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.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine?s 2012 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop?s reputation grew, so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&Ms, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Ham and High's head chef Joe Wolfson teams up with a troupe of local farmers to craft sustainably delicious seasonal meals of mouthwatering Southern cuisine. Like the pace of Earth’s orbit around the moon, the restaurant’s dinner menu changes from day to day, painting palates with a colorful medley of artisanally crafted eats. Examples of the edibles have included dishes such as the Oakview Farms "fried" green tomatoes ($7) with Belle Chèvre cheese and broken lemon vinaigrette, as well as Back Forty ale-braised pork ravioli ($25). On Sundays, Ham and High's kitchen commandos help diners gird themselves for the work week with a brunch menu featuring bourbon vanilla french toast with rich vanilla custard ($10) and roasted Springer Mountain chicken and waffles served with brown butter and a sweet corn waffle ($11). A selection from the impressive wine, cocktail, and beer list pleasantly enhances the dining experience, just as pyrotechnics enhance virtually all Shakespearean drama.
Outside of swimming laps in chocolate syrup, smoothies at Smoothie King are the tastiest way to improve your health. Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras), all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.
A haven of hospitality, Rock Bottom treats sports fans and their fun-loving friends to warm meals, spirit-lifting spirits, and a spiriting stint of darts, pool, and video games. The inviting atmosphere is upstaged only by the tempting menu of burgers ($6.95+), wings ($7.95+), and steaks ($8.95+). Touches of Southern flare can also be found in dishes such as southern fried pickles ($7.75), cajun chicken alfredo ($13.95), and yankee fries ($8.25). Beyond its bounty of tongue-tickling eats, Rock Bottom offers outdoor patio seating, live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and free casual yet confident chest-bumps daily.
Los Amigos treats diners to authentic Mexican fare made from quality ingredients in a lively, family-friendly setting. With different specials gracing the menu each day, Los Amigos’ wide variety of burritos, tacos, fajitas, and more promises tongue-pleasing taste explosions for the whole family. Kids eat for free during tyke-centric events such as Los Amigos’ character dinners when fictional celebs along the lines of SpongeBob, Pocahontas, and Dora the Explorer schmooze with miniature adults, affording parents the chance to sip tangy margaritas and hoppy beers without having to tie someone’s shoe or explain the electoral college.