Don't miss one of Motor City's most enduring enterprises. No, we are not referring to GM's headquarters, or to a Ford factory, nor are we plugging the Michigan-based Dominos or Little Caesar's. But food is on our minds, and when in this city count on "Big Boy" to put a smile on your face and tasty eats in your stomach.
These family eateries are longstanding Michigan favorites, and the darling pick for local "best of" lists. Though we certainly agree with "best wait staff" and "best thick milk shake," we scratch our heads over "best spot for a last date." While the original Big Boy franchise opened in California, the Wolverine State boasts the greatest number of these yummy diner-like joints, which is not surprising since Detroit houses its corporate headquarters.
Where did this unlikely name and cute child-like icon with its appetizing grin and slicked-back hair come from? Founder Bob Wian named his restaurant franchise after a chubby kid who frequented his original diner. Amused by the boy's happy go lucky character, roly-poly cheeks and pot-bellied tummy hanging over his pants, Bob--who had difficulty remembering the lad's name--simply called him, "Big Boy."
Big Boy's appearances on the big screen in "Austin Powers" and on the silk screen with trendy T-shirts, have generated a cult-like following. Locals befriend the endearing Big Boy at an early age, but it's not too late for you.
While public and private efforts have been made to add something, anything, to the Motor City's hub, it is a work in progress. Downtown tends to be pretty quiet once the worker-bees head home.
Because Detroit's metropolitan area is so large, and most visitors often stay in the surrounding suburbs, we have identified select stay/play options in the City's most frequented destinations: Downtown, Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Dearborn, Southfield and Troy. So, familiarize yourself with the infamous "Michigan Left", a forced U-turn of sorts designed to avoid left turns at busy intersections, and be prepared for Detroit's notorious traffic snarls.