Morgan's lines up menus of delicious grill fare fashioned from scratch with fresh ingredients. Diners at this locally owned eatery can taste its eponymous Amber Ale--crafted by Schell's Brewery in New Ulm--in a tall, cool glass at the laid-back bar or as a beer batter that's slathered on a tender chunk of walleye ($16) in the capacious dining room. To keep your gullet in shape, gobble filet mignon dripping with meat moisture ($22) or grab a freshly made omelet or sandwich from the extensive lunch and breakfast menus. Drop by on Thursday evening to hone your karaoke skills and ready your song box for all-night Christmas caroling.
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.
At Thai Cuisine, there isn't a smorgasbord of dishes from all across Asia. That's because Master Chef Fimon Song doesn't cook dishes he hasn't mastered. Instead, the menu is populated with carefully crafted Eastern Thai dishes that Fimon learned while training in Thailand. His signature dish is the duck laab, which features a slightly bitter and sour taste courtesy of the sauce's orchestration of lemongrass, cilantro, mint, and garlic. Most dishes rely upon fresh seafood, which chefs toss with aromatic sauces and herbs to create plates of curry crab and pineapple and tomato shrimp. Meals are paired with creamy glasses of Thai tea and bubble tea that's more fun to drink than a fire hydrant filled with chocolate milk.
An extension of the Thai and Indian cuisine cooking classes and Community Supported Agriculture programs of Ethnic Foods Co., Collage Global Cafe introduces tastebuds to new flavors and cultures with a smorgasbord of pizzas, soups, chicken dinners, and curries. Like Midwestern fall weather, the menu changes each day, with culinary designer Kavita Mehta selecting fresh produce from local markets to whip up dishes such as savory-sweet pad thai noodles, peppery Afghani eggplant, or whole-wheat pizzas topped with chicken satay and basil.
At Sweet Taste of Italy, the secret’s not just in the sauce—although they have a specialty housemade red sauce—because everything is made from scratch each day. The chefs whip butter, grind cheese, bake fresh sweet Italian bread, and hand-slice meats to create Italian favorites with an American twist. Customers can dine in or take out heaping helpings of pasta and Toyota-sized pizzas, and catering services are also available.
In 1973, a year after The Godfather was released, mobsters were in vogue. Godfather's Pizza took advantage of the timing?it combined the gangster mythos with delicious, thick-crust pies. The eatery's first location in Omaha, Nebraska served the classic combo pizza: pepperoni, sausage, beef, onions, black olives, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese.
Today, Godfather's Pizza
serves specialties such as the updated Classic Combo and the pineapple- and bacon-covered Super Hawaiian at more than 640 locations. Many are dine-in pizza joints, just like the original, but others are smaller kitchens found inside airports, universities, and safety deposit boxes.