After years in the restaurant business, Ramon and Armando Ruiz were ready for a change. Tired of the gimmicky marketing that characterizes many Italian franchises, they joined with Ramon’s son Enrique to open Andiamo Italian Ristorante—an intimate, neighborhood joint that emphasizes the family orientation of Italian culture. “We don’t want to say this is who we are, deal," Enrique told Eagan Patch. "We want to build relationships with our customers and encourage and welcome feedback.” To that end, their menu of mostly Italian entrees, pastas, and pizzas also includes nontraditional cuisine such as walleye fillets and burgers. The dining room’s decor remains 100% Italian. A mural of rustic wine barrels sweeps across warm orange walls, and a tricolor sign glows above its outdoor patio. Ruiz and his staff also venture beyond the restaurant’s confines to cater various events.
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.
Pizza Man of Eagan's cooks mix pizza dough fresh each day, letting it rise to perfection, like an airplane ascending to its cruising altitude, before fashioning crusts. On these, they layer toppings such as chicken alfredo fixings or fresh italian sausage that's never been frozen, precooked, or involved in a tug-of-war between chefs. Their cheese comes from a lauded Wisconsin dairy and gets grated fresh every day in the store. To accommodate anyone who wants to stand out from the pizza-eating crowd, the kitchen team also prepares baked rigatoni and four-cheese ravioli.
In the kitchens of Indian Zayka, chefs whip up Indian and Sri Lankan specialties served á la carte at dinner or as part of a vast lunch buffet with almost 20 self-serve dishes. An extensive list of vegetarian meals sates plant-based cravings, while meat eaters can dig into lamb and homesick mermen can bite into seafood. The menu also has a section devoted to Sri Lankan plates, and that section includes a category of "deviled" entrees named for their tongue-goosing spiciness. Lassi, a traditional mango smoothie harvested from a smoothie tree, can accompany dinners, lunches, or an array of desserts.