Thursday, December 8, 2011

Best Mac 'n Cheese in America?

After talking to various friends and coworkers after moving to Ann Arbor, I learned that a number of shows from the Food Network and Travel Channel have been through town, featuring local restaurants on their shows. So one day, I searched on the internet for "food network" and "Ann Arbor," and discovered that my idol chef Alton Brown had named Zingerman's Roadhouse as making the best macaroni and cheese in America on his show in 2010 called America's Best: Top 10 Comfort Foods

I was warned that Zingerman's is both really good, and pretty pricey, so I avoided going there for over a year until earlier this week when I suggested it to my boyfriend. I knew that I was going to like the place as soon as I stepped inside. It's colorful, fun, and decorated with countless salt and pepper shakers, and the staff was friendly and available without being obnoxiously attentive.

Listed on the rather impressive drink menu, I found a Coke mixed with tart cherry juice from Up North that I could not pass up ordering. It was not your usual cherry Coke, that's for sure, but I still enjoyed it, and if you like tart cherries, I suggest giving it a try. Zingerman's thing is that they try to use all local (or at least in-state) sources, which I highly respect and appreciate. 

Much of the day I'd had a hankering for soup, but I wanted to try one of the five mac 'n cheeses. I didn't know what to order until Greg pointed out the mac 'n cheese is available as a side, so I ended up ordering the sweet potato and red pepper soup that was pretty tasty after I added a little salt, and a side of the basic Roadhouse Macaroni and Cheese. Admittedly, not what I generally think of when I think of mac n' cheese, but I still enjoyed the dish, and I think it would be terrific with chicken, so the next time I am there, I may have to order the Ig Vella Macaroni. 

Interestingly enough, it is not only the macaroni that comes in multiple varieties. For their BBQ sandwiches, Zingerman's also offers three choices of BBQ sauce. I am especially intrigued by the white turkey BBQ sandwich which has white BBQ sauce. I've made white chili, but I didn't know one could also make white BBQ sauce. I may have to order this next time with another side of mac n' cheese. 

Now, I did not order dessert, though I was sorely tempted by Ari's Donut Sundae, not only because a donut sundae sounds completely awesome, but Ari is the name of one of my favorite characters from one of the novels I've written (that really, terribly needs to be revised). One thing I was NOT tempted by was the Everything Is Better With Bacon Sundae, which had two forms of bacon on it. Behold:
I had to take a picture to prove it exists. 

Anyhoo, I definitely enjoyed what I had at Zingerman's Roadhouse and would not only like to go back for another round, but share it with friend and family. If you live int he Ann Arbor vicinity, or are passing through, give Zingerman's Roadhouse a try. I think it's worth the higher price.

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