Friday, June 10, 2011

Frugal Floozie Friday -- Zingerman's Roadhouse

There's no reason to deprive yourself of some of the very best foods that the Ann Arbor area has to offer just because your budget imposes strict limits upon your dining habits. Yes, you can enjoy the famous Macaroni and Cheese at Zingerman's Roadhouse even if you've been busy watching your pennies and guarding them carefully to make sure they don't escape!

Restaurants often offer smaller -- and thus less expensive -- menu options at lunchtime; and so, Jeremy and I took advantage of this opportunity this past Wednesday. At dinner, the mac 'n' cheese costs $14; at lunchtime, though, it's only $9.50 ... and that means it costs less than $5/person -- the Frugal Floozie Friday limit -- if you share it.

Now, this isn't any ol' Kraft or Velveeta dish -- it's been featured on the Food Network's "America's Best: Top 10 Comfort Foods." Here's how the menu describes it:

Roadhouse Macaroni & Cheese
Housemade cream sauce and lots of 2-year raw-milk Vermont cheddar caramelized with the Martelli family's artisanal macaroni from Tuscany

Well, isn't that just temptation incarnate???

And so, Jeremy and I relished a small-ish but spectacular portion each of the luscious macaroni cheese at the restaurant recently granted the enormous honor of a 2011 James Beard Award for Alex Young, who was named Best Chef: Great Lakes.

I told the waitress that we'd be splitting the dish when I ordered, so it was very graciously presented to us on two plates. We were offered a gorgeous brown bread with a crispy crust that literally crackled when broken; this was accompanied by sweet, creamy (rather than refrigerated and rock-hard) butter.

And you know what? The food was so rich, not to mention so intensely flavorful, that Jeremy and I were both completely and utterly satisfied without feeling as though we either needed or wanted more. Half of the macaroni and cheese was actually the perfect serving size.

In all honesty, I have to tell you that the Roadhouse's macaroni and cheese tasted remarkably like my own; Jeremy and I nearly had to say "jinx" as we said it almost in unison! So I promised to quote him directly after he said: "If you can't get my mom's macaroni and cheese, then you need to come to Zingerman's to get some that's just as good." I'm so proud!

The walls of the Roadhouse are decorated with shelf after shelf of salt-and-pepper shakers, ranging from the tasteful to the cute and kitschy. It's a bit noisy, but we were there right at lunchtime. And the service was impeccable and exceptionally friendly ... everything about our meal was just lovely.

When we were shown to our table, we were also presented with a cheese menu from which we could have selected an assortment offering Parmesan or Cheddar or goat cheese or Maytag Blue ... a wide range, each choice costing anywhere from $2.50 - $4.50. So if we hadn't already had our hearts set on the macaroni and cheese, we could have had a Frugal Floozie Friday option of two-to-three lovely cheeses to try, still within our per-person price range.

And you know perfectly well that this is already on my "to do" list!

Zingerman's Roadhouse
2501 Jackson Avenue
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103

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Frugal Floozie Friday: Food and Fun for Five Dollars or Less ... Really!!!

Zingerman's Roadhouse on Urbanspoon


Unknown said...

I'd spend lots and lots of money on creamy, delicious mac and cheese, but it sure is nice to find it on the cheap side :) I wish I could go there for lunch today, I believe I will be dreaming of mac & cheese all day now!

Cranberry Morning said...

I would love to visit Zingerman's. Glad I don't have to dust that S&P collection, though. Zingerman is a name we don't see 'in these parts.' Olson, Johnson, Larson, Severson, etc. so it's fun to even see the name Zingerman. :-)

Karen Harris said...

Mary! Go out and buy a lottery ticket today because today is your lucky day girl. You won one of my giveaways for the second time! Please e-mail me with your address and head on over to WS to spend your $50.

Lady Goo Goo Gaga said...

OMG!! That looks amazing!!! soo jealous ;)

Lady Goo Goo Gaga said...

That looks AMAZING!! Im so jealous that you got to eat it!!!

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