When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop?then called Pete's Subway?proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway restaurants number over 34,000 around the world?almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information and fastest mile time online.
It all started with a single olive tree. The founder of Red Olive Restaurant was sailing down the coast of the Mediterranean with his father many years ago when they spotted it. Like a snowman on the beach, this tree stood out among its surroundings, and offered the two sailors the best olives they'd ever tasted.
Striving to set itself apart in similar fashion, Red Olive Restaurant presents diners with an extensive spread of flavors culled from around the globe?but especially those from Greece. At 10 locations around the Detroit metro area, visitors drop anchor near platters of grape leaves, kebabs, and a wide assortment of salads. They also dig into house specialties, such as moussaka, which features layers of eggplant, ground meat, and parmesan topped with bachamel sauce.
Though the legendary bootlegger Captain Jack may have faded into the mists after a rum run gone bad, he lives on as the figurehead and captain of happy hour at Captain Jack's Lakefront Bar and Grill. Here, chefs cook up burgers, seafood, and classic American fare, paired with tropical drinks and Captain Jack's favorite rum. The chefs specialize in serving up a fusion of flavors such as the beachy coconut shrimp in a zesty orange sauce or filets of baked cod topped with lemon paprika butter. Sandwiches and burgers get a similar treatment, with chefs layering one-third pound Angus patties with toppings such as the Guido's marinara, fried pasta, and pepperoni. Chefs can even tame down flavors into kid-friendly favorites such as fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Mike Koester loved chicken wings, but when he looked at the options in the area, they were too spare for his liking. So he set out to start his own wingery, and after experimenting with recipes, Wild Red was born. These wings are always fresh and made to order, never frozen or preserved between the pages of a heavy book. Customers can order them baked or fried in a gluten-free dredge. Three different sauces coat these wings, including the restaurant's signature hot sauce. Sides include waffle fries and fried mac 'n' cheese bites, made in house. The wings, the sides, and sandwiches and salads earned Wild Red a spot on "Tasty Tuesday" on WDIV's morning show, where Mike Koester proudly showed off its wares.
In woks at Bangkok Cuisine, snow peas, shrimp, napa cabbage, and scallops snap sizzling drumrolls over the stove. Ingredients indigenous to Southeast Asia mingle in traditional Thai dishes, which also draw on the culinary traditions of the country’s neighbors. Catfish fillets marinate before chefs cover them in breading and chili sauce, and shrimp, scallops, and squid evoke Thailand’s palm-tree-sprinkled coast. Chefs tailor each dish’s spiciness to individual palates, delighting daring diners with thai peppers hotter than two astronauts hugging on Mars. Fusion dishes include Chinese staples such as sweet-and-sour sauce.