We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Best Cinnamon Rolls & Coffee! ”

Ellie's Table at North Beach
Ranked #5 of 215 Restaurants in San Clemente
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$10
Cuisines: American, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: View, Kids, Child-friendly, Cheap Eats
Dining options: Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
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.
Granite Bay, California
Level Contributor
285 reviews
212 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 259 helpful votes
“Best Cinnamon Rolls & Coffee! ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014 via mobile

We stopped by this little jewel of a coffee house while cruising around San Clemente because of the long line and the idea of sitting at one of the patio tables out front. There's a good reason for the crowd in the line, once inside where the line continues you're next to the display cases filled with beautiful pastries and you have a few minutes to decide before your order is taken.
We decided on a cinnamon roll, small egg salad sandwiches, and hot Americano coffees. It was all fantastic and so was the people watching on the patio. If this place was in my town I'd just live there every morning. The warmed cinnamon roll was the best I've ever eaten, and that's saying a lot! Don't pass up a chance to spend an hour or two here if you're lucky enough to be in the area. Go early because they do run out of the cinnamon rolls quickly.

Helpful?
Thank porsche74s
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 review, 16 July 2014
Hi Porsche74s,

Thanks for your great review! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed our cafe (and Ellie's Cinnamon Rolls, especially). I hope you'll pay us a visit when you're next in town!

All the best,
Armand
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

117 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    78
    28
    8
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best coffee anywhere!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2014

I've been here 5 or 6 times now. Ultra clean, very modern, like a pottery barn bakery! Great coffee and the food is amazing. Very crowded at peak times with lines out the door. My only complaint is that they can't get the line to run smoother. It takes too long to get to the register to pay. I still love it though.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mlizkelly
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 review, 3 July 2014
Hi sur4mom,

Thank you so much for reviewing us! I'm very happy that you are enjoying Ellie's. We are working on condensing the wait time for ordering, as well.

Have a wonderful 4th of July,
Armand
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fun little breakfast/lunch spot”
4 of 5 bubbles 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!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
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 review, 1 July 2014
Hi Sammijo,

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

All the best,
Armand
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great place to grab sandwiches, Euro-style pastries and fresh coffee!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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!

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Clemente, CA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Too much bread & Too little food”
2 of 5 bubbles 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!

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Ellie's Table at North Beach also viewed

San Clemente, Orange County
 
San Clemente, Orange County
San Clemente, Orange County
 
San Clemente, Orange County
San Clemente, Orange County
 

Been to Ellie's Table at North Beach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing