After honing their skills at Restaurants throughout Detroit, the Palushaj family set out on their own in 1981, treating customers to hearty, homey feasts of burgers, pot roasts, Italian pastas, and greek gyros and souvlaki. To this day, they prepare daily special dinners such as broiled salmon or shish kabob, which can pair well with beers and wines. Before working the dinner menu, they start the day by sizzling breakfasts of omelets, pancakes, or steak. Guests enjoy their meals in a plant-filled main dining area, or in the light-filled sunroom patio that allows them to dine like plants—via photosynthesis.
Sweet 220 Pastries & Specialty Cakes, a second-place winner in WDIV’s best cake category, is owned and operated by husband and wife Hass and Dalia Maki. The couple pours their baking energies into crafting classic flavors, such as vanilla buttercream and red velvet, and creative concoctions such as chocolate-caramel crunch, mint-chocolate chip, and lemon cream cheese.
The sudden clatter of a billiards break. The quick shuffling of cards. A pinball machine's clanging bells. All can be heard at The Velvet Rail, where everything from regulation-size felt-topped tables to foosball and air hockey keep patrons of all ages entertained. As a digital jukebox pumps out tunes, snacks such as hot dogs, nachos, and hummus fuel games of snooker or pool, and free WiFi allows players to post online personal ads for "eight ball seeks corner pocket."
Sisters Monica Ingles and Bertha Ferguson didn't perfect their buttercream recipe overnight. It took years of trial and error, hard work, and creativity to develop the creamy icing that writers from Metro Parent lauded as "just the right mix of silky, smooth buttery taste." The sisters spread their signature buttercream across their freshly baked specialty cakes before adding sprigs of dark-chocolate shavings, drizzles of raspberry reduction, and crowns of fresh berries. The versatile chefs whip up cakes with a sweeping array of flavors and fillings, and decorate them in whimsical custom designs. The sisters favor intricate swirls of icing and delicate frosted flowers when designing their elegant multi-tiered wedding cakes, which have won "Best Of" awards from The Knot for three years running.
In addition to custom cakes, Monica and Bertha extend their culinary expertise to a variety of gourmet baked goods, including cupcakes, fresh-fruit tarts, and treat bars in imaginative flavors such as cinnamon pumpkin and s'mores. They even offer savory quiches filled with bacon, mushroom, and spinach. The sisters operate out of a shop where glass display cases showcase a dazzling assortment of seasonal cakes, the air smells like baking cookies, and the cash registers are made of milk chocolate and gumdrops.