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 Caesar's location, a then-unheard-of carryout-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 pie designed for instant pick-up, 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 its own charitable programs.
The story of Sperry?s Restaurant began in Jacksonville, Florida, with famed restaurateur and hotelier Burton W. Sperry, whose reputation for fine food and sterling service made him the toast of the South in the late 1800s. Fast-forward to 1974, when Sperry?s descendants?eager to uphold their great-great-grandfather?s commitment to dining excellence?started their own restaurant to honor his memory. Since opening its doors more than three decades ago, Sperry's Restaurant has expanded to two locations and developed a loyal following thanks to its continued dedication to cooking palate-pleasing steaks and seafood entrees and bending over backwards for its guests.
The aroma of Alaskan king crab legs and bacon-wrapped filet mignon converge to form a culinary siren song for diners sitting at tables made from the hatch covers of World War II Liberty ships. The restaurant?s bartenders sling libations down a hand-carved bar sporting a unique epoxy resin finished for a mirror-like shine, and a stone fireplace occasionally serenades guests with its crackling flames.
In 1937, Vernon Rudolph founded Krispy Kreme in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with the first location on South Main Street in Old Salem. Seventy-seven years later, his secret doughnut recipe lives on within hundreds of Krispy Kreme locations, serving premium sweet treats across the globe.
The entire doughnut-making process, which customers can view up close and personal at many of Krispy Kreme?s outposts, begins with fresh ingredients and ends with the click of a fluorescent sign bearing the words, "Hot Doughnuts Now." From the original, mold-breaking glazed doughnut to newer doughnut varieties, such as Chocolate Iced with Kreme Filling, Glazed Raspberry Filled, and Glazed Chocolate Cake, each round dainty pairs with piping-hot coffee for a compact snack.
Recognized by Maxim as one of the best bars in the country to watch a big game, Sam’s All American Sports Grill consistently climbs to the tops of rankings. In fact, Zagat featured the grill on its Sports Bar Food Tour, and Bleacher Report affirms that Sam’s will “certainly enhance any game-day experience.” Inside, 16 beers on tap fill glasses, while friendly staffers serve burgers and handcrafted pizzas, pirouetting between tables with the finesse of a running back on roller skates. As diners kick back beneath the glow of mounted high-definition TVs, Sam’s team of chefs work hard behind the scenes, making soups, sauces, and dressings from scratch daily.
The culinary construction crew at Papa Murphy’s, the highest-ranking pizza chain in the 2010 Zagat Fast-Food Survey, builds a tasty menu of customizable Take 'N' Bake pizzas that patrons can heat up in the comforts of their own homes. Visitors watch as the chefs assemble thin- and stuffed-crust pizzas in-store using fresh dough, one of four sauces, shredded cheese, and up to 24 toppings. The pizza artisans then package the handmade creations for customers to bring home and cook in kitchen ovens, on backyard grills, or over an overheated car engine. Papa Murphy's collection of comestibles complements circular meals with sides of bread, salad, and chocolate-chip-cookie-dough dessert.:m]]
Built in 1939, Commodore Hotel & Café has been charming visitors for more than seven decades with high ceilings, crown moldings, and elegant décor. The front lobby's chandeliers reflect their light in a spacious mirror above a crackling fireplace, around which red armchairs huddle to warm their feet. Heavy wooden armoires, plush chairs, and elegant décor typify standard rooms. The jacuzzi king room's sumptuous gold bedspread invites travelers to springboard off plush oriental throw rugs into the spacious sleeper, and elegant white trim accents a deep floral print and exposed brick. The business center outfits office-minded guests with a fax, printer, and computer, and WiFi allows travelers to chronicle their stylish lodgings on the company blog. Travelers can also make pit stops at the adjacent café to munch on breakfast, eclectic lunch offerings, and elegant dinners (not included with today's Groupon) or feed ravenous ears during live music events.