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.
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.
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.
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.
Since 1956, Dick's Bar & Grill's welcoming waitstaff and suds-wielding barkeeps have filled bellies with classic American fare and frosty on-tap brews while its patrons socialize over bingo and other activities. Dick's menu brims with savory pub fare, from house-made pizzas ($9.25+) to a breaded pork tenderloin ($6.95+). Wild Turkey bourbon buffalo wings ($7.50) strum twangy tones accompanied by a percussion section of cool blue cheese. Chefs sizzle half-pound beef patties, melt monterey jack and cheddar, and stack crisp bacon slices for the Real Billy burger, sweetened with smoky barbecue sauce ($9.25). Reminisce about the days of barrel-transportation and 30-piece-choir telegrams with a cold draft beer such as local brewer Schell's dark beer ($4.50), Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss ($3.95), or Killian's Irish Red ale ($3.95).
NOLA Bistro & Bar immerses patrons in the sights, sounds, and tastes of New Orleans. Inside the colorful dining room, diners devour alligator bites, blackened catfish, poboys, crawfish ?touff?e, jambalaya and other creole favorites. The Cajun favorites pair with hurricanes?a type of sweet rum cocktail that, along with colorful beads and people walking around with only one shoe, is a mainstay of the French Quarter. NOLA Bistro & Bar feels the most authentic on warm summer nights, when the patio's double doors stay open and live jazz music permeates the air.