Roma Caf? started out as a one-woman operation way back in 1888. The Marazza family ran a boarding house for Eastern Market farmers, and Mrs. Marazza would always serve a hot meal to anyone who stayed. Word of her cooking skills spread quickly throughout the Eastern Market area, and her various fans convinced her to open an official restaurant. In February of 1890, Roma Caf? was born.
Its continuing commitment to classic recipes is apparent from one glance at the menu, where housemade pastas share space with veal scaloppine and broiled lobster tails. Adventurous eaters will be drawn to dishes such as the sauteed sweetbreads and frog legs, and wine enthusiasts can browse an extensive list of reds, whites, and specials.
Although the baked lasagna and chicken parmigiana are certainly Old World staples, Roma Caf? hasn't become mired in tradition. Its third-generation owner, Janet Sossi Belcoure, takes regular trips to Italy that keep her up-to-date on culinary trends and the latest gossip on who's dating Michelangelo's David. The restaurant also offers an all-you-can-eat buffet on Monday nights, complete with appetizers, pasta dishes, and cannoli. If you stop by on the night of a Red Wings game, there's even a shuttle that will take you to the arena.
As the only major college bowl game in the Midwest, the 15th annual Little Caesars Pizza Bowl hurls a hearty dose of the heartland into Detroit's downtown dome. The nation's leading receiver, WMU's Jordan White, plans to pile onto his career total of 1,646 receiving yards and 345 bouquets caught on field. Meanwhile, Purdue's head coach, Danny Hope looks to limit White and an electric offense that has lit up scoreboards with an average of 50 points in its last four games. To gunk up the gears of this 11-pistoned scoring machine, Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short clogs running lanes with his 310 pounds and disrupts quarterback Alex Cardner's time in the pocket with hypnotic interpretive-dance moves. On the field, the season's good tidings give way to the smash-mouth embraces of the faithful with images magnified on two 27'x96' video boards that tower over both end zones and give players a rare chance to check their hairdos.
Touring in support of its newest album, Easy Wonderful, alt-rock darling Guster enraptures eardrums with catchy tunes, offbeat humor, and layered vocal harmonies. Adam Gardner and Ryan Miller meld vocal virtuosity with guitar-playing prowess alongside Brian Rosenworcel's multifaceted percussion and Luke Reynolds' keyboard strains. Guster charms ears with the skill of a prince in glass stilettos, crooning such popular songs as "Do You Love Me" and "Amsterdam.” Concertgoers get a double helping of euphonic entertainment, with piano-centered outfit Jack's Mannequin adding its shimmering sound to the evening's tuneful brews.
Since 1936, the historic Gem Theatre has moved movie lovers to laughter and tears with films in an elegant, comfortable single-screen vintage theater. Peruse current showtimes and choose a first-run film, which may include a romantic romp, a superhero adventure, an independent feature, or Casablanca II: Electric Boogaloo. Guests pick up their sodas and popcorn at the concessions stand in the carpeted lobby, whose ornate table lamps cast soft light on potted plants and flowers. In the red and gold 916-seat amphitheater, upholstered floor seats beckon audience members and balcony perches provide a sky-high view behind marbled wood rails. Before the film, guests watch wrought-iron vines curl around colorful birds in sculptures flanking the screen. Sumptuous gold curtains hide the big screen until showtime, allowing staff members to finish reenacting each film’s climactic scene in private.
Per its name, Royal Oak Taste Fest celebrates some of the best local cuisine as well as the chefs behind each food sample on offer. But that might be the only traditional thing about this event. The dishes here hail from the Middle East, Mexico, Italy, and just about everywhere in between. In some ways, it's a Taste of Everywhere?except Greenland, where people only ever eat ice.
The festival extends beyond food too, showcasing art from local retailers and crafters, as well as musicians whose live shows add the soundtrack to the day.
Sports-casting TVs surround the perimeter of Pappy’s Sports Bar & Grill, where patrons can wash down hearty American favorites from a menu augmented by a wide selection of frothy brews. Patrons can forget the boring lack of lava-spewing events in the real world by kicking off meals with an appetizing platter of volcano skins ($7.50), which fill hollowed out potato skins with gooey cheddar cheese, bacon, and sour cream. Provolone and mozzarella marry a trio of Italian delicacies—capicola, genoa salami, and mortadella—atop crisp ciabatta to create the muffuletta sandwich ($8.50), and the flavors of Greece ribbon through a flakey spinach pie stuffed with imported feta ($9.50). Chefs festoon the hawaiian pizza—one of six individual pies—with pineapple and ham ($10.75), but leave the Pappy burger ($7.50) open for customization by presenting a choice of cheese, sauce, and even the angle of the grill marks.