Published March 22, 2013 at 2:09am
If your taste buds need a wake-up call, Elliott’s on Congress has just the food and drink for you. Roast duck sliders, “Jalapeno Vodka-ritas,” and chocolate-covered bacon are just a few of this restaurant’s original items.
Elliott’s on Congress will be celebrating its one-year anniversary on May 10, which is a feat in and of itself considering the downtown streetcar construction it’s had to suffer through.
Though Elliott’s owner Billy Elliott said construction was frustrating and slowed down business tremendously, the fences have now come down. The challenges the restaurant has faced over the past year will pay off when the streetcar begins delivering people right to its front door.
Elliott’s has just the right mix of atmosphere, edge and upbeat energy to keep you entertained whenever you drop in, whether you’re chilling on a Monday afternoon during happy hour or starting a Saturday night off right with a well-mixed and affordable drink.
“A lot of fun stuff is going on down here, and we’re trying to do things no one else is doing,” said Elliott.
The restaurant has polished wood floors, but the atmosphere of a rock dance club. “If you’re into that kind of thing, we’ll definitely move some tables around for you,” one waiter offered.
Elliott’s outside patio offers a more low-key atmosphere that’s perfect for people-watching.
Each server is as friendlier than the last, accommodating and attentive to everyone.
Plus, the price and quality of Elliott’s house-infused vodka specialty drinks are hard to beat — or even match. With more than 21 different flavors available for order, including basil, coffee, ginger and strawberry, you might have so much fun picking out drinks that you forget about food entirely.
One game-changer is the “Jalapeno Vodka-rita”. At first sip, your mouth is simultaneously elecrified by the jalapeno and soothed by the lime and orange juice, so that after the intial surprise, you can sip with ease.
Elliott’s most popular specialty drink by far is the “Key Lime Pie,” a martini composed of every pie ingredient in alcoholic form, including a graham cracker crust rim.
In the way of food, the restaurant offers everything from poached pear salad with decadent cabernet-soaked pears and “Hot Vodka Pasta” topped with bacon, to more orthodox fare like burgers and sandwiches. The food comes promptly and in big portions but tastes rather bland, and is basically just a side for your drink.
Don’t miss dessert, though. For the more adventurous, or those unconcerned about their waistlines, the chocolate-covered bacon strips and deep-fried peanut butter and jelly with ice cream are musts. Fried food doesn’t get any classier than this, and the taste makes the run you’ll need to take later totally worth it.
Overall, the drinks are fresh and the food decent, but what really makes Elliott’s the place to hang out is the awesome atmosphere and friendly and attentive bartenders and staff.