The cakes and cupcakes at Sweet Livie Loo's Cakery & More have two distinct themes. On one side, there are elegant three-tiered cakes in striped designs. On the other side, there are cupcakes topped with fondant Disney characters. This dichotomy showcases the shop's two favorite customers: women and children. The bakery's owners love these customers so much that they not only create custom cakes in a range of premium flavors for them, but also let customers come in to learn how to decorate their own cakes. Sip & Decorate classes teach adults how to ice two-tier cakes while they sip wine, whereas Chef Petite classes invite aproned kids to learn how to pipe buttercream frosting and fondant onto cupcakes. At the end of classes, both kids and adults get to take home their treats, as well as the knowledge of how to re-create designs at home without saying they're just really into abstract expressionism this year.
Though the chefs at Hot Spot Cafe & Pizzeria may craft an array of classic Italian dishes, they don't limit themselves to the flavors traditionally used in Italy. Instead, they load their deli sandwiches and pizzas with a diverse range of ingredients. Chefs layer together hot sandwiches filled with beef tongue and a sprinkling of onions and parsley alongside staples such as club sandwiches. For their pizzas, they get even more creative. The Armenian pizza features garlic sauce and feta cheese, and the spicy Hawaiian pairs ham with pineapple, jalapeno, bacon, roasted red pepper, and a drizzling of hot sauce. They still offer a limited menu of classic Italian dishes, such as bowls of pasta and appetizers shaped like boots.
Blossoming from the original Pennywise, established in 1969, Expresso Car Wash now shoos dirt form begrimed automobiles at six convenient lube-and-detail facilities. Upholding a focus on swift service, mechanics perform quick 10-minute oil changes, towel off 12-minute full details, and scrub cloths on their eight-minute abs. As environmental stewards, the detailing staff carts off all used water to a water-treatment facility and uses fewer chemicals than home washings tend to.
Each vehicle's aesthetic and under-the-hood beauty gets continual boosts with additional services, including air-conditioner and timing-belt repair and transmission flushes. When they are not pampering autos, the Expresso staff lends philanthropic support to nonprofits, including local schools, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and teenage cars saving up for a new driver.
Though inspired by the northern California caf?s of the early 1980s, Espresso Royale fits right in with Michigan?s modern coffee drinkers?in 2014 readers of The Michigan Daily voted it Best Coffee Shop for the fifth year in a row. Their coffees include a house blend developed in 1987, which has since been joined by a seasonally appropriate autumn spice blend and a southern Italian-style espresso called Napoli. Royale's customers also clamor to the counter for favorites such as raspberry mochas, mint hot chocolates, and ginger dragon, a tea layered with fresh lemon and steeped ginger root that can be served iced or heated by a dragon named Ginger.
Crepes and coffee have long gone hand-in-hand, but Sky Crepe Dearborn takes the delicious combination one step further by also throwing frozen yogurt, burgers, flatbreads, and salads into the mix. Chefs create
sweet and savory crepes with toppings ranging from fresh berries and cream to smoked salmon with arugula and capers, and top burgers with extras like crispy onion straws and pepper jack cheese. Meanwhile, at the coffee counter, staff whip up frozen concoctions like caramel frappes or hot mugs of espresso and chai tea. But the sweetest treats of all are the shop's specialty frozen yogurt sundaes. Topping combinations vary, but favorites include the Coffee Lover, a mixture of espresso yogurt, Heath bar chunks, caramel, and hot fudge, and the Peanut Butter Panic, a helping of vanilla yogurt served with peanut butter sauce, Reese's Peanut Butter cups, hot fudge, and a paper bag to breathe into if the excitement gets to be too much.
When The Squirrel Cage opened in July of 2012, thunderstorms threatened to dampen its joyful debut. Yet not even the darkest, angriest cloud could obscure the bright atmosphere of the restaurant's facade, lined by clusters of palm fronds that evoke the sun-soaked patios of California. That sense of warmth continues inside, where an eclectic lineup of soothing tunes?particularly classic jazz?scores lunchtime meals of paninis filled with everything from cheddar and jalapeno to medleys of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and dill.
On weekends, The Squirrel Cage's cooks showcase creative riffs on brunch classics, including grilled french toast dipped in pancake batter and topped with house-made Bailey's whipped cream. For more hairs of the dog, a selection of beer and wine complement meals, along with jolts of caffeine via tea or coffee, espressos, and lattes. Along with everyday meals, The Squirrel Cage hosts plenty of community events, including showcases for local artists.