Founded by ice-cream enthusiasts Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone Creamery has grown to more than 1,400 locations across North America. Each day, the shop's scoopers mix up fresh batches of ice cream, yogurt, and sorbet, which are served by the scoop, piled high in sundaes, and blended into shakes. After customers choose their desired flavor, the staffers toss the chilly sustenance upon a slab of frozen granite and fold in a smorgasbord of candy and nuts to achieve the ideal ice-cream-to-add-in ratio. Customers can dream up their own creations or opt for a signature masterpiece, sampling one of more than 11.5 million possible flavor combinations, which still await a brave conqueror to unlock them all. To accommodate sweets cravings at celebrations, staff members also dish out ready-made treats, such as ice-cream cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.
The French Laundry is modeled after classic Old World eateries, delighting eyes with black-and-white tile floors and an exposed wood-beam ceiling while warming tongues and spirits with its savory café eats and friendly service. Breakfast promises everything from soft, doughy bagels and baked eggs to challah french toast infused with cream cheese and fresh strawberries ($9.25). A bevy of artisan sandwiches populates the six-page lunch menu, while evening hours shower sustenance seekers with seafood, steak, and supersized sandwiches between a garden of salads and an above-ground pool of soups. During the sunny season, pull up a chair on the patio for a cup of coffee and a freshly baked pastry or dessert such as a cookie, cake, or slice of pie.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the crushing guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat emanating from the floorboards. Puréed potions such as pomegranate plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, and cranberry; $4.79) are stuffed with super fruit, and low-fat options, such as mango magic (mango, pineapples, and non-fat yogurt; $4.29), trick gullible taste buds into believing that they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops. Supercharged smoothies are stocked with a healthy dose of supplements, such as the kiwi citrus green tea's antioxidant-laden matcha charge or the muscle blaster's whey or soy protein ($4.79 each). Individual supplements can also be added to any other smoothie ($0.79 extra), boosting its magic points by +10.
It all started with a single olive tree. The founder of Red Olive Restaurant was sailing down the coast of the Mediterranean with his father many years ago when they spotted it. Like a snowman on the beach, this tree stood out among its surroundings, and offered the two sailors the best olives they'd ever tasted.
Striving to set itself apart in similar fashion, Red Olive Restaurant presents diners with an extensive spread of flavors culled from around the globe?but especially those from Greece. At 10 locations around the Detroit metro area, visitors drop anchor near platters of grape leaves, kebabs, and a wide assortment of salads. They also dig into house specialties, such as moussaka, which features layers of eggplant, ground meat, and parmesan topped with bachamel sauce.
Built in 1891 as a railroad hotel on Battle Alley (so named for the drunken brawls common among wayfarers), the Holly Hotel's three-story Queen Anne-style building put up countless country-crossers in those turn-of-the-century boom years. It also saw a raid by Carrie Nation, two fires separated by 65 years to the hour, time served as a transient boarding house, and a monumental two-year renovation. The building's long, strange history has inspired countless legends and ghost stories—phantasmal cigar smoke from the inn's 1890s owner has been seen floating through the halls—but nowadays, the Holly Hotel is just as devoted to modern niceties as historic myth.
Three stories tall again, newly renamed, and sporting the warm, dark oak and Axminster carpeting of its wonder years, the Holly Hotel was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Today, the red-brick manse keeps its footing firm between past and future. The menu's signature dishes such as the beef wellington in veal-thyme reduction and the steamed Scottish salmon have gone unchanged since 1979, and every afternoon owner Chrissy hosts a Victorianesque tea party served on antique china. At the same time, the chefs employ an improvisational culinary method on the list of daily specials, rendered from fish, game, and other ingredients flown in fresh from across the world.
Beyond gourmet meals, the hotel also regales its guests with top-notch entertainment. Truth Be Told, a monthly storytelling even hosted by master raconteur Norm Stultz, invites everyday people onstage to recount tales on the night's theme, with a winner chosen by the audience. The onsite comedy club features locally and nationally known jesters on weekends, offsetting the Victorian gas fixtures, stained-glass windows, and velvet wingback chairs with a healthy dollop of modern mirth and a cyborg wait staff.
A brick oven imbues each of Luigi’s Restaurant’s pizzas with a distinct flavor and crispy crust. Chefs adorn these bubbling hot discs with 20 toppings that range from veggies such as jalapeños and mushrooms to meaty morsels of hamburger and pepperoni. They also handcraft their own spinach ravioli, meatballs, soups, lasagna, and abstract finger paintings. Servers deliver these lovingly prepared meals to tables, which populate an intimate dining room decorated with framed photographs.