The kitchen crew at Sahara Mediterranean Bar & Grill shaves tender layers of their popular chicken shawarma from the spit of a traditional vertical broiler, helping them earn the title of Detroit?s Best Middle Eastern restaurant from Local 4 viewers in summer 2011. Vegetarian options range from a falafel sandwich to the smoothly textured adas lentil soup, with beans that chefs carefully crush with an announcement that none of them made their high school?s baseball team. The menu also includes house specialties such as the potato chop?seasoned beef stuffed inside a golden-brown, deep-fried potato shell.
Sips from specialty drinks and smoky hookahs add a sweeter dimension to meals as diners perch on dark hardwood seating. The furnishings contrast visually with butter-yellow walls on which murals appear to emerge from behind crumbling stone.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous study facilities understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results.
The attentive staff at The Rumpus Room lets parent-accompanied children up to age 6 explore a fully stocked fun-factory that houses a variety of playground equipment, toys, and colorful foam mats to protect kid-sized craniums from bumps and falls. Families get unlimited access to the play-space from May 31 to August 31 with the summer membership, giving kids an opportunity to expend their energy without resorting to bench-pressing their imaginary friends. A wooden pirate ship with a slide, plank, and fire pole provides maritime merriment; miniature climbers can also monkey around on the dome jungle gym. Babies test their vertical mettle on the foam climbing blocks, and the ball pit prepares children for careers in giant gumball machine repair. Toys acquired from local shops wait patiently to be picked up for playtime, including a train table and dollhouse.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars' multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 600 calories with each go-round.
It may not seem like the deep blue, but when you lean closer to one of Maine State Aquarium's tanks, you're seeing into an entire aquatic world. The aquarium exhibits the same plants and animals found in the nearby ocean, including colorful anemones and wolffish with long, sharp teeth. Local fishermen bring in everything from 17-pound lobsters, while tide-pooling classes take kids down to explore the rocky shore. Back inside, a touch tank allows guests to handle horseshoe crabs, sea stars, and sand dollars as staff help direct and answer questions about the creatures.
Cavorters of all ages caper about Joker's Family Fun and Games's massive indoor play zone, which is stocked with games and attractions that inspire climbing and sliding. Kids can scramble into the three-tiered A-Maze-Zing playhouse to navigate tubes, web bridges, and conference rooms, and toddlers can maneuver through the mini maze or hop aboard the train ride for a sightseeing jaunt around the tracks. Future adults can challenge one another in sundry classic arcade games such as skee-ball and air hockey, and more than 50 video games await thumbs desperate to win garlands of exchangeable tickets. Whippersnappers achieve liftoff in lieu of jetpack overalls on a Jolly Jump air bounce then safely glide down a 22-foot inflatable super slide. At the 14,000-square-foot Portland location, youngsters can also blast comrades in a space-age laser-tag zone, scale a towering rock-climbing wall, and master putting skills on an 18-hole mini-golf course. After extreme bouts of frolicking, families can quell tummy rumbles with slices of housemade pizza slathered in Joker's signature sauce or peek at the menu to peruse sandwiches, burgers, and chicken tenders.