At three local donut shops, bakers frost fresh batches of long johns, cake donuts, and sundry other sweets every morning, augmenting sugary starts with savory breakfast croissants and biscuits. Pastries such as glazed donuts ($0.59), éclairs ($0.80), and bear claws ($1) take a swipe at hunger, and cinnamon rolls ($1.15) unravel into sweet, flaky layers. Customers can ponder the perplexing solidity of donut holes ($0.12 each; $1.25/dozen) while waiting for a steamy croissant sandwich packed with ham and cheese ($3.25). While prepping hot kolaches or pigs in a blanket ($1 small; $2 large), bakers tuck hot dogs into a pillowy dough blanket before telling them "I love you" one final time.
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 Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-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 pizza designed for instant pickup, 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 their own charitable programs.
The coffee and pastry lovers of Koinonia Coffee House transformed a dilapidated building into a cozy home complete with shiny wood floors, comfortable armchairs, and fresh baked goods. Guests are met with the aromas of brewed coffee and freshly baked loaves of focaccia bread. They can sink teeth into turkey clubs or egg sandwiches in between sips of orange creams or mint-white-chocolate-chip smoothies.
Licensed massage therapist Monika Sandifer-Wilson knows every massage style in the book, and is as skillful at lymphatic-drainage massages as she is at therapeutic and deep-tissue modalities. In addition to the aforementioned services, she also offers couples massages, which incorporate soothing add-ons such as sugar scrubs, aromatherapy, and the application of skin-softening paraffin wax on the hands and feet.
Shonda Harris, a former Angeleno now living in Mississippi, taught herself to bake in her own kitchen, tweaking her recipes for cakes, cupcakes, and baked goods until each passed her kids’ stringent taste tests. More than a decade later, Shonda continues to earn new fans at My Cup Runneth Over, a bright café that serves pastries, espresso, and coffee beverages as well as breakfast and lunch on weekdays. Though not the most obvious match to the bakery’s cakes and cupcakes, the restaurant’s southern-inspired fried-shrimp po boys and burgers evoke similar nostalgia for soulful, down-home cooking.
When she isn’t preparing to square off in Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, Shonda creates edible centerpieces for weddings and catered events. Her fondant and buttercream cakes come in custom shapes and sizes with a variety of colorful embellishments, from blooming flowers to elegantly scrawled court subpoenas
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Fresh dough flattens into a circle, crackling gently and browning slightly from heat. This from-scratch tortilla forms the base for the dishes on the Jaco's Tacos menu. Vegetables and meats, which have never been frozen or even seen snow, load up each wrapper, giving it the shape of a burrito, taco, or fajita. Mojave pork and grilled shrimp festoon mexican pizzas built on the warm tortillas and smothered in traditional ingredients. On tables, cool rings of condensation form, ghosts of where margaritas rested. Chatter rises up, past exposed-brick walls and a perimeter of greenery, which converts carbon dioxide from the open windows into oxygen and compliments from botanists. On select evenings, live music thrums beneath the din of conversation and the crunching of crispy tortillas.