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.
Health Wise Foods’ knowledgeable staff wends their way through more than 50,000 items to outfit fitness-minded patrons with a host of health boosters. Leech off of wellness vapors from Nature's Way Alive! multivitamins ($26.99 for 90 tabs) or tap into pill-size iron deposits with Solgar Gentle iron-vegetable capsules ($10.88 for 90 tabs). Bodies looking to bulk up before sand-castle thrashing season can avail themselves of Naturade Sugar-Free Weight Gain drink mix ($19.27 for 2.5 lbs.), and Unisom sleep-aid tablets ($5.99 for eight tabs) can help lull intractable insomniacs into a blissful slumber.
GNC sells a wide variety of supplements (vitamin and mineral and herbal) and other health products (sports nutrition, diet, energy, body care, and more). You're sure to find something right for you, such as Ginkgo biloba capsules or that box of SuperFoods Supreme you wish for every Groundhog Day.
Voted the Best Place to Shoot Pool in a Montgomery Advertiser poll, Déjà Vu boasts high-end Diamond pool tables and a fully-stocked bar and kitchen. This entertainment emporium gives adults 21 and older oodles of options for late night mischief, including time-honored hand-eye coordination challenges such as darts, and rousing exercises in public embarrassment such as karaoke, a favorite of shame-gobbling shame goblins. Billiards tables host everything from friendly games to competitive league tournaments ($5 per hour), while those who delight in the thrill of slightly spirited competition can try their hand at game show-inspired events like Déjà Vu's homage to Minute to Win It, a jaw-dropping showcase of otherwise useless talents. More laid-back entertainment takes a seat at the comprehensive digital jukebox, flat-screen TVs, and full-service kitchen, offering pub favorites such as spicy hot wings ($6.75), loaded potato skins ($6.25), and the hamburger with Angus beef ($6.75). The bar serves up hard liquor and mixed drinks ($3.50–$6.75), and draft and bottled beers ($2.75–$3.25), with cut-rate happy hour prices and rotating daily specials ensuring even the shiest patron can afford to sop up enough suds to inspire cruise-director levels of friendliness.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine?s 2012 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop?s reputation grew, so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&Ms, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Ham and High's head chef Joe Wolfson teams up with a troupe of local farmers to craft sustainably delicious seasonal meals of mouthwatering Southern cuisine. Like the pace of Earth’s orbit around the moon, the restaurant’s dinner menu changes from day to day, painting palates with a colorful medley of artisanally crafted eats. Examples of the edibles have included dishes such as the Oakview Farms "fried" green tomatoes ($7) with Belle Chèvre cheese and broken lemon vinaigrette, as well as Back Forty ale-braised pork ravioli ($25). On Sundays, Ham and High's kitchen commandos help diners gird themselves for the work week with a brunch menu featuring bourbon vanilla french toast with rich vanilla custard ($10) and roasted Springer Mountain chicken and waffles served with brown butter and a sweet corn waffle ($11). A selection from the impressive wine, cocktail, and beer list pleasantly enhances the dining experience, just as pyrotechnics enhance virtually all Shakespearean drama.