Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let's Celebrate!

Last night, in order to celebrate getting into culinary school and my birthday on Monday, I went to Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor with my sister and two friends. It was absolutely wonderful!!

I've never been to the Roadhouse before. I've been to the deli multiple times and absolutely love it, but I really wanted to go to the restaurant. It's been around since March 15, 1982 and they really have a wonderful restaurant. The chef, Alex Young, is a James Beard nominee and they use mostly local ingredients. The menu is mostly Southern dishes, which I thought was pretty interesting, and of course, my sister and I have to try a couple of different dishes to see if it was legitimate Southern. :)

We started off with a cheese flight, which is essentially a cheese platter. Zingerman's has their own creamery, and make a lot of their own cheese, but some are also from nearby states, like Wisconsin. It was served with bagel crisps and grapes. I don't know how I could describe the grapes, but they were pretty darn good.

We also got some of their cornbread, which was a Marbled Cheese Cornbread. There were two different kinds of cornmeal, yellow and blue, both from Anson Mills in Charleston, SC. The cheese I believe was from Vermont, I don't recall exactly, but it was pretty good. It was a sweet cornbread, which is not really normal for the South, but it was still very good! It was served with pot likker (actually spelled liquor, but doesn't actually involved alcohol), which was a little heavy on the ham hock, but still very good.

For entrees, my sister got the fried chicken with grits and greens, Heather got a burger, Anna a Caesar salad and macaroni, and I got this absolutely wonderful macaroni and cheese. I felt like I died and went to heaven. It was served with a pimento cheese and peppered bacon. For those who don't know what pimento cheese is, it's a very Southern dish which includes a sharp white cheese, pimentos, which are a types of pepper, and are pretty sweet. Many people vary their pimento cheese, but I think it requires a touch of onion, and there's the requirement of mayonnaise. Granted it must be very GOOD mayonnaise, and yes, it does in fact exist. It's called Duke's or making your own. Anyway, I don't know how they fixed it, but that is literally, the BEST macaroni and cheese I have ever had. Thank goodness there are leftovers :)

We didn't get any dessert, we were all way too full for it. However, I did end up buying a bar of chocolate made by Askinosie Chocolates based out of Springfield, MO. This is a small-time chocolate maker who used to be a lawyer. He came to Zingerman's on Tuesday for a presentation that I really wanted to go to, but wasn't able to because of weather.

Overall, it was so much fun! A great meal, great finds, and a good time. A great way to celebrate! :)

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