FEED ME: E.leaven does not go to 11

By on February 24, 2015
e.leaven’s sticky bun looks much better than it is. (Photo credit: Geraldine Mishev)

e.leaven’s sticky bun looks much better than it is. (Photot: Geraldine Mishev)

Walking into e.leaven at 9 on Monday morning, I wondered how it could stay open. A private room off to the side had some sort of meeting going on in it with maybe two dozen people present, but my boyfriend and I were the only customers in the main restaurant.

Leaving e.leaven at 9:45 on Monday morning, I realized the question was not how e.leaven could stay open, but why it should bother to stay open. I’m almost always able to find something redeeming in the places I review, but it was a struggle this time.

E.leaven has been around for some time. Before last Monday, I had eaten there once previously and was unimpressed, despite Daily Candy awarding their Chicago location with the title “best bagel in Chicago.”

With the Old Yellowstone Garage recently re-opening in Alpine – it’s original Jackson location was where e.leaven is today – I got to thinking about e.leaven. With Betty Rock gone, I need a new breakfast/lunch place I can walk/bike to. Also, e.leaven’s space is colorful and has great natural light, two details in its favor. Maybe e.leaven could be it.

On its front door, e.leaven has a sign asking people to vote for it in this paper’s annual Best of Jackson Hole poll.

I will vote for it … if there is a category for the most egregious abuse done to a sticky bun. The bun served to me tasted like it was baked Friday. Also, it was slightly overdone, with burned spots on the bottom.

Sticky buns are meant to be pulled apart. Even putting my muscles into it, I could barely cut through the outer ring of e.leaven’s sticky bun. When I finally succeeded, I was awarded with a piece that actually crunched in my mouth.

Look up ‘meh’ and you’ll find e. leaven’s huevos rancheros. (Photo credit: Geraldine Mishev)

Look up ‘meh’ and you’ll find e. leaven’s huevos rancheros. (Photo: Geraldine Mishev)

Thinking that perhaps they stuffed all the soft and chewy goodness into the center, I next went directly for the sticky bun’s heart. It wasn’t crunchy like the bun’s exterior; instead it was tough. This toughness was attributed to it being reheated for us in a microwave. I interpreted it as further proof that either 1. this was the stalest sticky bun in the world or 2. e.leaven has the worst recipe for sticky buns in the world.

The sticky bun had a high point: there was no shortage of nuts rolled inside it. Lacking the strength to do further battle with the pastry, I resigned myself to merely picking out the nuts.

Moving on to our main courses – veggie quiche for me and huevos rancheros for the man – things did not get much better.

I appreciated that the cashier was willing to swap the mixed green salad that should accompany the quiche for breakfast potatoes. That’s good customer service. Then I tasted the breakfast potatoes. They weren’t offensive, but neither did they have any flavor. It was a waste of potatoes.

The slice of quiche ($6.95) was a good size and topped with a half-inch layer of cheese that “greasy” doesn’t begin to describe. The soggy (bottom) and dry (back) crust tasted like it had been made the same day as the sticky bun. The quiche was chock full of veggies, but at the expense of egg.

The base of the huevos rancheros ($8.50) is a deep fried tortilla. With a full half of an avocado on top of said fried tortilla, this dish looks more appetizing than the quiche. And it is, but it never ventures out of the “meh” category.

I left thankful Great Harvest Bread Company was just up the street.

e.leaven, open daily 8 a.m. 3 p.m.; 175 Center St., 733-5600, eleavenfood.com.

About Geraldine Mishev


  1. grace flowers

    February 25, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Never had a bad meal there. In fact, E.leven is terrific. This critique is way off base and brutal.


  2. anonyholic II

    February 25, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I agree, grace. But I also trust Dina. Let’s get to the bottom of this.

  3. Saul Goodman

    February 25, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Isn’t the author undergoing chemo-therapy? Does it seem wise to be taking advice from her about what tastes good?

  4. Geraldine

    February 26, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Saul, yes I am undergoing chemo. But 1. after my latest round of chemo, my taste buds returned to normal a week ago and 2) an amazingly stale sticky bun and greasy quiche have nothing to do with taste buds. You’ll notice that I did not actually comment on the taste of anything, but rather kept my comments to item’s quantitative aspects.

    I’ll grant that maybe e.leaven was having an off day. Sadly, this paper does not have the resources for me to eat multiple times at a restaurant so that I can get an average.

    Regular readers of this column will know that brutal reviews are not my style. But telling the truth is.

  5. Sugar

    March 1, 2015 at 6:59 am

    If you can’t get a sticky bun right, you’re either having a really off day (assuming they actually make them) or they were old. My guess, old. No excuses if so.


  6. stephanie Hardeman

    March 4, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    This article was done in bad taste. It seemed like your whole purpose of this visit to ELeaven was focused on finding evidence to support your original impression. I love Eleaven and have NEVER had a bad meal there. Even more, I believe that this town is very lucky to have business owners, like ELeaven’s, who are alway willing to donate to community causes. Your empty seat at Eleaven means more open seats for the rest of us.


  7. grace flowers

    March 5, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Anonyholic, why does she go by “Geraldine” in this instance?

  8. anonyholic II

    March 5, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    No sure, grace. She will have to explain. She was always Dina at the NaG. I have always like her writing and have agreed with most, but not all of her food reviews. BTW, she is not only fighting the big C, but MS as well, if I’m not mistaken.

  9. grace flowers

    March 6, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Yes, she’s had a tough go of it. Prayers for her recovery.

  10. George

    March 18, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Unfortunately, the $5 breakfast menu disappointed twice, I guess people should like it because it’s cheap, they had no natural, organic healthy options at all, I don’t support the 99 cents/ twelve eggs business and farming approach, not to mention cheap meet.
    I have been in this place four five times since it opened and it was either mediocre or bad, in the case of $5 menu, shit! So stop giving shit to Geraldine, for walking in and giving an honest realistic review!

    SaulG you suck!

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