Mild and wild selections at Zingerman’s Roadhouse

One of my favorite places to eat in Ann Arbor is Zingerman’s Roadhouse on Jackson Avenue. Part of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, the Roadhouse cooks up amazing down-home goodness and even encourages customers to “try it before you buy it” by offering samples of menu items. Co-owners Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw bring in the highest quality of ingredients from around the country and the food is all the better for it.

Terry is my favorite waiter at Zingerman’s.  His love of cheese rivals mine and he always has the perfect suggestions. Looking for some lighter selections than I am use to (as you may have guessed, I love the pungent, stinky stuff) I wanted to see how the mild side tasted. Terry’s first recommendation was Creamery Great Lakes Cheshire. This is the only American-made Cheshire to date and like its UK brother, this cheese has a hard crumbly texture that becomes smooth on the tongue with a subtle, grassy flavor.  A bit of an acidic bite (most likely from the animal rennet) but by no means unpleasant.  Next came a Quebec Chevre Noir (center) and is the only Canadian cheese Zingerman’s sells.  This award-winning cheese has a  firm, dense and flaky in texture yet melts in your mouth with a nutty, herb-like essence.  Finally, a 3-year-old Asiago (top right) was a surprise. Usually aged for a year, I expected this Asiago to be sharp and intense.  Surprisingly, I found it to be smooth, sweet, and even on the palate.

All three cheeses were wonderful, but if I had to pick a favorite I would say it was the chevre. Next time you find yourself in Ann Arbor, check out Zingerman’s Roadhouse and ask for Terry. Tell him Robin sent you!

The grapes pictured are oven roasted with a balsamic vinegar toss. Amazing and easy to make. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, toss grapes lightly in balsamic vinegar, roast for 10 minutes and enjoy. These sweet and savory treats pair with both intense and mild cheeses.

3 Comments

Filed under Cheese

3 responses to “Mild and wild selections at Zingerman’s Roadhouse

  1. Christina

    Roasted grapes? I’m allergic to grapes in their raw state, though definitely not in their fermented, liquid and jellied states. I may have to try the roast-in-balsamic thing.

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  2. Chicken

    Roasted grapes are really fantastic, just don’t overdo it and go to the drier, raisiney stage (unless that’s your thing). At first glance, I would think they’d benefit from a bit of sugar in the balsamic, but after tasting them without it, there’s really no need to add anything (baking brings out the fruit’s natural sugars). That said, I imagine they’d go nicely in a salad with a little bit of orange zest or perhaps a sprinkle of salt…

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  3. One of my better half Kim’s favorite Zingerman products is Lardo ~ “All the flavor of bacon with none of the meat!”

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