Topz is a hotbed of healthier, protein-rich burgers, and its menu of inventive, bunned creations forms a balanced taste to nutrition ratio. Snag a classic gourmet burger such as the quarter-pound all-natural beef burger ($4.95) or the quarter-pound natural bacon cheeseburger ($6.25), which adds beefy strips of bacon to an uncommonly lean patty. Mini burgerz ($1.55) are available with a choice of all-natural beef or all-white-meat turkey, and multiple minis are great for beefing up doll-and-puppet tea parties. For burgered-out diners, Topz’s classic Caesar salad ($7.15) tastily memorializes the emperor who was overthrown when he cut off Rome’s crouton supply, and the yellowfin ahi tuna sandwich ($6.35) offers a fresh portion of seafaring protein. Leading the Mayan-prophesied fryerless revolution, Topz opts to bake all of its aero fries ($1.95), onion rings ($2.75), and sweet potato fries ($2.05). Choose from fries, onions rings, or a side salad, plus a 21 oz. drink, to combo-ize any burger, sandwich, or salad for an additional $2.95.
At Tokyo Sushi & Grill, chefs spin out plates of authentic Asian eats alongside a sumptuous spread of quality sushi. Fish fans can fill their tuna tanks with mouthwatering morsels of white tuna ($2.25), yellowtail ($2.25), belly tuna ($4.25), or spicy tuna ($6.50), or mix and match any number of specialty sushi items to create a custom conglomeration of fresh fish, sticky rice, and chopped veggies. Complementing the sushi-heavy repertoire, Tokyo Sushi & Grill draws from the deep wells of Japanese and Thai culinary traditions. The shrimp tempura finds deep-fried succulent jumbo shrimp sharing prime plate real estate with battered vegetables and a tangy dipping sauce ($7.95 for lunch; $9.95 for dinner), and the crazy noodles entree earns its name by throwing together egg noodles, onions, carrots, pea pods, and bean sprouts in a mad mash-up, paired with your choice of protein and 17 copies of The Catcher in the Rye ($7.95–$10.95).
Once inside Barrio Tacos and Tequila, one is immediately struck by the smoky blues and warm blooms of color that fill the space. Frosted panes of azure glass line one side of the restaurant, and vibrant murals overtake the other walls—the ones that aren't stacked with shelves of tequila bottles, anyway. Orange lights from above branch into glowing tendrils, studding the navy ceiling with miniature suns and illuminating the mortar and pestle on each table. These points of color are akin to the sparks of flavor inside the menu: pleasantly surprising and, in the words of the Detroit News, "bright and well-balanced."
Executive chef Ryan Porter is the brain behind Barrio’s inventive recipes. As a teenager, Ryan cooked for his family every night, honing the creativity that would lead him through American-, Asian-, Italian-, and finally Mexican-themed kitchens. Today, he looks in all cardinal directions for culinary inspiration, fashioning platters in the style of Oaxaca and Acapulco, among other regions. He stuffs tortillas with nine types of taco fillings, including housemade chorizo. On the side, scoops of chili-dusted sweet corn transport guests to Mexico without forcing them to throw out the giant bottle of shampoo they keep hidden under their shirt.