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Posted on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 10:31 a.m.

Ellie's Chocolate Cafe an appealing option for sandwiches and sweets

By Julie Halpert

We decided to venture to Chelsea on a gray Saturday afternoon and were immediately charmed by the employees of Ellie's Chocolate Cafe, who greeted us warmly. Mike Radant is one of the owners who launched Ellie's in November 2010.

This past January, he purchased the Gourmet Chocolate Cafe next door and has broadened the menu to include a variety of chocolate candy as well. With high-backed cozy booths and local art that fills the walls, Ellie's is a quaint sandwich shop that conveys Chelsea's nostalgic, small-town feel. We stood out as the few who didn't seem to be regulars.

The focal point is a large counter in the center of the restaurant that displays a wide array of chocolates as well as several different flavors of ice cream. You place your order here, and then servers bring you the food when it's ready.

The menu focuses on lunch foods: sandwiches, salads, soups, burgers and Coney dogs. We ordered the soup of the day, broccoli/cheddar, which was as thick as a stew and full of flavor. The veggie burger, one of only two vegetarian sandwiches on the menu, also hit the mark, served on a bun that tasted fresh. French fries were crispy and well seasoned, and were delivered well done, in accordance with my husband's specifications.

The heavily-breaded chicken in the crispy chicken club wrap tasted like it had been frozen and then thawed. It wasn't nearly as good as the other key ingredient: the large, thick slabs of bacon. Wrapped in a giant, fresh tortilla, the bacon, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing would have made for a sufficient sandwich without the chicken.

That same, dense portion of perfectly cooked bacon was on my son's bacon cheeseburger — one of a half-dozen burger options — a delicious offering served on the same fresh bun as the veggie burger. Though the server didn't ask how he wanted the burger prepared, it was cooked to my son's liking, on the medium/well side.

None of the sandwiches come with side dishes. Better Made potato chips can be ordered for an extra $1, while French fries are $1.29 for a small portion.


Ellie's Chocolate Cafe
312 N. Main St., Chelsea
734- 475-1457
  • Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Plastic: American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover.
  • Prices: Inexpensive.
  • Noise level: Quiet.
  • Wheelchair access:Yes.
The salad dressing on the Greek salad wasn't homemade. But I enjoyed the dish nonetheless, a melding of fresh tomato, onion, cucumber, olives, feta and peppers. I especially liked how they didn't skimp on the beets, one of my favorite parts of this salad.

Bread for the grinders is made in-house, and it's worth ordering one of these sandwiches just to sample it. Marshmallow soft, the terrific bread is the perfect foundation for a tasty sandwich.

We tried the turkey and Swiss grinder. The turkey tasted fresh, but was overpowered by the large amount of mayonnaise. More of the meat and less of the topping would have made this even better.

Dessert options are plentiful, ranging from a variety of ice cream flavors, purchased from Independent Dairy in Monroe, to candy. The chocolate shake, topped with whipped cream, was good, though I prefer mine thicker. In the case of candy, I would advise sticking with one of the two dozen chocolates that are made in-house, including the scrumptious chocolate-covered Oreos, the chocolate-covered frogs and the chocolate gummy worms. Dessert items I sampled that were purchased from elsewhere, including the chocolate with a marshmallow interior and the malted milk balls, tasted stale, like they had been sitting far too long.

Service was prompt, with staff eager to assist us. And the prices — under $5 for a burger — cannot be beat. I'd definitely recommend Ellie's an appealing place to stop, either for a light meal or to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

I am surprised these comments are still on line. That picture of the employee with the chocolate on the scale is a staged photo. Note that his right hand is moving the paper, not touching the chocolate. In his left hand he has a cupped cherry cordial, and his hand is touching the paper, not the chocolate. If you go into Ellie's, you will see that employees always put on gloves or use paper sheets to hold product when serving candy or baked goods. The fact that an employee in the kitchen at one time touched food with his hands is not indicative on an ongoing problem. If you check the 5 critical violations noted in one of the comments, you will see that most of them had to do with a piece of equipment that was not working up to capacity (It was corrected), and with date marking.(also corrected), not with employees touching food.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 11:34 p.m.

That's interesting because I was signing on to comment about a photo (in the print edition of with the owner holding food items without wearing gloves. It makes me want chocolate made in factories where employees wear gloves and masks.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

@B, the photo in question shows co-owner Mike Radant gathering "up chocolates after they've been weighed." Both hands are ungloved, the tips of his right hand are touching the top of the chocolate in what appears to be a mini-paper baking cup, and his left hand is cupped which indicates that he is ready to put the chocolates into the left hand with his right (alternatively, and less likely (not that it matters), it may have remained cupped after he had removed the chocolates now on the scale from his left hand). Short of a video showing him in the process depicted in the photo above, what more proof do you need? Also, they are not "brand-new" owners, as you state; they have been in business for almost a year and a half. On top of that, they already were cited by the Health Dept. over 6 months ago for handling food with ungloved hands.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

Funny story... The pictures were all staged and no picture in this article shows anyone touching the food at may have him moving a piece of wax papper in which gets thrown away after every customer! What happened to good old only god can judge? Way too go for jumping to conclusions! & as far as health violations... They are brand new owners who havent owned a business beforev so way to throw a new business under the but with bs violations! Kinda bogus if you ask me that you sit on your computer talking mad crap about a business im sure youve never ones perfect butit doesnt mean people deserve to be given a bad review with no basis of your own! So proud of you "free thinkers" :D ugh, this ignorance makes me ill... I think ill go to ellies and fill my belly with amazing food and chocolate!! Sorry for you!!!


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 3:08 a.m.

That same photo is in this story, but you need to click "See all thumbnails" at the bottom of the photo section (above) to see it. Unless I am mistaken, that would be classified as a "Critical Violation" by the Health Dept. The business previously was cited for a critical violation for handling food with ungloved hands on 8/23/11.


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

At their last 3 health inspections dating back to 2/22/2011, they have had a total of 15 Health Dept. violations, 5 of them critical. (enter License # Z068459)