When naming their restaurant, the Iglesias family wanted find a moniker that reflected their bold take on traditional Mexican cuisine. What they found was “adelitas,” a historical term used to describe females who served as soldiers, cooks, and nurses during the Mexican Revolution.
Though their menu brims with innovative dishes such as fried pork chops marinated in tamarind sauce, they also serve traditional plates such as carnitas Don Julio. The roasted pork dish is served with tortillas and a secret sauce whose recipe is protected by a force field surrounding the kitchen.
Aubergine Cafe’s cups, glasses, and mugs hold everything from spiced tea to wine, beer to espresso, and hot chocolate to coffee made from fair trade Arabica beans. The food menu, though, is delightfully predictable: European bistro dishes of prosciutto and mozzarella paninis and smoked-salmon sandwiches share space with cobb salads and homemade vegetarian chili. When the numbers on your digital watch align to read “breakfast”, dig into a belgian waffle topped with fruit and scoops of ice cream delivered by "the friendliest staff anyone could ask for," according to Shecky's.
Rather than choose comfort foods from one country, Las Lunitas Diner & Bakery almost seems determined to embrace recipes from as many as possible. This leads to a diverse menu that includes options for every meal of the day except the snack between the beginning and the end of dinner. The eclectic selection includes American staples?such as apple pie and 7-ounce cheeseburgers?as well as housemade croissants, linguine in white-clam sauce, and shrimp ceviche with fried plantains. Omelets and espresso drinks provide a much-needed boost for breakfast, as do the diner's natural juices made using everything from pineapple to kale. Meals can be finished with a slice of coffee cake, marble cheesecake, or milk shake.
Even the most journeyed Thai-food connoisseurs may find themselves on foreign soil while perusing Zabb Elee’s menu. And it’s easy to see why, as familiar signposts such as pad thai and coconut curry are nowhere to be found, an absence both recognized—and celebrated—by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Chef Ratchanee Sumpatboon foregoes the well-tread Bangkok staples to shine a light on the cuisine of Isan, a northeast region of Thailand that borders, and borrows flavors from, Laos and Cambodia. Laos-inspired larb salads fill out plates of ground pork, beef, and catfish with shallot, fresh mint, cilantro, and chili powder, and specialty dishes such as the pad ped moo krob balance crispy pork with eggplant, basil, and spicy curry. The menu also features lemongrass soups and a small section of Bangkok rice and noodle dishes. Diners can align each dish with their palate’s own heat threshold thanks to Zabb Elee’s spiciness scale, which tops off at five and tapers off at one, the approximate spice level of dragon mouthwash.
The Himalayas are known not just for their towering peaks, but also for the rich cultures that have grown in their shadow. The all-Himalayan culinary team at Himalayan Yak Restaurant re-creates the best dishes picked from Tibetan, Nepalese, Bhutanese, and Indian cuisines. Their menu is subdivided by region and organized to indicate which dishes are vegetarian, letting chefs highlight classic dishes such as spice-laden chicken chili or exotic yak tongue sautéed in garlic and ginger and served with Tibetan bhaley bread. Most of the dishes can be customized with a choice of meat—including goat and buffalo—or vegetables. A live band plays traditional Himalayan tunes as diners dig into their meals, creating an atmosphere that mimics the serenity of the highest mountain peaks or the feeling of meditating at the top of several glued-together zen gardens.
Cacerolas Restaurant's gustatory spellcasters charm unsuspecting tongues with an appetizing menu of Colombian mainstays. Kick off the flavorful festivities with an appetite-whetting array of empanadas (starting at $1.50), or opt to begin with the chicharrón ahumado ($6.25) or chicharrón regular ($5.25), the world's primary pigskin products now that quarterbacks have taken to tossing entire pigs. Spoon slingers can explore the selection of soups, with bountiful baths of ox-tail, yellow corn, or tripe helping keep bellies warm and taste buds happy (starting at $6.95). Spaghetti con pollo en salsa Francesca (spaghetti with chicken in french sauce, $14.95) gives eaters a savory survey of multiple culinary cultures, and the multifaceted bandeja tipica cacerolas asada ($15.95) seeks and destroys hunger with grilled steak and an angry mob of traditional sides such as corn cakes, sweet plantains, and egg.