Sunday, November 18, 2012

Unusual things I've seen in Madison, part 3: Ella's Deli.

I'll continue my series of unusual things with a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience.

Sighting #5: Ella's Deli

I've lived in Madison for a year and a half, and I can't believe it took me this long to blog about Ella's Deli. Opening on E. Washington Avenue in 1976, it is, to say the least, quite the spectacle. Decorated in a lively mix of vintage toys and interactive displays, the atmosphere is whimsical and full of life: definitely more than just a place to grab a bite. Classic cartoons soar across the ceilings, lighted wall displays blink in bright colors, and the tables are equipped with nostalgic activities (magnetic mustache drawing or pushing a button to activate a train, for example). The carousel outside is the icing on the cake, making the magical world of Ella's Deli a place where kids (and kids at heart) keep coming back.

Since the majority of the displays are constantly in motion, lighting up, or both, it's a tad difficult to photograph, but I did my best to document this rare kitschy gem:

Flying Mighty Mouse.

Polar bears surrounding the ice cream menu.

Magnetic drawing table.

Flying Popeye.

Flying Superman.

A lil' band playing a tune.

And just to prove that Ella's Deli in fact serves food,
here are the fried pickles (recommended by my coworker, Libby).
Click here for unusual things, part 1.
Click here for unusual things, part 2.