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.
When Schlotzsky's first opened in Austin back 1971, the owner offered just one sandwich. Known as The Original, the stack offered lean smoked ham, genoa and cotto salamis, three kinds of cheese, and a layer of marinated black olives, all atop a hot sourdough bun. That?s all it took to get Schlotzsky?s off the ground and send it on its way to become a global franchise, today featuring locations in 35 states and four countries. Of course, today?s menu holds many, many more flavor combinations?Angus roast beef and cheese, chicken and pesto, and a smoked-turkey reuben, to name a few?along with salads and pizzas. The latter aren't as much of a divergence from Schlotzky's lunch-friendly template as it might sound: at eight inches across, they're still easy to grab on the go, and the crust is made with sourdough just like the signature sandwich bread and the walls of the head baker's home.
California Yogurt Kraze, under new ownership, invites guests to step up to its line of self-serve yogurt stations and pour out a tasty, low-fat dessert loaded with calcium, healthy active cultures, and rich, creamy flavor. Most of their yogurt is fat-free, with no cholesterol or preservatives, and includes four healthy yogurt cultures, as well as being safe for most diabetics and people who are lactose intolerant. With 24 yogurt flavors, and over 80 toppings, patrons scoop up spoonfuls of flavors such as cheesecake, espresso, birthday cake, cookies and cream, california tart, and Valencia orange sorbet, crowned with toppings such as pineapple, Twizzlers, brownies, or chocolate syrup.
Founded nearly 25 years ago by homemade-ice-cream aficionado Bruce Reed, Bruster's Real Ice Cream has blossomed into a business with locations across America and the Caribbean, with friendly staff scooping up freshly made ice cream at each parlor. Guests pick from more than 140 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt, with a rotating selection of 24 cold, creamy desserts?such as chocolate cherry chunk, thin mint, and black raspberry. Diners savor their frozen desserts in waffle-cone, sundae, and shake form, or ring in birthdays with custom-made ice-cream cakes and oreo pies.
The name says it all?Tipico de Mexico serves up traditional Mexican cuisine in an inviting dining room and out on a breezy patio. Diners devour cheese-drowned nachos Puerto Vallarta from the broiler, juicy carne asada dinners, and combination plates hoisting three Mexican eats, such as a tostada, a tamale, and a chile relleno. To wash away any hot spices lingering in their mouths, guests can sip a frosty housemade margarita or wipe their tongues vigorously with a napkin.