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“Fun little breakfast/lunch spot”

Ellie's Table at North Beach
Ranked #4 of 229 Restaurants in San Clemente
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$10
Cuisines: American, French, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: View
Dining options: Breakfast
Description: Ellie's Table is a celebration of Eleanor Mastroianni, whose cooking and baking skills helped turn Jay's Catering-which she co-founded with her husband, Jay-into a true catering dynasty. As a husband and wife team, Jay and Eleanor Mastroianni began a small catering business out of their home in 1972. Today, the company is considered one of Orange County's best caterers. Ellie's Table completes a circle of food industry experience, beginning with Eleanor's first job at Conway's Corner-a small diner in Rochester, PA-and culminating in this cafe, which is dedicated to offering up some of her famous specialties and favorite baked goods. Even though she was a trained nurse, Eleanor took her first steps toward a career in food preparation and entertaining at Conway's Corner, which is also where she met her future husband, Jay. After marrying in 1953, Jay's mother, Maria, taught Eleanor how to prepare classic Italian Mastroianni family recipes. Then, in 1958, Jay and Eleanor moved to Garden Grove, CA, where a new chapter of their lives began. When customers at his milk delivery depot in Westminster inquired about private party catering, Jay accepted the work, knowing his wife was a phenomenal cook. Her specialties included Italian lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and a signature carrot cake. Jay dreamed of becoming an all-inclusive caterer, providing one-stop shopping for clients and the best service available, regardless of the event size. However, Jay needed Eleanor's cooking skills in order to accomplish the dream. When the couple's catering company began to take flight, Eleanor quit her job as a nursing supervisor in 1970 to work full-time alongside her husband. Two years later, Jay and Eleanor introduced their famous palm-sized sandwiches. The turkey, ham and roast beef sandwiches, along with the egg and tuna salad options, became the basis of a lunch program sponsored by Huntington Beach's Mercury Savings. Three salads-potato, coleslaw and ambrosia-as well as a relish tray, completed the delectable meal. Participants in the lunch program were quick to spread the word about the delicious, freshly-assembled sandwiches, and business for the fledgling catering company began to flourish. Eleanor headed up the kitchen while Jay managed every other aspect; the help of their three children-Linda, John, and Michael-was also critical, as the family worked to become a household name in the catering world. In 1975, the family moved to a larger "catering house" in Garden Grove in order to accommodate growing business. A few years later, in 1987, the catering company's accelerating success made it necessary to relocate to a still bigger, more modern facility on Garden Grove Boulevard. Behind all this growth stood a woman known for her ability to cook, improvise, and supervise a large kitchen-Ellie Mastroianni. Not only did she do much of the cooking herself, but she also taught her staff to prepare her specialties, too. Eleanor later helped Jay run an Italian restaurant, called Ciao Bello, at the Los Caballeros Sports Club in Fountain Valley beginning in 1989. The popular restaurant featured musical entertainment and enjoyed a steady clientele, all of whom relished Eleanor's Italian specialties. Weddings, family reunions, and parties of all sorts took place in the banquet hall upstairs. Both Eleanor and Jay slowed down in 1994 when their daughter, Linda, became the Chief Operating Officer of Jay's Catering/Mastroianni Family Enterprises, but they never strayed too far. Until his death in May, 2013, Jay and Eleanor visited Jay's Catering nearly every day together. When asked, Jay described his wife as honest; friendly, intelligent, loyal, and possessing a great deal of common sense. Thus, a legacy of hard work and great food established by a wonderful wife, mother, and cook lives on here at Ellie's Table. We hope you can tell.
Reviewed 1 July 2014

Ellie's Table is a very cute little pastry/breakfast/lunch spot that is right off the trail in North San Clemente. The pastries are delish and the small bites are (palm sandwiches and salads) yummy. It's a fun spot to just sit outside and watch the ocean and enjoy your meal!

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Thank sammijo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Armand B, Owner at Ellie's Table at North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Hi Sammijo,

Thanks for your review! I'm thrilled you enjoy our location and cuisine.

All the best,
Armand

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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137 - 141 of 152 reviews

Reviewed 30 June 2014

A real gem right across from the old Ole Hanson pool at North Beach. Not only is the food fresh and scrumptious, but the atmosphere is like a European cafe and you have a view of the ocean! This is a great addition as a hometown place to meet and hang in San Clemente. We bring our out-of-town guests here as a treat. And the prices are great! Best deal is to get the sandwich and salad combo. But save room for dessert, too! I like to get the veggie "palm sandwich" and then a cupcake or croissant. Perfect!

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Thank Peggy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Armand B, Owner at Ellie's Table at North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Hi Peggy,

Thanks so much for your lovely review! I'm happy you are enjoying Ellie's, and hope to see you back very soon.

Thanks again,
Armand

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Reviewed 30 June 2014

This is probably a really nice place for coffee fanatics. Good location right near the beach with tables inside and out. I've been there twice. The coffee and pastries are probably great (I don't really drink coffee or eat pastries) but if you're going there to have a "filling" lunch or breakfast, forget it. The croissant I bought had hardly any filling, and the palm tuna sandwich was pretty dry. Will not go back, unless I suddenly have a desire for coffee and pastries!

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Thank BIFF7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Armand B, Owner at Ellie's Table at North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Hi BIFF7,

Thanks for taking the time to review us here on Tripadvisor. Honest reviews like yours help us to further refine our business.

I apologize that your Croissant + Tuna Palm Sandwich were not up to par. I will look into this matter personally. All of our food is made fresh and from scratch, so there must have been an issue the day you came.

In regards to our portion sizes, we size (and price) to pair. For example, if a customer is very hungry they can order our Palm Sandwich Special, whereas if they just want a bite, one Palm Sandwich will do the trick. This allows us to offer our customers more flexibility with what they order and how much they order.

Again, I apologize that you were not satisfied, and hope you'll give us another chance in the near future.

All the best,
Armand

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Reviewed 3 June 2014 via mobile

Excellent European style coffee shop in a quant outbuilding of the "Casino" event center in San Clemente's North Beach area. They serve the best coffee using Kean beans; the "Italian cappuccino" is fabulous if you like espresso done this way. The "Palm" sandwiches are great as a small bite when combined with their super salad choices. Their pastries, especially the almond croissants are outstanding. Sitting outside on the patio is particularly pleasant; however indoors can be a bit noisy at times. Ellie's is somewhere very special and definitely worth a visit if you haven't been there yet!

Thank TottersN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Armand B, Owner at Ellie's Table at North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2014

Hi TottersN,

Thanks for your great review of Ellie's! I'm delighted that you enjoyed our food and ambiance.

We hope to see you back very soon!

All the best,
Armand Barragan

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Reviewed 28 May 2014

This is a delightful bake shop that offers hot and cold items for breakfast & lunch. My companion had the fresh made quiche and I enjoyed a Palm Egg Salad Sandwich. Really nice location just a block or so away from the beach park.

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Thank pkcoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Armand B, Owner at Ellie's Table at North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2014

Hi LilHotNana,

Thanks so much for reviewing us on TripAdvisor! I'm delighted that you and your companion enjoyed our food. We hope to see you back at Ellie's very soon!

All the best,
Armand

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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