Roots Coffeehouse serves up coffee, teas, and a broad array of espresso-based drinks and complements its potable pleasures with friendly service and a variety of edible options. The shop's menu draws upon three different types of espresso—a single-origin, a blended, and a decaf—to provide savvy sippers with an extra degree of customization to their order. Organic and fair-trade coffee and teas are also available to help keep consciences light and fluffy. Order up a honey vanilla latte ($3.85 for a medium) for a sweet kiss of bee syrup without the danger and mess of personally milking the bees, then pair your vanilla-fueled brainpower with Roots' free WiFi. Frozen drinks such as raspberry mocha or vanilla bean frappes ($4 for a medium) help the overheated mock the impotent sun. A food menu featuring fresh-baked pastries and muffins, as well as a quartet of sandwiches ($7.00), is also available to help customers practice one-handed hunger-avoidance maneuvers.
Trio Café's executive chef, Jason Harper, a seasoned culinarian with a passion for global cuisine, shellacs taste buds with dishes outlined on a tightly constructed menu. The Mediterranean trio—a starter of oven-heated pita, garlic hummus, and greek salad ($7.95)—muffles the impatient moans of abdominal food sacks pining for gut-satiating sandwiches, all of which arrive tableside with kettle chips or a side house salad. Sandwich selections include the ham-and-brie panini ($7.95) and the beef tenderloin melt, which wraps a succulent hoagie around caramelized onions and portabellas soused in creamy horseradish sauce ($10.95). Veggie-seeking diners can also satiate their leaf-lust by forking through a salad, such as the rustic caesar—a lush amalgamation of yellow tomatoes, sourdough croutons, and parmesan crisps ($7.95)—or by tilting back a tall, energizing, meat-free cup of coffee or iced tea ($1.75).
New York-style pizza and Italian-style Italian food fill the menu at Caf? Sicilia, a casual neighborhood joint with a welcoming feel. Served by the pie or slice, sizzling pizzas are topped with canadian bacon, mushrooms, capers, artichokes, and other standard or specialty toppings and give off the aromas of toasted crust and melty cheese. Deep dish, sicilian-style pies pack an extra hearty punch, while stromboli and calzones transform the slice into a more compact culinary vehicle.
Outside the pizza realm, Caf? Sicilia's chefs plate fettucini alfredo, baked ziti, tortellini, and lasagna. Kids can tuck into spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmigiana, while parents feast on zuppa de pesce, an assortment of seafood layered in zesty marinara. Culinary expeditions conclude with tiramisu, cannoli, and plain or chocolate cheesecake.
A woven hanging light looms overhead, casting a buttery glow on wall alcoves festooned with orchid arrangements. Nearby, booths flaunt intricate geometric designs to match throw pillows on the adjacent sofa. The walls are comprised of texturally diverse materials such as stacked stone, exposed brick, and barbecue-flavored wallpaper, an eclectic assortment that mirrors Orchid City Café's mélange of Cajun, American, and Asian fusion fare.
Poboys and Thai-style rice dishes overflow with a choice of catfish, salmon, and chicken—all available fried, grilled, blackened, or interrogated. Chefs also mold half-pound Angus sirloin burgers to pair with fresh-cut french fries and specialty drinks such as smoothies or sweet boba tea.
Owned by New Orleans expats forced out by hurricane Katrina, Pierre's Mardi Gras Café, featured on Fox 4, rekindles the Cajun spirit from within its kitchen, kicking out authentic New Orleans fare. Friends, romantic partners, or auditioning potato-sack teammates become temporarily obstructed from each other's view by the 12-inch Half & Half po' boy, a classic french-bread sandwich with somersaulting bites of fish, shrimp, and oysters accented by lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Philly steak po' boys sizzle and crunch in their edible envelopes, and surf 'n' turf po' boys squash appetites with steak- and shrimp-inspired stomps of the foot. Pairs take a break from open-jawed po' boy bites and ladle a spoonful of authentic jambalaya into their mouths, an alchemical elixir composed of two different sausages and shrimp in tomato sauce, or trade off spoonfuls of crawfish étouffée as they argue about whose taste buds would be more likely to guest star on reality TV. Cups of shrimp creole and crawfish étouffée boast flavors that slow-dance atop tongues in simmering revelry. Pierre's Mardi Gras Café will be open on Sunday, September 4, as well as on Labor Day.