For more than 42 years, Gracie See Pastaria's repertoire of cheese-dripping specialty pizzas and rib-sticking pasta platters has satisfied cravings for flavorful Italian fare. Launch a two-person feast rocket with the Clucker—a flock of wings, buffalo wings, chicken tenders, and miniature tacos—or gather four folks and cram for a popper quiz with a 20-piece study guide of deep-fried broccoli and cheese. Marinara-drenched main courses include pasta options such as healthy whole-wheat mostaccioli and the Godfather plate, with its large extended family of italian sausage, homemade meatballs, and mushrooms. Flattened stacks of pepperoni, sausage, and green pepper litter the Sicilian pie, and the spicy Middle Eastern Explosion shakes hands with halal ingredients, onions, and garlic. Meatless munchers might try the cheese ravioli or split the vegetarian pizza. These Roman repasts may be washed down with a glass of wine, soda, or beer, or enjoyed Italian-style with a quart of olive oil.
At Taqueria La Casita, Mexican dishes arrive hot from the kitchen accompanied by an spread of colorful sauces, from tangy red salsa to creamy guacamole. The restaurant's chefs deploy fiery grills and sizzling pans to create traditional classics using an array of crisp vegetables, tender meats, and flavorful spices. They shower handmade corn quesadillas in crumbled fresh cheese before adding in spicy chicken and pressed pork. The chefs smother steak and chorizo burritos in piquant ranchero sauce, and layer gorditas with marinated roasted pork.
As chefs bustle about the kitchen, diners soak in the vibrant colors of the bright dining room, where multi-hued strings of lights dance along the walls. The warm space is flush with whimsical accents, including bright Mexican paintings and an magical sombrero that gives people the ability to smuggle left-overs out of the restaurant.
Vegas-style drag shows. DJ-helmed dance parties. At Stilettos, there is no such thing as a dull moment—the hot spot has been entertaining the Detroit metropolitan area, particularly the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, for almost two decades. On any given day, performers take the stage to incite revelry, backed by a host of drink specials, making the nightclub an ideal locale for bachelorette parties and birthdays. Both female and male impersonators strut their stuff, showcasing their best Cher, Reba McEntire, or Michael Jackson performance. Bands such as singer-songwriter duo Mama's Black Sheep croon blues-tinged tunes, and DJs pump infectious hits to move the crowds without periodically pulling the fire alarm.
Game Headz powers up electronic arsenals with its selection of pre-owned games and machines. With portable systems such as a used Nintendo Game Boy Advance ($19.99), nature-loving gamers entertain themselves while basking in summer’s embrace. Button mashers whip lazy thumbs into shape with recent titles ($20–$30) such as Grand Theft Auto IV, Saints Row 2, Fable II, and Resident Evil 4. Classic Atari games let customers dust off their “Tilden 4 President” bumper stickers and revisit an earlier chapter in video-game history. An affable staff of console buffs is always on hand to point visitors to exciting titles and engage in debates about the finer points of pixilated entertainment.
SVS Vision Center’s founders opened their first shop in Sterling Heights, Michigan, in 1974 to help the community clear up its vision. But even these optical gurus never foresaw their humble business expanding to more than 60 locations sprawled across 8 states. Today, each shop continues the tradition of ensuring ocular health and crystalline sight, beginning with exams from seasoned optometrists. Afterward, patients head to the optical dispensary, where they try on frames by Coach, Tiffany, Nike, Versace, or Ray-Ban. The staff then fits the stylish selection with polarized and scratch-protected prescription lenses to help guests read books clearly or see a charging moose from a distance. Most of SVS Vision Center’s frames can also hold sunglass lenses as well, eliminating squinting during summer months and tropical vacations.
Manu and Ila Patel decided to share their recipes with others inside Krishna Catering & Restaurant. They stuff dosas (thin crepes) with cheese and vegetables and toss onions and jalapeños into uttapam (thick pancake) mix, creating dishes that helped the eatery earn the Best Vegetarian Restaurant award on the 2012 Detroit A List. Ila also blends Indian and Chinese flavors, dousing cheese cubes in Chinese sauce and sprinkling chili and soy sauces over veggies. Manu and Ila also cart their myriad dishes off site, catering weddings and celebrations held after passing court-mandated polygraph tests.