The smell of freshly brewing coffee mingles with aromas of Lighthouse Kitchen’s signature dish—buttery crepes that sizzle in a hot pan until they’re golden brown. These airy wonders bridge the gap between dinner and dessert by showcasing sweet ingredients such as Nutella and cinnamon, as well as savory fillers of chicken, ham, or spinach. In addition to these delicate French-style pancakes, the café’s culinary team whirs up fresh-fruit smoothies alongside made-to-order egg breakfasts, homemade soups, and sandwiches layered on your choice of half a dozen breads. Patrons can also perch atop lime-green stools while attempting to learn the secret barista handshake via the café’s free WiFi.
For John Offerdahl, the aroma of meat sizzling on the grill stirs memories of his family's barbecues in rural Wisconsin. Even when John grew up and became a linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, he couldn't escape that enticing smell?it would waft into the stadium from fans tailgating outside and the mascots who secretly stuffed their costumes with cheeseburgers. So it was only natural that, after retiring from football, John would once again find himself at the grill when he and his wife Lynn opened Offerdahl's Cafe Grill in 2000. The couple were no strangers to the restaurant business; they had previously owned a chain of bagel shops. This venture, however, would prove more ambitious?they devised menus of classic American cuisine that could be served up fast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a focus on fresh-grilled fare.
Today, Offerdahl's Cafe Grill has expanded to seven locations, but its flavorful, no-frills meals remain the same. "Johnny O's Famous Bagels" still take the starring roles during breakfast, waking diners up with flavors like cinnamon crumb, pumpernickel, and fruit-and-nut. But once breakfast turns to lunch and dinner, the grill takes over. Chefs swiftly cook up steak, chicken, and salmon, serving the proteins over rice, pasta, or salad with homemade dressings. They also grill chicken sandwiches and burgers, in a nod to the caf?'s backyard barbecue roots.
Don Hoy's experience in the restaurant industry began at the early age of 13, when he took a job as a busboy at Dan Dowd's Steak House. With an unwavering determination to succeed and a perfectly shaped head for a chef hat, he quickly ascended the steak house's culinary ranks, later earning the title of head chef in the early '80s. In 1992, Don and his wife Joan pursued the dream of owning a restaurant by purchasing Landlubbers Raw Bar and Grill, which would later become Lito's Turf and Surf. The husband and wife team do not work alone, however, enlisting their three sons to help cook, work the line, and carve new recipes into the family tree.
Lito's Turf and Surf brings together some of the tastiest offerings of both land and sea in a menu anchored by Maryland crab cakes, grilled lobster tail, brawny Angus burgers, and succulent prime rib. From the restaurant's tan leather booths, diners can direct their gaze toward flat-screen TVs showing national and college sports and toast glasses of craft brews and wine every time football players perform bone-crushing tackles or synchronized flash-mob routines in the end zone.
A salty breeze occasionally wafts through the interior of JC Wahoo’s Sports Bar and Grill, teasing the sharks and swordfish dangling from hooks on the ceiling with a semblance of their former home. The restaurant takes full advantage of its proximity to the ocean, playing up its beachside vibe with decorative touches such as a straw hut, vintage fish-packing placards, and silhouettes of marine life on the backrest of each plush booth. When they aren’t cupping pint glasses to their ears to hear the sounds of waves cresting against the Atlantic, guests carve into main-dish entrees such as blackened mahi-mahi and lobster macaroni and cheese—six ounces of Maine lobster meat smothered in smoked-gouda cheese and topped with italian breadcrumbs. Burgers, wings, and pita pizzas nod to traditional pub fare and pair nicely with specialty drinks served at the bar, whose tenders turn up the volume on flat-screen televisions to drown out the rustling chains of Hemingway’s ghost as he shifts on his barstool.
Hott Leggz?s specialty is leggz. Crab legs, that is. Options like king crab, snow crab, and dungeness crab legs may be a highlight of the restaurant, but it's not the only thing served there. Hott Leggz takes the concept of bar food to a higher level with Chicago-style hot dogs and italian beef sandwiches, plus gator po? boys, frog legs, and gourmet burgers. Guests can get their seafood or burger fix at pretty much anytime, as the kitchen stays open till 2 a.m.