Tim Castañeda's culinary education began at his family's dinner table. Nourished by the fresh salsas and flavorful meats, Tim developed a deep appreciation for and understanding of the traditional flavors of Mexican cuisine. After cooking in his family's restaurants during his youth, Tim continued to perfect his recipes and spice blends in Mexican eateries throughout the country. He brings his years of experience to Zumba Mexican Grille, where he whips up freshly made tacos, burritos, and quesadillas reminiscent of the authentic dishes of his childhood.
Named for the Spanish slang word for "energy," Zumba bustles with color and zest—from its shiny stainless-steel counters and rainbows of wooden chairs to the skirt steak, red-chili pork, and fresh vegetables sizzling on its grills. When customers walk in, their first step is to pick meats, toppings, and black, pinto, or magic beans. Then the servers behind the counter begin building Mexican specialties—including the burritos, named the city's best by Real Detroit Weekly. After receiving their orders, guests stroll over to the fresh salsa bar, where six different housemade varieties in various spice levels await them.
Cousins Elias Hajjar and Nicholas Aubrey take yearly trips back to Lebanon to visit their family, but they can eat authentic Lebanese cuisine without leaving the confines of their own restaurant. With Gemmayze, which is named after a bohemian neighborhood in Beirut, they "wanted to create not only a menu that exemplified what's happening in Beirut and Lebanon right now, but we wanted to re-create the atmosphere,” Hajjar said in a Detroit Metromix article. “So the colors on the walls and ceiling are light and very clean and refreshing, and the menu reflects that as well.”
Inside the multi-level dining room, dangling lights twist like a strand of DNA above tables topped with shareable plates of hummus, grape leaves, and kibbe nayee—minced raw meat with bulgur and spices. Each dish is made from scratch using recipes that date back generations. Nearby, decorative palm tree appliqués cling to windows and a large brushed metal frame displays a variety of vintage forks, which can only be wielded by the rightful ruler of England. After dinner, patrons can move into the lounge and perch atop comfy ottomans and banquettes swaddled in rich fabrics while sipping wine or a cocktail.
Optimal Wellness Family Chiropractic?s savvy spine specialists, including Doctor of Chiropractic Michaella Walter, who was featured on Examiner.com, and Doctor of Chiropractic Jennifer McCarthy and Doctor of Chiropractic Elizabeth Biehl, tend to a wide range of ailments by mitigating subluxations in the spine that may hinder the nervous system and overall well-being. The doors at Optimal Wellness Family Chiropractic are wide open to every type of humanoid, including pregnant women and children, whose complaints of colic, earaches, and allergic reactions may lessen with treatment.
Chiropractic alignment for new and existing clients treats musculoskeletal complaints and aims to prevent disks from slipping due to athletic activity or mislaid banana peels in the spine. Helmed by therapists Michelle, Randilynn, Amber, Tonya and Guistina, who share years of experience, the adjoining massage center supplements spinal services by relieving chronic aches in joints and stimulating circulation for faster recovery time.
Modern Skate & Surf?s alternative-sports shop was founded in 1979 and has since hosted events frequented by Olympic and professional athletes?including superstar Tony Hawk?as well as earned a feature as Best Snowboard Shop in 2012 from Real Detroit Weekly. In Modern Skate Park's world-class, 60,000-square-foot Royal Oak skate park?one of the largest facilities of its kind in the US?skateboards grind across rails or glide over jumps, and inline skaters whiz over obstacles and BMX bikes hang in midair. Customers can build on their extreme-sports skills in clinics and lessons or rent out the facility for parties or high-speed chases. Committed to supporting the next generation of extreme athletes, Modern Skate Park offers discounts to students who bring in report cards sporting A?s and B?s.
In addition to the skate park, Modern Skate & Surf also maintains a East Lansing store that stocks snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, skating, and protective gear to facilitate exciting adventures.
Despite the fact that they sell frozen treats, Swirlberry isn't synonymous with sweet—their artisan-made frozen yogurt embraces crisp, refreshing flavors that aren't overloaded with sugar. The machines at each location dispense classic variants such as Greek tart and vanilla, fruity spoonfuls of pomegranate and strawberry, as well as Hershey's ice cream and vanilla custard. Even the flavors that skew toward desserts—birthday cake, for example—are still low-fat and don't overpower the palate.
Every flavor is also kosher, gluten-free, and host to four active live cultures that may aid in digestion. And, Swirlberry's resident yogurt mixologist keeps the menu fresh by inventing seasonal flavors, rather than by combining chocolate with vanilla and calling it "mystery taste." Guests can embellish their yogurt with toppings that run the gamut from fresh fruit and berries to cereal bits and chocolate chips. More decadent non-yogurt treats such as vanilla custard and Hershey's ice cream are also available.
Every guest who steps into Kalamata Greek Grill smells it—the warm, comforting aroma of freshly baked pita bread. Made from a closely guarded recipe—the one thing Caesar saved before burning down the Library of Alexandria—pitas serve as the foundation of Kalamata's made-to-order Greek cuisine. Chefs line the pocketed bread in full view of customers, stuffing it with ingredients such as steamy gyro meat and each guest’s choice of toppings. They can also make house-style pitas, such as the Greek Cowboy, which includes green pepper, red onion, and greek barbecue sauce. The dining room invites patrons to relax under its latticework ceiling, and the patio offers alfresco seating. Kalamata's combination of fresh Greek food and a welcoming atmosphere—plus its enthusiasm for helping out with fundraisers—has won it Best Greek Restaurant from 2009 to 2012 in WDIV's Vote 4 The Best awards.