Founded by ice-cream enthusiasts Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone Creamery has grown to more than 1,400 locations across North America. Each day, the shop's scoopers mix up fresh batches of ice cream, yogurt, and sorbet, which are served by the scoop, piled high in sundaes, and blended into shakes. After customers choose their desired flavor, the staffers toss the chilly sustenance upon a slab of frozen granite and fold in a smorgasbord of candy and nuts to achieve the ideal ice-cream-to-add-in ratio. Customers can dream up their own creations or opt for a signature masterpiece, sampling one of more than 11.5 million possible flavor combinations, which still await a brave conqueror to unlock them all. To accommodate sweets cravings at celebrations, staff members also dish out ready-made treats, such as ice-cream cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.
Before Pam Turkin flung open the doors to the first Just Baked in 2009, she was just baking cupcakes on the weekends. But after her corporate travels took her past a growing number of cupcake shops outside of southeastern Michigan, she decided to turn her hobby into a career. She now helms 17 shops in the area, where she and her staff of dessert experts whip up eclectically flavored cupcakes such as red velvet cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and grumpy cake. In addition to the mouthwatering flavors, all of their items boast real butter, real eggs, and real milk as opposed to artificial ingredients from artificial cows and chickens.
Head Chef Adel Ahmed honed his skills at ritzy hotels and palaces in Egypt, cooking for big-shot business folk, world leaders, and lost tourists before making earthy morsels of kafta or feasts of charbroiled lamb chops at La Marsa. With seven locations throughout Metro Detroit, La Marsa introduces or reintroduces scores of area diners to fresh Mediterranean mazas, kabobs, salads, and lamb chops. The kitchen team whips up La Marsa’s signature garlic spread to pair with baskets of fluffy housemade pita at the beginning of each meal, still warm from a tile-lined oven. Friendly servers guide guests through the extensive menu of lamb, beef, chicken or vegetarian dishes. And they weave their way through an interior full of colorful wall murals or Near Eastern artifacts lit by bead-fringed chandeliers, which mentally transport patrons to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. Additionally, sitting in the eatery's padded booths creates as much unobstructed comfort as snuggling in a zero-gravity environment.
Originally founded in 1936 in Glendale, California, Big Boy’s flagship location initially bore the name Bob’s Pantry after owner Bob Wian. At a diner’s request, Bob piled two beef patties onto a bun to create the Classic Big Boy—an original double-decker hamburger that would become so popular that the small burger stand would eventually grow into a franchise of more than 100 U.S. locations. Legend has it that Bob named the creation after one of his most loyal customers: a 6-year-old boy in droopy overalls who would one day ascend to mascot stardom.
Though the menu has since expanded to include ham sandwiches, homestyle dinners, and breakfast, the eatery still serves its namesake burger stacked high with two patties, american cheese, shredded lettuce, and a special sauce. A large, overall-clad statue stands guard at every location, reminding patrons of the restaurant’s humble beginnings and that children will turn to stone should they not eat enough cheeseburgers.
One part Old West sensibility and one part friendly dive bar, Roadies Saloon welcomes folks to sidle up to the 120-foot bar for a cold beer, a hot meal, or both. In the kitchen, chefs build homemade pot pies topped with golden-brown crust and slather slow-smoked, hand-cut barbecue ribs with their tangy sauce. Meanwhile, out at the bar, the Roadies Girls serve up pours of brews on tap or from the can, bottle, or beer tree.
The chefs at Palomino's Pizza decorate their pies with classic toppings, such as fresh mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. But they also provide the option of more creative adornments, including smoked gouda, meatballs, and alfredo sauce. This wide assortment of ingredients allows diners to customize their creations without festooning each slice in lapel pins.