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They’re a common food in several Latin countries, including Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, but empanadas are made a bit differently in Argentina. “We have an edge because we actually bake them,” Nicolás Ibarzabal, co-owner of 5411, told the Decider in 2009. ”Here in Chicago there are a couple of places that offer empanadas, but they’re pretty much all deep-fried. We like to think of ourselves as the new healthy frontier of empanadas.”

Along with pals and fellow Buenos Aires natives Mariano Lanfranconi and Andrés Arlia, Ibarzabal makes the flaky baked treats in nearly a dozen varieties. You’ll find traditional hand-cut beef empanadas as well as Americanized versions including barbecue chicken, which Ibarzabal admits is one of his favorites despite chuckles from his Argentine friends. The trio started 5411—a mash-up of Argentina’s country code, 54, and Buenos Aires’s city code, 11—in 2009 as a catering company before rolling out a food truck and finally opening a shop in Lakeview. That shop makes deliveries by the dozen, and the same pale-blue food truck—perhaps the catalyst for 5411’s success—still takes to the streets daily, urging office dwellers to emerge from their cubicles and horses to escape from their buggies.

18031 Central Park Circle
Boyds,
MD
US

Children are best equipped to develop analytical skills for current and future learning between the formative ages of 3.5 and 14. That's why Best Brains sets students off on the right foot by offering focused courses in subjects such as math, English, abacus, and general knowledge. Certified teachers help students develop skills in writing, grammar, critical thinking word problems, and basic computational math, using an abacus counting tool to help develop spatial memory.

19741 Executive Park Circle
Germantown,
MD
US

For more than 20 years, the FAA-certified flight instructors at Washington International Flight Academy have safely guided pupils skyward and imbued them with the skills necessary for numerous licenses and certifications. Under an instructor's watchful eye, guests control a Cessna 172 on a 30-minute airborne trek during discovery flights, which can later be applied toward courses for a private or commercial pilot’s license with optional multiengine rating. A commercial pilot’s license qualifies more seasoned flyers for instructor certification, where they learn how to teach essentials, including how to tell the difference between a landing airplane and a diving roc.

Along with in-depth courses, Washington International Flight Academy accommodates patrons with rentals of its massive fleet, charts and piloting supplies from its fully stocked shop, and lodging for out-of-state students.

7940 Airpark Rd
Gaithersburg,
MD
US

Atlantic Edge Dive Center's dive-masters might technically be classified as land mammals, but they spend enough time under water to earn the honorary title of amphibian. They spend days and nights teaching and leading dives, whether they're arming curious beginners with basic skills in one of their on-site swimming pools, or conducting open water certification tests off the coast. They go beyond simply certifying students for adventure: they provide rescue diving, dive master, and instructor training as well.

Their passion for the aquatic pastime draws them to all kinds of watery outposts. They lead excursions to the Florida keys to help rehabilitate the coral reefs surrounding the islands, and dive into the relatively calm waters of the tanks in the Baltimore National Aquarium, where they have a chance to see 53 species of fish feed in the secret underwater cafeteria.

520 N Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg,
MD
US

Getting in shape after giving birth can be difficult; taking care of the baby takes a lot of time and leaves bodies weary and sapped of energy. Stroller Strides understands these common struggles and has designed exercise regimens with new mothers in mind. All you need to get started is you, your baby or someone else's baby, and a stroller. Classes, which are taught by specially trained instructors, take place outdoors most of the year and consist of a warm-up, a buggy-bandying power walk, and interval stations where participants do a variety of body-toning exercises. Musically enhanced indoor classes are also available if you'd rather spare your body and baby from winter's clammy clutches. Instructors provide everyone with any additional equipment and, in the event of a fussy-baby episode, will show you exercises you can do with your baby.

701 Russell Avenue
Gaithersburg,
MD
US

Since 1995, Best in Class Education Center's instructors have aided students of all ages—from pre-K tots to high school seniors—in their academic journeys. They calibrate small-group and private math and English lessons that push each student at an individualized pace, helping struggling students catch up to speed or edifying advanced pupils seeking more of a challenge. The tutors give homework assignments for the kids to work on throughout the week, as well as administer weekly tests to assess their progress.

In addition to boosting success in current classes, the staff helps older students ready themselves for post-secondary schooling with SAT prep classes and college admission workshops, which help applicants decide on the right place, craft an impressive personal statement, and shimmy into their dream school's mascot costume before campus visits.

364 Main Street, #200
Gaithersburg,
MD
US