Chez Daniel executive chef Wilver Sanchez interprets the cuisine of France with an eye for artful presentation, simple and fresh ingredients, and a creative sensibility. Attentive servers welcome diners with appetizing small plates, covering nude tables with plump escargot baked in garlic butter and house-smoked salmon toast. Lobster ravioli is tossed with saut?ed mushrooms before making a dazzling midmeal entrance in a mantle of roasted artichokes and lobster-tarragon sauce, while filet mignon is served with potatoes and a classic b?arnaise sauce. Chez Daniel also features a list of weekly specials. The dining room's exposed-brick, lofty archways, and elaborately adorned tables entice customers with an atmosphere as elegant as a tablecloth woven from Charlemagne?s beard.
Although the drive-thru of West Side Perk lets patrons easily grab their coffee to go, this café is no caffeine assembly line. Instead, owners Dave and Deb Irvin have sought to create a community-oriented cultural hub where locals can banter about significant issues, get some work done via free WiFi, and catch up with old friends over cups of gourmet coffee. The full menu of coffee, tea, and smoothies pairs up with a selection of sandwiches and soups that rotate by the day of the week or by which vegetable was not pardoned by the chef. When the lights begin to dim at week's end, the café entertains patrons with its Friday Night Movie Series, which showcases kid-friendly films to audiences nestled in the café's cushy seating.
Mediterranean Grill’s authentic kebabs, fresh hummus, and overflowing pitas have earned it not just one but six Best Middle Eastern awards from Creative Loafing—including those for 2012, 2010, and 2009—as well as a gushing news profile by CBS Atlanta. The eatery’s chefs earned these laudations by charbroiling tender cubes of sirloin and chicken, frying falafel patties to the perfect crisp, and layering phyllo dough with a blend of spinach, feta, and ricotta for spanakopita triangles that precisely illustrate the Pythagorean theorem. Guests can sit down to eat their wraps and kebab plates at the intimate dining room’s two-person tables and booths or call ahead to place orders for pickup, delivery, or catering.
Opa! Souvlaki's intuitive menu presents combo platters and à la carte dishes filled with healthful Greek fare at more than 75 locations in Canada, the Mall of America, and Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix. Chefs skewer beef, chicken, lamb, and shrimp onto anything from toothpicks to fencing foils, then grill it to a crisp perfection in souvlaki dishes. The meats may come wrapped in a warm pita, drizzled in tzatziki sauce, and served with veggie-rich salads or fries seasoned with lemon juice, oregano, and salt. Opa! Souvlaki's website proudly displays the nutritional information and middle name of each dish.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half-century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.