We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Unique dining experience just south of Downtown” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Explorers Club

The Explorers Club
1586 South High Street, Columbus, OH 43207
1 614.725.0155
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
The Explorers Club is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #138 of 1,987 Restaurants in Columbus
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: Hungarian, South American, Continental, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Morrill Avenue
Transit: On Bus Line
Description: Perk up your dining-out routine with an adventure over to the artsy, funky, laid-back lands of the Explorers Club. Nestled in a century-old building, the Club bubbles with a Latin and Cuban-influenced decor; there is a lot of character there. The setting seems to perfectly accent the eclectic menu, helmed by Chef Dan Varga.Vegans and vegetarians will feel as welcome as the carnivores, with many dishes aimed to please every taste and lifestyle. Explore the menu and try items like the "Sweet Plantains with Salsa Yogurt Dressing", the "House Made Hungarian Sausage and Rib Tip Platter", "Roasted Half Chicken", or "Sweet Chile and Soy Tempeh".The Brunch menu is just as delicious, offering everything from traditional breakfast items to "Huevos Rancheros" and "Cuban French Toast".Over at the bar, there are plenty of wonderfully-crafted mixed drinks, beers, and wines to accompany your favorite dishes. Lots of parking available.
Columbus, Ohio
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Unique dining experience just south of Downtown”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

After reading mixed reviews I was not sure what to expect, and pleasantly surprised. Our party of 4 ordered a wide variety: jerk chicken, catfish special, goat cheese omelette and ???...all were fabulous...arrived hot, perfect proportions. Clean atmosphere, comfortable, if limited, seating. Nice to find a unique restaurant on the "south" end. Only downside...limited parking (2 spaces back of restaurant) or on-street, glad we didn't drive the truck!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    22
    11
    4
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Westerville, OH
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Excellent eclectic experience.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Because a planned activity prior to dinner took less time than expected, we arrived an hour early for our reservation - no problem. We were immediately seated at the only table in the bar area. The place is fairly small and all tables seemed to be occupied - and they should be. Our daughter and her boyfriend, who were with us, both are in the food industry and were as impressed as we were. We started with a couple of appetizers to share .... sweet plantains with salsa yogurt and from the special Octoberfest menu, soft pretzel bites with a stone ground mustard dipping sauce. Both were very good.

Entrees - vegetarian daughter opted for a vegetable and goat cheese tamale that she seemed to really enjoy. Boyfriend had a mofongo (pulled pork with plantains, etc. made into a patty) burger which he also seemed to really enjoy. My wife and I each ordered the roasted jerk chicken - a sizable half a chicken - we both opted for the Sriracha cole slaw rather than the menu's Jalapeno version. All the meals, except for the burger, had black beans and brown rice sides ... sweet potato fries. I added some of the house sauce to my beans and rice - spicy but very tasty. We all enjoyed the complex mixtures of flavors and spices. My mouth is watering as I write this.

The four of us also had three desserts (two chocolate flan cakes and one slice of, what I think is perhaps the best I ever had, German Chocolate cake), two bottles of a good Malbec, three coffees and a generally great time and the total tab, pre-tip was $130 - that's just really hard to beat.

If you want a huge steak or a seafood option, this isn't the place for you, but if you are willing to be a bit adventurous and enjoy some incredible flavors, then you should definitely give The Explorers Club a try.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Ok, but not great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I live in the area. I've so been wanting a cool neighborhood restaurant or bistro to come into the area. I had high hopes for The Explorers Club. The premise is good- intl. foods and flavors. I went there recently during Restaurant Week. This is usually a time when local establishments put their best foot forward. The service was slow. Even with several tables open, we waited at least 5 min. for the staff to acknowledge and seat us. They were out of most of the appetizer selections. The entree was quite good. It was creole chicken. They said they were out of the dessert on the restaurant week menu, but managed to find two of them afterall. The staff might have just been exhausted from restaurant week. But it was definitely an off night. I plan to go back to check it out again during a regular week. The review locally go from average to very good. I've not heard anyone say terrible things about the place.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“If you have all day to wait for cold food this is the place!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Went Sunday 11/4/2012. Arrived at 10:30 sat at 12:30 I was quoted a 15-20 minute wait. Many of the features on the board were marked with OUT. Hostess and several servers mumbeling " I did not sign up for this!" We had a really sweet server........but the kitchen was having all kinds of issues. at 1:30 we got our starter at 2pm we received our entrees. The family stated that this was the LONGEST BREAKFAST EXPERIANCE EVER!!

We came, we explored, we will not be back! Food was cold not memorable and for our time investment a huge dissapointment!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Top Contributor
285 reviews 285 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 148 cities Reviews in 148 cities
224 helpful votes 224 helpful votes
“Hoped for better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012 via mobile

Our recent dinner here was disappointing. We ordered from the seasonal Octoberfest menu; I very much like German food. But the sauerbrauten meatballs were not successful. The spaetzle were dried out and the flavorless gravy was like paste. My spouse's schnitzel was huge but no better than average. Service, though, was prompt and friendly. I will give the restaurant another try - the brunch menu looks good - but am in no hurry to do so.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Explorers Club also viewed

 

Been to The Explorers Club? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage The Explorers Club, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.