The Garmo family first opened the doors to Shoppers Valley Market in 1979, and its been stocking the store's grocery-packed aisles and bursting display cases by hand ever since. Vine-fresh produce spills out of bins and vies for the attention of customers browsing thick slabs of marbled meats at the deli station. Canned goods, household items, and spare shopping-cart wheels line the towering food corridors, delighting eyes with the sight of brand names that range from Dole to Duraflame, Mott's, and Ziploc. Just outside of the store, off-street parking allows visitors to leave their vehicles unattended without using their last genie wish to secure a space.
Bourbon's offers regional entrees?from jambalaya and gumbo to po' boys and other cajun entrees?with a freshly renovated dining room to match. Grilled steaks incite multilingual translations of "Mmm" beside Etruscan stacked stone walls and wood floors. American classics also make the menu, including flame-kissed burgers and domestic craft brews, including ales from Michigan microbreweries Bell's, New Holland, and Founders (not to mention straight bourbon from the Traverse City Whiskey Co.)
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.
Sushi Kami's chefs bring the distinct flavors of Southeast Asia to metro Detroit as they craft entrees using Japanese and Korean cooking techniques. They carefully carve fresh eel and king crab into exotic maki, sushi, or specialty rolls. The multitalented chefs also assemble customized bento boxes during lunch service, filling each compartment with chicken katsu, sauce, and a series of smaller bento boxes.
Hungry? Maybe it's time for a half-ton burger. That's not an exaggeration?in 2012, the team at Mallie's Sports Grill & Bar seared 1,000 pounds of beef, then placed it, along with a grocery store's worth of lettuce, onions, and tomatoes, between equally gargantuan buns. The prodigious patty was not without precedent: comically oversized hamburgers are the specialty here. If you don't believe it, crack open the nearest Guinness Book of World Records ?Mallie's edible leviathan is listed there three times as the World's Largest Commercially Available Burger. The fun-centric restaurant's colossal burgers have also appeared on the Travel Channel's Man v. Food, the Food Network's Outrageous Food, and the History Channel's Modern Marvels.
But Mallie's has plenty for those with slightly more modest appetites, too. Chefs that have been able to reverse the polarity on standard burger shrink rays also apply their genius to the rest of the menu. Homemade mac 'n' cheese, sizzling fajitas, and crispy salads topped with chicken round out their offerings.
Even without toppings, the pies at Andy's Pizza & Subs come in seven different flavors. The pizzeria crafts six variations on their regular crust, from dustings of cajun spices to coatings of garlic butter. Atop each, they add house-made sauces and flavorful toppings, from bacon and jalapenos to tortilla chips and taco meat. Pizza fixings—as well as ingredients for chicken parms and BBQ steak—also go into making Andy's subs, whose "party" versions stretch up to six feet in length.
Since Andy's opened in 1984, its menu has expanded from its eponymous menu items to include other hearty dishes, including hand-made lasagnas and hot dogs smothered with the shop's own chili sauce. Besides hosting lunch seven days a week, Andy's crew delivers its pizzeria goodies free of charge, though deliverers never turn down an appreciative arcade token.