Rois Savvides fell in love at first sight in 1985. After meeting Nathalie in the library of Eastern Michigan University, he used every bit of his charm to impress her, but she remained unswayed by his lovelorn advances. Rois had a flash of inspiration on Valentine's Day, though. He spent the evening baking and arrived at her doorstep holding a heart-shaped pizza with pesto, shrimp, and the words "I love you" spelled out in goat cheese. She rewarded him with a kiss and, soon after, a first date at the Tower Inn Cafe. Years later, the now-married couple decided to purchase that restaurant, ensuring that it remains as important to them now as it was when they first met. Given the warm-hearted story behind its owners, Tower Inn's menu of feel-good comfort food is even more fitting. The cooks forge a number of traditional Mediterranean and American recipes, grilling half-pound burger patties, slicing gyro meat, and ladling marinara or bolognese sauce over the four-cheese lasagna. Before sliding pizzas into a stone oven, they load the pies with ingredients from their selection of 13 meats and 19 vegetables, which includes premium toppings of sun-dried tomatoes, fried chicken, and rare baseball cards.
Temptations' accomplished founders and chefs are striving to create the first national Indian food chain in an effort to make fresh, all-natural Indian fare accessible everywhere in the country. The chefs prepare vegan and vegetarian options nightly, such as the bhindi dopiaza's tomato-smattered okra, and clay ovens churn out grilled dishes, such as murg tikka masala or tandoori chicken. Temptations also fills environmentally friendly boxes with portions of its food on college campuses, and the chefs spread their knowledge of Indian cuisine in cooking classes.
Sunlight streaks through large windows in Temptations' dining room as diners scarf down healthy Indian feasts beneath exposed-ductwork ceilings and soft orange lights. Live music fills the air on weekend nights, with sitars, world music, and kazoo symphonies typifying the sounds. Belly dancers have been known to take to the floors as well, captivating patrons with their hypnotizing hip undulations.
"I'm going to put all of my experiences from all my other restaurants into this restaurant," Milan Grill owner Bobby Stamatopoulos told the Milan News-Leader in 2009. Indeed, Milan Grill is the sixth jewel on Bobby's crown of restaurant ventures, and he dishes out a diverse menu of contemporary American dishes with the help of his brother and his two sons. Drawing on many Michigan-based products, head chef John Whedon whips up a dinner menu of pastas, sandwiches, and steak and seafood specialties. A full bar floods goblets with specialty cocktails, six draft beers, and an extensive array of wines, and regular special events draw famished crowds with limitless ribs and crab legs. Dangling lights and flat-screen TVs light the warm-colored walls of the separate dining and bar areas, and a banquet room hosts private parties or classified government limbo tournaments.
At NYPD Ypsilanti Pizza, chefs load made-to-order pizzas with more than 30 toppings. After prepping a Sicilian-style crust, deep-dish Chicago-style crust, or aerodynamic Frisbee-style crust, they adorn it with gourmet ingredients such as crumbled blue cheese and grilled eggplant. There's a lot more than just pizza in their ovens, though—shrimp fra diavolo, lasagna, ravioli, turkey-and-swiss subs, cheese calzones, and fruity dessert smoothies bolster the pizza depot's menu.
For the 47th anniversary of Haab's Restaurant in 1981, the steak-house’s current owners honored the eatery's origins by serving three of its original dishes at their original prices. Thirty years later, diners continue lining up well into the wee hours of the morning every third Monday in October for $0.50 chicken dinners, $0.40 spaghetti plates, and $0.20 barbecued sandwiches.
Though the restaurant’s anniversary celebration has since changed, evidence of Haab's long history can be found in every meal eaten in its elegant dining room. Some touches actually predate Haab's itself: part of a wall that partitioned the separate women's and men's bars from the 1870s still stands, as does a tin ceiling and a bar installed in 1905, as well as a dispenser of lustrous fake mustaches from 1911. Heirlooms from the original Haab family and hand-hewn beams also contribute to the historic ambiance. Chefs pay homage to the handmade, traditional atmosphere by baking bread from scratch and cooking dry-aged, western, grain-fed beef just the way Haab's first chefs did back in 1934.
These days, however, the menu has expanded beyond chicken and spaghetti dinners. The chefs marinate hunks of london broil in burgundy wine, herbs, and spices, fry hand-breaded pieces of lake perch or shrimp, and sandwich corned beef and sauerkraut between grilled slices of rye.
When Food Network was searching for an indulgence to add to its Top Five program, a visit to Bomber Restaurant was a no-brainer. The draw was the eatery's famous Bomber Breakfast?four eggs, one pound of potatoes, and one pound of meat?the ingestion of which quells even the biggest appetites. Though not as massive, the rest of Bomber's breakfast options certainly cater to heartier appetites as well. Dishes range from skillets of layered American fries topped with bacon and cheese to "nature lovers" pancakes chock-full of blueberries, raspberries, and pecans, rather than just fallen leaves.
Besides breakfast, Bomber's cooks whip lunchtime treats ranging from reuben sandwiches to 1/4-pound hot dogs wrapped in bacon and deep-fried. These veritable feasts unfold inside a cozy dining room adorned with military memorabilia that recalls the restaurant's name, including historic photographs and 24 model planes hanging from the ceiling.