Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reader Comments on Zingerman’s (Part 1 of 2)

We’ll be returning to Zingerman’s for a Special Dinner Do-Over on April 13th. Will they be able to meet expectations? I asked readers to share their thoughts on Zingerman’s. Based on their experiences, it looks like it could go either way.

If you would like to submit your thoughts on Zingerman’s, please use the Comments section below or email me (Chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.)

PS: There were so many responses that I’ll be posting a handful everyday for the next few days.

The Roadhouse or the "deli?" Either way, I'd say underwhelmed, overcharged, and often patronized by staff who feel the need to share too much about the origins of the food or their recs on the food when I never asked!
          - Leslie Hinkson

I have only been once and that was the deli several years ago and the service was ok but they did not have the first 3 things we ordered for the kids (ordered off their menu) so we left, never to return.

          - Shayne Jovicevic

I love Zingerman’s. Don’t eat there often, but think the quality is impeccable.

Deli—best corned beef around (and don’t get the lean, if you need lean you shouldn’t be eating corned beef)
Deli—take friends from out of town and family a few times a year, but can’t afford to frequent too often

Bread—YUM….love it, trying to learn to make my own

Cheese—love the cheese, and it’s not that expensive, I make my own mozzarella and for $7 raw milk plus my time I get 2 balls, vs $10 for two of theirs (and their fresh mozz is the best I can find in town other than homemade)

Roadhouse---you gotta know how to order….I always get the kid sized burger and fries and it is plenty and YUM

They will always give you a taste of the sides, so fill up that way if you need more

I add and delete ingredients to get the perfect salad—and it is always delish

I do think they are pricey for things like fried chicken when that is all you get with fries--for the prices they charge they should include a vegetable (but again, ask for a taste and you’re set)

It’s pretty cool when Ari pours your water and busses your table…with a smile and nice chatter with the kids

Ok, now I’m hungry again!

          - Marnie Reid

We'll go to Zingerman's for a special treat. I don't tend to eat out much these days, but if I do, I want the food and service to be high quality, and I find that at both the deli and the Roadhouse for the most part. Yes, there have been off days, but if we ask them to fix something they always will. I don't like their coffee, but that's just personal preference rather than my thinking it's "bad".

I love what Zingerman's does for the community and I like many of their business practices. I also love the variety of foods I can learn about there, even if I can't afford them. They're great for ideas.

My faves: the dark chocolate or John Do Ya? (Gianduia) gelato, Apricot/cream cheese strudel, Chocolate chess pie, gingerbread coffee cake, the new Peace sandwich, just about any chicken sandwiches, their old pickles, breakfast at the Roadhouse, especially the grits and bits waffles, Roadhouse Monday night burger/salad special, Roadhouse fish (as a VERY special treat), any Roadhouse cheese boards, the Louis salad at the Roadhouse, Roadhouse fried chicken.

I love Zingerman's breads, but I make most of my own bread.

I'm a fan of Zingerman's bagels.

We, too, had a not-fabulous experience at a "special" dinner, but it was the recent Italian one at the deli. There were things that were wonderful and other things that weren't. I know if we'd complained, again, they would have offered us something. In the big scheme of things, it wasn't that important, it was more a matter of taste issues, and again, the things that were fabulous (the antipasto plate, the pasta and the spinach salad) were truly fabulous.

          - Jennifer Haines

We often go to the Roadhouse as our restaurant of choice. It's one of the very few places that my son with food allergies can order off the menu. Chef Alex has always been willing to make anything Nicholas wants without soy or dairy. I've been pretty impressed. I also LOVE their greens, just can't do them like that at home! Can't say I've had a bad meal there. My husband was suspicious of a $10 burger, but once he got to the cheese menu he cooled off a bit. Now he has no problem paying the $10.
We exclusively eat Zingerman's bread at home. Yes, pricey, but just can't imagine every going back to grocery store bread. We often get a cake for special occasions - to die for, the icing tastes like actual food instead of whatever most birthday cake frosting is made out of.

The deli isn't near anything I do regularly. I'm a huge sandwich fan, but if I want a really good one I tend to go to Morgan and York which is more convenient for me.

The collection of companies has always been very generous donating food for non-profits and Chef Alex even volunteered as a guest chef for a fundraiser I organized - he only charged us for the food.

          -Victoria Bennett



Bridgewater cheese

All the other cheeses (ha!)

Bread, esp. baguettes & the cranberry-pecan & bostoks

The coffee-place serves cubano which impressed my hubby

All the people who work there seem super nice and really engaged in life, which is awesome. This makes it really enjoyable for me to shop there. (Usu. the creamery/bakehouse/coffeeroasters, not the shop in Kerrytown. That one's too crowded most of the time for me to find enjoyable.)

The theme meals at the Roadhouse. We went to the Irish one. It was wonderful.

Giving back to the community.

Don't love:

I'm not a sandwich fan so I don't choose to go to the deli much

I'm not a fan of the types of soups they usually make; I wish they made other kinds because soup is one of my favorite things & they'd do a fantastic job!

I'm not a fan of the American food on the Roadhouse menu so I tend not to go there either, though the one time I did it was good if spendy. (The things on my "love" list may be spendy too, in others' view; I find them worth it to me.)

          - Suzie Heiney

I really like it. I don't go there often but I can't say I go anywhere very often. I like to take some tomatoes from the garden, a garlic clove and some basil and then get a little jambon serrano, a baguette and I ask them for a little olive oil. We also order a ball of fresh mozzarella and put it on the sandwich with the garlic, basil, jambon serrano, olive oil and tomato (preferably a romano). Then we can go and have a picnic somewhere. Peel the garlic, rub on the baguette, drizzle on the olive oil and add slices of jambon, tomato and basil.

Just like Spain!

They really give a lot back to the community. They buy from local farmers, when possible. They donate frequently to various groups, etc. etc. etc. I'll admit, when I started going there in '84 or '83? it wasn't as expensive but I still love it and have regular cravings for #13 - Sherman's Sure Choice.

          - Jennifer Kangas

We've eaten at Zingerman's Roadhouse several times and loved it! Everything we've eaten has been delicious; for carnivore and vegetarian, appetizer lover, beer taster, wine with everything person, and desert lover, it has something you will come back for as often as you can. But it is pricey, very pricey, for some things, even though it ends up being worth the cost.

          - Christine Lord

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