Matt and Ellen Aschenbrener opened Elle Cocina Tex Mex restaurant on Wednesday, December 20, at 222 NW 1st Avenue in Trenton.
The former stone accented wood frame home of Jack and Mildred Hays has been very tastefully remodeled with a Mexican flare. The remodeling project has a homey feel while still respecting the historic 1936 building. The new business owners both felt the house was an asset to the community and from the start of the project wanted to create a warm comfortable atmosphere that locals would enjoy. Matt and Ellen have been working on Elle Cocina for the past six months. They look forward to bringing tex-mex food with Chef Ellen’s special twist to the residents of Gilchrist County.
Matt said on Monday that they take service very seriously and have hired a local well trained staff of 15 to work them at the restaurant.
Combined Matt and Ellen have over 40 years in the food industry. Both have been general managers of restaurants in the past. Ellen’s last job was a chef to a fraternity house in Gainesville and Matt was a partner and managed a food delivery service. Matt and his partner sold Gainesville To Go to Bite Squad which allowed he and Ellen to start the new restaurant in Trenton.
After moving to the Trenton area a year and a half ago, they knew they wanted a change in careers and decided to open a local restaurant out here. The couple moved to Gainesville from Coral Gables where they lived for 21 years. Matt said they moved up to Gainesville because their older children were attending the University of Florida. They both really like the area but not the traffic and busyness of Gainesville.
Ellen, who loves to cook, said that young people seem to gravitate to Mexican food. So the Aschenbreners feel Tex Mex will be a good fit for Trenton.
As a chef, Ellen has a special fondness for preparing breakfast. The breakfast menu has the expected grits and eggs as well as a few items that will be new to the county, including a breakfast bowl featuring eggs, chorizo (sausage), bacon, hash browns, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cheese. The breakfast bowl is drizzled with a choice of house made sauces.
Matt and Ellen expect that the marinated shredded beef flatbread and the tex-mex enchiladas will be a big hit with the lunch and dinner crowd. The menu also includes rib-eye steak and grilled chicken.
Future plans for the restaurant include a drive thru later in 2018.
The restaurant will be open Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. They will be closed December 24, 25 for Christmas and January 1 for New Years day.
With an eye on providing great service, those that are tech savvy can send in an order thru their web site and pick up their food at the restaurant. They will also take to go orders by phone.
If you are wondering about the name, Elle Cocina is a play on words and is translated to Ellen Cooks.
Elle Cocina promises the community great service and from scratch meals with a little different twist.