Like chili popsicles and videos of grizzly-bear ballerinas, Italian food is enjoyed around the world due to its versatility and heartiness. The menus at Cariera's are drawn from globally pleasing Italian recipes, and the pastas are homemade. Begin a meal in traditional fashion with an antipasto of steamed mussels ($10.25), calamari Cariera (the family recipe—sautéed squid in lemon butter sauce with tomatoes, onion, and capers, $11.25), or bruschetta ($5.25, add mozzarella, $7.25) and a glass of Chianti Classico Reserva ($10). Settling the debate over whether or not to order pasta, all entrees at Cariera's that aren't made with pasta come with a side of pasta, so you can order your lasagna ($13.25), bistecca di lombo di vitello (chargrilled veal chop with cherry-balsamic reduction, $22), or pollo frangelico (almond-encrusted chicken breasts with Frangelico cream sauce, $15.25) with confidence. A glass of grappa is a fitting dessert as the sun sets on Cariera's breezy outdoor patio ($6).
A juicy burger. Golden-brown fries. Buttermilk-battered fried chicken. Moo Cluck Moo's founders understood the delicious simplicity of these classic meals and built their business around homey, all-American feasts made from quality and often local ingredients.
Chefs hand make each order from responsibly sourced, humane components, such as pork from the Midwest’s Eden Farms pigs, antibiotic-free Andrew & Everett cheese, and hormone-free beef and chicken from animals fed a 100% vegetarian diet. Diners can taste this commitment to quality in every savory bite of a barbecue beef burger or flash-fried chicken sandwich.
The drinks also favor local flavors—sodas are made in Michigan by Northwoods Soda, which eschews high-fructose corn syrup, and floats and milkshakes are made with ice cream from Michigan’s Calder's Dairy Farm. Even the condiments entice taste buds with farm-to-table wholesomeness by using local produce whenever possible and keeping ketchup, mayo, and mustard preservative-free.
The family-owned Toarmina's has served up its signature sweet sauce and gullet-stuffing, 24-inch pies since 1987. The menu boasts traditional pizzas ranging from the small one-topping ($8.99) to the two-footer with three toppings ($24.39)—a favorite at giant-division ultimate frisbee leagues. The casual eatery's aromatic ovens also cook up deep dish ($11.99–$13.99) and specialty picks such as the steak and cheese ($12.49–$28.99), which blankets melted mozzarella and american cheese over steak, mushrooms, onions, and golden italian dressing, and the veggie ($11.49–$25.99), a garden party of mushrooms, black olives, diced green peppers, and onions.
When 21-year-old Richard Paganes founded the first Tubby’s in 1968, it’s possible he had no idea he’d just established a dining dynasty. But after a decade in business, Richard’s sub shop in the Detroit suburbs was too popular to remain a solo act. And so began a franchising effort that lets today’s customers choose from more than 65 Tubby’s when a sandwich craving kicks in or they need a u to win an alphabet game on a road trip. The menu boasts more than your typical deli fare—though the Tubby’s Famous sub of salami and ham is the eatery’s most popular. For a twist, staffers also pack sandwiches with grilled steak and chicken, burger fixings, or veggies.