For the past three years, my sister has been living in Madison, Wisconsin. It’s a pleasant four hour drive from where I live in St. Paul and I have visited her more than a dozen times. On the way to her house, while driving though Madison, I pass a slightly creepy looking building which appears circus-like called ‘Ella’s Deli.’
This weekend I visited her and we decided to check the place out…thoroughly. I had been there once before, for a bowl of ice cream. I was intrigued at the decor and wanted to return and fully exploit the place through the magic of my camera.
Ella’s is decorated in mechanical…everything. There are flying characters as old as Betty Boop and as recent as Harry Potter, though most decor is pretty old. The food is not really unique, but somewhat dated if you take into account that rarely do people eat beef tongue sandwiches in the twenty-first century. The one insane I-Must-Try-This!!! item was the deep fried dill pickles.
They were actually amazing. State Fair type food during our seemingly endless winter in the Midwest was great. That’s all I am going to say about the food, it just is not a foodies place. It is a visual place.
When you walk into the restaurant, you are overwhelmed with the amount of crap buzzing by your head. It’s loud. It made me wonder how anyone could hold down a job at this establishment without developing a severe twitch from the commotion. After a few mintues, I set out with my camera and clicked a few pictures of some of the table tops, which are all shadow boxes with different themes. We sat at the ocean table, kind boring.
Also, there was a gum table
A soda table.
A pez table
A marienette table that will continue to create nighmares for me until I make a trip back and smash their creepy faces.
I then took pictures of the “stuff”…the moving sets of people, feet, and animals singing and dancing. Yeah, I said feet.
Here’s a video of the band, who played no music just moved around really bizarrely. Notice the guy in the back needs to ‘go’ real bad. (and turn down your sound, the background buzz is kinda annoying)
And finally. The Juggling clowns! This was a little machine you stuck your eyes up to, then pushed a button that would create the illusion that bald clowns were juggling bowling pins. The thing was a million years old and just ends up looking frightening.
I imagine if you were the type to drop acid, you would wish to be here or stay far away during your trip. Don’t know for sure I’ve never tried the stuff.
If you have done LSD, would this place be too much or just right? Discuss.