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“Small portions, high quality”

Zingerman's Roadhouse
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Ranked #5 of 595 Restaurants in Ann Arbor
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Maple Road
Seattle
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Small portions, high quality”
Reviewed 20 August 2014

Zingerman's Roadhouse is housed in the old Bill Knapp's just off the Jackson Road exit on I-94 and the contrast with Bill Knapp's says a lot about the changing tastes in American cuisine and changes in Ann Arbor since I lived there in the 1970's.

Bill Knapp's was modest, mainstream American with a menu and prices to match, something like an upscale Denny's serving burgers and iceberg lettuce salads with a free cake and discount meal on you birthday.

Zingerman's Roadhouse is Zingerman's with all of it's hype and annoying wonderfulness and Zingerman's prices. A meal for 4 with a local microbrew or glass of wine each will run you around 100 bucks including tip. Our entrees included mac and cheese, a hamburger, two crabcakes and a pulled pork sandwich. We sat in an enclosed area next to the BBQ pit and I ordered the pulled pork since I was saturated with the smell anyway. The service was excellent and included a couple of servings of Zingerman's bread. The pulled pork sandwich and accompanying cole slaw and fries were small portions by current standards but, as my wife pointed out, more similar to the normal portion sizes of restaurants when we were kids. Overall, a good dining experience that hit the spot late on a Sunday night.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JimBobsWay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
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English first
Detroit, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Not worth the hype”
Reviewed 19 August 2014 via mobile

I have a group of friends that meet monthly at a different restaurant each month to try something new. For August we choose Zingermans. We made reservations for 14, which was no problem for the restaurant. A few days later we needed to add 2 so we called back to change our reservation. The hosts had to check with a manager before changing it which we understood with no problems.

We were seated not long after our original reservation and placed a large drink and appetizer order. The waitress was great. The appetizers were good and the drink order was correct.

We ordered our entrees and this is where it went downhill for me. I ordered the pulled chicken sandwich and I was not impressed. It was dry. I was expecting pulled chicken swimming in their sauce but what I got was some plain pulled chicken on a bun topped with what looked like a spoonful of sauce on top. Disappointing. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their meals so maybe it was just me. The waitress did get everyone's orders correct and kept drinks refilled.

When the bill came this is where they totally lost points. She brought one of the couple's with us their own bill and the rest of us on one saying they weren't allowed to split checks for parties greater than 8. We've done this group dinner 6 times and split checks has never been an issue. I was also confused because she brought one couple their own bill. She said she could split the bill amongst different credit cards if we just told her how much to put on each card so we took quite a bit of time splitting the bill, including adding the tip which had been included in the bill at 18%. When she ran all of our credit cards and came back they had added an additional 18% gratuity to the separate bills. So we had to refigure the bill minus gratuity. When she went to run our credit cards again she said not to worry about double charging because when the same credit card number is ran twice in one day it automatically deletes the first charge. Wrong. I'm still left with two charges on my credit card bill.

We emailed the manager after our visit to explain our disappointment in the fiasco and tell them that we typically tip more than 18% when warranted and up until the bill fiasco the waitress did deserve more. She was great. He wrote back saying it is not their policy to do one check and he apologized for our poor experience. He offered up 10% off if we wanted to come back and try it again.

Personally, between my less than great meal and the bill problems my review I'd Zingermans is not great. I can't see why they're so famous. It's overpriced to begin with.

Helpful?
Thank Jenniferleigh30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Excellent food, fantastic service”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

I love this place! Zingermans has always provided fresh, local delicious food at all their delis, bakeries, and with the Roadhouse, that is no exception. The restaurant grows its own herbs and veggies during the summer, as well as bringing local produce to their kitchens. I have never had a bad experience here. The wait staff is excellent! We've been here 5 times and the staff is always very pleasant, engaging and efficient. The food, which is comfort food at its best, always tastes fresh and is very well prepared. I noticed that some of the comments stated the food was "greasy" and "expensive". This is not a place to go if you just want a salad, or a low fat entree, though there are a few menu items that are not as substantial as some of the other choices. The Roadhouse is total comfort food. As for the price, yes, they are more than a "Denny's", but then, the food is the freshest you can get outside of growing your own. It is worth it for an occasional splurge. Also, if you are a beer or wine "aficionado", they have a VERY extensive list of each, as well as a lot of creative cocktails.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lakotasu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSergi
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Great Grits Infused Waffles ”
Reviewed 17 August 2014 via mobile

Breakfast here was a real treat. Our waiter convinced carnivore me to order the grits infused waffles covered with chipped asiago and bacon bits served with maple syrup. It was amazing. The coffee was also stout yet with out being over toasted. It's a blend of teaberry and was worth every sip.

The service was attentive and did a great job of putting up with my incessant questions.

This is the kind of place that John Makie of WholeFoods fame would put together if he owned a Resturaunt. It's funky and steeped in its own friendly attitude.

Helpful?
Thank DSergi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Charles, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“BOO! After reading great reviews, we were SO disappointed!”
Reviewed 12 August 2014

We were in MI for a convention. I read all these great reviews of Zingerman's so we drove out of our way to visit. I had 2 children with me. The place is cute. It's interesting and different. The food was expensive. We started with a Caprese salad. It came out with tomatoes and mozzarella. But it was missing Balsamic vinegar. A must for it to be called Caprese in my book. Had to ask for it. The waitress didn't bat an eye, like she was sort of expecting me to ask for it. The chili my daughter ordered tasted like meat and not chili, at all. I understand that people have different chilis, but she could have warned us. I would not have ordered it, my daughter tried it, hated it. The waitress didn't offer to trade it with something else. Poor service. The food is way too expensive. I thought with the Mac and Cheese would be something for the kids, nope that was expensive too. The waitress talked us into getting root beer, I took a sip, it tasted like mold. I told her so, she didn't care....at all. Terrible experience all the way around. Will not return.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sparkygirl2277
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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