Sometimes the most satisfying meals are the simplest. Leaf Kitchen's cubano sandwich, for example, a semi-regular special with braised pork and melted swiss, was so good that it inspired Little Village's Scott Samuelson to declare, "a part of me [wanted] to check into some private room to be alone with my sandwich and its sauces." And this isn't the only dish that the restaurant's chefs effortlessly elevate. Their rustic cooking spans breakfast and lunch, ranging from sweet and savory crepes to grilled chicken-club sandwiches, focusing on sustainability as well as simplicity. Meals make use of locally sourced produce and meats, and even the coffee is an exclusive blend crafted by a certified organic, fair-trade roaster.
While the cuisine at Leaf Kitchen is minimalistic in design, the dining space is anything but. Midwest Living praised it by remarking that the "eclectic more-is-more interior offers so much to take in that you may not know where to look first." Servers flit among wood and formica tables set with mismatched dinnerware and clustered with turquoise stools and canary-yellow chairs. These vibrant touches find their complement in a retro-inspired soundtrack of jazz, soul, and world music, which gets knees bouncing without the spring-loaded floorboards used by other restaurants.
The cooks at Quinton's Bar & Deli know the ingredients that make a good Reuben?corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss, and housemade dressing. But they also know the Reuben's extended family, which is why their menu has a section entirely devoted to the sandwich. The Rachel exchanges corned beef for turkey, whereas the Patsy switches in grilled navel pastrami. They can even combine two or three of the meats to create a Combo Reuben with twice the cheese.
Sandwiches in general happen to be the deli's bread and butter. Their most popular is the TAC, which stands for turkey, avocado, and cream cheese. Other options include the beef and brie, whose house-seasoned roast beef is covered with imported cheese, and the Aloha chicken, stacked with grilled pineapple and served in the pocket of a Hawaiian shirt. Burgers make an appearance as well, featuring hand-shaped patties from Bud's Meat in Riverside, Iowa.
And if you'd like some soup with your sandwich, Quinton's serves up the combo with a twist, ladling the soup inside bread bowls. A sizable selection of beers, wines, and spirits?including cocktails with homemade ginger beer?wash down bites.
Fiery red paint splashes the walls of Casa Tequila Authentic Mexican Grill, creating the illusion of heat. Sizzling plates of fajitas emerge from the kitchen, fanning the flames with soft tortillas and hot strips of chicken. Nearby, grilled T-bones and rib eyes amplify the warmth with spicy jalape?os and ranchero sauce. Like most of the menu?s selections, these dishes are made from scratch using super-fresh ingredients. To lower the temperature, barkeeps craft margaritas that are cooler than an iceberg wearing an Elvis wig. Available in a variety of flavors and sizes, these drinks showcase a lineup of more than 50 tequilas. Diners can also enjoy their meals at outdoor tables, amid refreshing breezes and the shade of patio umbrellas.
Try Bluebird for breakfast, lunch or dinner. All made from scratch! We do our own baking, we make our sausage, we smoke our meats in house and roast our own coffee. We have a nice selection of beer and wine also. Look for us in the Feb. 2011, Midwest Living Magazine!