the distinct flavours of dill pickle and mustard, reminding me of a classic diner-esque meal in every bite.

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To drink, Pete prepares the apple pie milkshake ($4.25) and the kick-ass caesar ($7 for a single, $10 for a double). The apple pie, just one of the many decadent milkshakes on the menu, is made with applesauce, vanilla ice cream, and a touch of cinnamon. The shake is light, fluffy and literally tastes like apple pie in a glass. If you’re in the mood for a little more fun in your shake, the majority of the drinks can be made with a boozy twist (adding a shot brings it up to $8.95).

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The caesar, as the name suggests, is kick-ass. I wouldn’t quite consider myself a caesar connoisseur, but it is my favourite drink of choice, like, always. The garnishes alone – a mini grilled cheese sandwich, celery, cucumber, and of course a pickled bean – make for a gorgeous presentation. The meat and potatoes of the drink itself is just as gorgeous, with the perfect ratio of booze and a friendly hint of spice to remind yourself you’re still kicking.

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Having only been open a mere year and a half, Elle’s Bistro is not planning to slow down anytime soon. Pete and Elle are hoping to add some new dishes to the menu over the summer and are considering staying open later in the evenings when tourist season picks up. Whether you’re in the mood for all-day breakfast, classic-with-a-twist diner food, or simply a chance to enjoy great food with great people, do yourself a favour and check out Elle’s Bistro today!

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2 thoughts on “Voyages: Elle’s Bistro”

  • Great write up for a great restaurant!!! I love the golden gobbler and vanilla milk shake. I’ll have to try the apple pie milk shake next time we are in Halifax and that burger sounds delicious!!!

  • I had the pleasure of eating at Elle’s recently I enjoyed it greatly The food was delicious and Jacob was certainly a lovely plus to my experience. I’ll be back soon

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