As a benga beat pulses through the crowd, the Kenya Safari Acrobats defy gravity and the body's limitations as they leap through hoops, tumble from human towers, and limbo under bars. In one of their most famous and startling acts, a single performer stacks, climbs, and then balances on a single-file tower of rickety wooden chairs. Meanwhile, other performers juggle up to six straw hats, bend metal with their hands and teeth, or walk across a bed of nails. As artistic ambassadors of their native Kenya, the acrobats tie educational relevancy to their school performances in stories that highlight the importance of physical fitness, respect for elders and the true meaning of the Swahili phrase "hakuna matata," which The Lion King incorrectly translated as "get rich or die trying."
A family-friendly bowling emporium, Plaza Lanes welcomes alley cats of all ages and skill levels to enjoy cathartic rounds of pin-crushing seven days a week. For two exhilarating games, subtle-soled rollers take to the lanes in a cacophonous display of sporting prowess, showing off spares, strikes, and the occasional victory waltz. Sentient scoreboards keep points automatically tallied, helping to prevent unfortunate pencil mustache mishaps. Customers can also lace up during weekend glow bowling, when the alley transforms into a frenetic glow-in-the-dark oasis.
Fiamma Grille elevates the local dining scene with elegant takes on a steak house's bill of fare. Like a slice of bread nibbled into the shape of a mitten, the menu is a testament to state pride, with chefs striving to source each tasting plate of Leelanau cheese, dish of Maple Leaf Farms roasted duck, and platter of handmade pasta from Michigan producers whenever possible. Fiamma Grille's dedication to whipping up consistently pleasing tapas, aged steaks, and seafood earned it a spot on Gayot's Top 10 Steak Houses in Detroit list. In addition, its litany of fine California vinos won an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.
Rock Bar & Grill's facile flame-wielders sate hungry hoards with a menu of made-from-scratch burgers, sandwiches, and salads, and its bartenders souse tongues with innovative cocktails and beers from a full bar. Warm up teeth's chomping abilities with Guinness-battered Black & Tan onion rings ($4.99) before sinking them into a Rockhouse applewood-bacon cheeseburger ($9.99) or the Rockhouse slider trio, three burgers loaded with onions, ketchup and mustard on hand-made buns ($9.99). The northern-Atlantic cod sandwich—a succulent artisan sandwich bun swaddling lightly battered or grilled finned fare—offers a more promising way to indulge seafood cravings than suckling on an angry blowfish ($7.99). Leaf lovers suspiring for photosynthesized feasts can choose from a slew of garden-fresh salads, such as the vegetarian antipasto, Caesar, and house salads ($7.99 each; add chicken for $1.99). Fans of circle-shaped foods can rejoice in the Giovani special, a pizza combining roasted red peppers, garlic, and an Italian cheese blend ($12.99).
The gastro alchemists running Bumpers Bar and Grill cleverly mix their massive menu and full bar with live music and a nightclub atmosphere to create unforgettable evenings, even if the specifics are a bit fuzzy. The kitchen turns out a slew of pub-fare staples with Bumpers flair, such as burgers layered alternately with mushrooms and melted swiss ($6.75) or Five Alarm patties topped with pepper jack, jalapeños, hot sauce, and two heat-activated motion detectors ($6.50). Twelve-inch pizzas and calzones ($5.50 each) make an idea meal for sharing or smuggling pepperoni across state lines, respectively, and snackers looking for a light but filling bite can daintily devour mini tacos ($4.25), breaded mushrooms ($4.75), and loaded potato skins ($5.50) with a choice of dressing.