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.
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.
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.
What sets the Hungry Howie’s menu apart from other pizza parlors, other than its complete lack of profanity, is the eight flavored-crust options that inject life into the formerly discarded pizza part. If you’re allergic to life, inject butter, onion, butter cheese, ranch, Cajun spices, garlic herb, or sesame instead. Keep thinking outside the pizza box by loading your flavorful crust with specialty pizza innards, such as the Howie Maui, packed with ham, smoked bacon, and pineapple ($13.85 for medium), and the Meat Eaters, with pepperoni, ground beef, Italian sausage, and ham ($13.85 for medium). DIY diners, on the other hand, can opt for a medium 12-inch pizza for $9.45 and add their own toppings for an additional $1.25 each. Howie's also serves up tasty wings (10 for $6.99), salads (try a small Greek for $5.99), calzone-style subs ($7.35), and Howie bread, which comes in buttered garlic ($3.99/large) and three cheese ($5.29/large).
Gail’s Down the Street Cafe triggers palate nostalgia six days a week with an ever-changing line up of four distinct, piping-hot lunch specials served with a multitude of Southern-style sides. Meaty entrees include such down-home staples as a juicy fried pork chop and a succulent hamburger steak smothered in a small lake of gravy and onions. Diners can pair their choice of entree with three fresh and filling vegetable sides ($8). A rotating smorgasbord of vegetables includes homemade coleslaw, cream-style corn, squash casserole, and thickly sliced tomatoes—all of which can be matched up in a plated quadrangle ($7). Seafaring mouths can set hook the grilled salmon or fried catfish fillet and reel in the navy beans before heading out to a scheduled debate with a wall-mounted bass. Bathe in the battered glory of specialty fried green tomatoes, or indulge sweet teeth with strawberry shortcake, banana pudding, and other decadent desserts ($2.50 each).
Located in the historic Cloverdale Village, Roux recently opened its modern, art-filled space to serve traditional Southern comfort dishes and New Orleans–inspired seafood for lunch, dinner, and brunch. Prince Edward Island mussels ($19.50) crowned with Pernod sauce rub crustacean elbows with roasted new potatoes and braised leeks with saffron and fresh thyme. The Gulf shrimp po boy ($10) smuggles cornmeal-crusted gulf shrimp between french bread pieces under the cover of homemade coleslaw and a rémoulade sauce, and the Prime Roux burger ($12) combines grilled Meyer ranch beef with smoked onion jam, house-cured bacon, and a choice of cheeses without the use of nuclear fusion. Sunday brunch pleases with eggs benedict ($10.50) dressed up in an avocado purée and hollandaise sauce accompanied by smoked bacon. Cap a feast with a bite of bananas foster ($5.50) or sweet-potato-pecan pie ($5.50).