The calorie-conscious cooks at Topz practice what their title preaches, serving up a full list of fit-as-a-fiddle grabable grub. Lightened-up options range from gourmet burgers on wheat buns ($4.95–$6.25) to sides of baked Aero Fries ($1.95), in addition to healthier hot dogs ($3.95–$4.95), freshly chopped salads ($6.35–$7.15), creative sandwiches ($3.95–$6.35), and bowls of Black Angus chili ($3.25). One of the eatery's signature treats, a1/3 lb. all-white-meat turkey burger, arrives with all the usual vegetable suspects and fat-free Thousand Island dressing ($5.15). A grilled Asian salad keeps taste-buds' dance cards filled with a fiercely competitive array of crisp veggies, toasted almonds, baked wonton strips, and soy ginger dressing, with the equally dashing chicken breast and Ahi tuna at fisticuffs for the first waltz ($6.35).
At Tokyo Sushi & Grill, chefs spin out plates of authentic Asian eats alongside a sumptuous spread of quality sushi. Fish fans can fill their tuna tanks with mouthwatering morsels of white tuna ($2.25), yellowtail ($2.25), belly tuna ($4.25), or spicy tuna ($6.50), or mix and match any number of specialty sushi items to create a custom conglomeration of fresh fish, sticky rice, and chopped veggies. Complementing the sushi-heavy repertoire, Tokyo Sushi & Grill draws from the deep wells of Japanese and Thai culinary traditions. The shrimp tempura finds deep-fried succulent jumbo shrimp sharing prime plate real estate with battered vegetables and a tangy dipping sauce ($7.95 for lunch; $9.95 for dinner), and the crazy noodles entree earns its name by throwing together egg noodles, onions, carrots, pea pods, and bean sprouts in a mad mash-up, paired with your choice of protein and 17 copies of The Catcher in the Rye ($7.95–$10.95).
The chefs at South Bar merge the flavors of southwestern, Mexican, and South American cuisine in a trendy, 12,000-square-foot venue that is part restaurant, sports bar, and nightclub. Apple slaw, pico de gallo, and monterey jack cheese complement grilled mahi in an order of fish tacos ($14), and char-grilled Santa Fe chicken takes up residence in a pueblo made of roasted corn and poblano sauce ($17). A dollop of cilantro sour cream crowns the pan-seared black bean cake ($12), and a scoop of vanilla ice cream tops banana crêpes flambéed with Myers rum ($7). Bartenders christen glasses with red and white sangria ($8), a drinkable spectrum of specialty cocktails ($8–$12), and 16 tap beers.
Once inside Barrio Tacos and Tequila, one is immediately struck by the smoky blues and warm blooms of color that fill the space. Frosted panes of azure glass line one side of the restaurant, and vibrant murals overtake the other walls—the ones that aren't stacked with shelves of tequila bottles, anyway. Orange lights from above branch into glowing tendrils, studding the navy ceiling with miniature suns and illuminating the mortar and pestle on each table. These points of color are akin to the sparks of flavor inside the menu: pleasantly surprising and, in the words of the Detroit News, "bright and well-balanced."
Executive chef Ryan Porter is the brain behind Barrio’s inventive recipes. As a teenager, Ryan cooked for his family every night, honing the creativity that would lead him through American-, Asian-, Italian-, and finally Mexican-themed kitchens. Today, he looks in all cardinal directions for culinary inspiration, fashioning platters in the style of Oaxaca and Acapulco, among other regions. He stuffs tortillas with nine types of taco fillings, including housemade chorizo. On the side, scoops of chili-dusted sweet corn transport guests to Mexico without forcing them to throw out the giant bottle of shampoo they keep hidden under their shirt.