Explorers Club's cozy, 100-year-old brick exterior lends a deceptively comfortable face to the restaurant's constantly experimenting kitchen. Owner Tracy Studer?a veteran of the late Harold Smith's Gloria Caf??roots her eatery's fare in playfully updated Latin American food such as chorizo sliders and plantain-topped burgers. The menu boasts unusual additions such as his chili-citrus-flavored vegetable lo mein. Monthly menus jet around the globe?614 Magazine notes that after deciding on "a country or cuisine," the chef "spends months researching the ingredients, history, and flavor profiles, and then experimenting in the kitchen," turning out tributes to Germany, Spain, and Hungary. An impressive range of vegan and vegetarian options makes use of soy-based tempeh and tofu, catering to animal-loving humans and self-hating venus flytraps.
Louie's Grill Fusion jazzes up everyday meals with south-of-the-border flavors from Mexico and Cuba that rouse snoozing, spice-craving taste buds. Dip a toe in the meal fountain with appetizers such as fried plantains ($5.49) or a towering plate of nachos ($6.99), or dive right in with a Fiesta burger ($9.79), a half pounder topped with fried onions, slivered avocado, and chipotle ranch with a side of sweet potato fries.
Yordan Café serves up a smorgasbord of authentic Cuban fare at all three meals, with hefty breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Mornings begin on the right spoon with hot café con leche ($2.20) and a sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich ($3.99). Latter-day appetites are put to rest with the authentic flavors of 8-inch cuban sandwiches, such as the pressed media noche packed with pork, ham and swiss cheese ($5.99). Yordan’s favorites include sautéed garlic shrimp served with black beans, rice and sweet plantains ($7.99). Dessert options such as natural-fruit smoothies ($2.20) and caramel flan ($1.99) offer as a grand finale a sugar-cane-derived delight.