All Spiffed Up

By Patricia B. Mitchell, 2005.


Ella's in Calabash (2006 photo).

Ella's Restaurant at Calabash, North Carolina, has been remodeled since we were last there about a year and a half ago. In fact, Calabash has been “remodeled.” The qaint fishing village had a facelift, the kind making the eyebrows go way up. (The town's figuratively, and ours literally.) Wide sidewalks on Ella's street (River Road), and fancy street lights are part of the makeover; and at Ella's itself, paint and a reconfiguration of the dining room give the 55-year-old eatery a new look.

But not to worry — the cooking is still good, and the prices reasonable for this day and age.

As usual, several in our party ordered Fried Shrimp ($9.95 or $10.95, depending on whether you want a lot, or more than a lot). They were good and not over-battered. French fries, cole slaw, and hushpuppies came with them.

My husband and I split a small order of broiled flounder ($11.45). The amount of fish was actually less than I had expected. The waitress had said the order would consist of two filets. However, they were small. Nevertheless, the fish was excellent. Henry ate the accompanying cole slaw. I got the baked potato. (You can substitute it for fries for an additional $0.25.) In this case, the potato was not worth getting because it seemed to have been sitting around a very long time, the inside being kind of grayish and clammy-textured.

Still, the meal was satisfactory. Ella's does good things with seafood, and provides a relaxed, casual setting in which to enjoy it.