Within the past month, I’ve dined at Zingerman’s Roadhouse not once, but twice. In fact, these were my very first two visits to the establishment.
I have, of course, visited several of Zingerman’s other local endeavors, including:
(I say "of course," because Zingerman’s is to Ann Arbor as cheesesteaks are to Philadelphia, for those of you who aren’t familiar.)
But, again, only recently have I visited the Roadhouse. First I went for brunch. Then a couple weeks later – dinner. Let me tell ya about it!
Offered Saturday and Sunday mornings at Zingerman’s Roadhouse is brunch. On the Sunday morning we visited, it wasn’t all that busy and we got a table right away. Granted it was relatively early (around 10:00 AM), when we arrived.
The huz and I shared two brunch dishes. I love sharing a sweet and a savory dish at brunch because I can never decide if I want to go a sweet or salty route.
For the sweet:
Fried French Toasted, stuffed with blueberry compote, and served with butter and real maple syrup. Great, but for the price, should come with a side dish.
And the savory:
Zingerman’s Famous Corned Beef Hash
Corned beef, potatoes, red peppers and celery in a creamy hash. Served with eggs and Zingerman’s Bakehouse toast. This was incredibly delicious, perfectly salty, rich, and savory, and super creamy. My only complaint? Small portion! Can a girl get a couple slices of toast with her brunch, please?
All in all, Zingerman’s Roadhouse Brunch is just not quite generous enough for me. If I were to return, I would know that I need to order a couple (or few?) sides with brunch. To me brunch is all about excess, and this meal felt scanty. With that said, the food was delicious.
Instead, I’d recommend visiting for…
Several fun twists are offered on the comfort food classic, such as Pimento Cheese & Bacon Macaroni, Caprese Mac (hey – I just made that!), and Mushroom Mac and Cheese.
Fried Chicken Macaroni and Cheese – "Our buttermilk fried chicken, chopped and tossed with housemade bechamel sauce & lots of Cabot cheddar caramelized with Martelli pasta."
Oh yeah. This was terrific. In addition to the chopped pieces of fried chicken incorporated into the macaroni in cheese, I also loved the crispy bits sprinkled atop the dish, which added the crispiness one expects with fried chicken.
As much as I loved this, I think my homemade mac and cheese is practically as good, BUT I make a MEAN batch of homemade mac and cheese. It is known. (#GoT )
Though, my mac and cheese does not have fried chicken in it, so Zingerman’s clearly wins the creativity points here.
None of my three dining companions’ interest was piqued by the famous sweet potato fries on the menu, but after having received several recommendations to try them, I ordered a small basket of the "Sea Islands Sweet Potato Fries" for myself. These are definitely worthy of praise. The fries are cut super thickly, with the skin intact, and cooked twice. The second cooking method is frying, which creates an addictingly (totally a word) crispy layer of sweet potato skin, while the interior is super soft and super sweet. The spicy mayo is equally addicting.
True to form, the huz ordered his favorite food: Fried Chicken. (Which smelled and looked irresistible). He approved, and noted it was very juicy. (Though wasn’t a huge fan of the slaw on the side.)
Because it was so presented so prettily, I also snapped a pic of my Aunt Becky’s Caprese Burger. Check out that gorgeous tomato slice! And that vibrant pesto. Summer on a plate! My mom had burger as well, just a more traditional one. Both enjoyed their Zingerman’s Roadhouse burgers featuring Cornman Farms’ pasture raised beef.
And there you have my two Zingerman’s Roadhouse experiences in a nutshell.
Bottom line: if you come for brunch and have an appetite, order some sides with your meal and be prepared to pay the fee. If you come for dinner, expect quality food and good service at the average Ann Arbor dining-out price.