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Ann Arbor, MI - Zingerman's


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This punter shows up in Ann Arbor, visiting friends, and was initially scoffing up anything and everything IHOP could offer, being the good foreigner enamoured with diner style eating that I am.

Then came Zingerman's...

Apparently the President ate here. Tony Bourdain also ate here.

It's good.

They purport to be purveyors of good American food, with a bbq oven out front, and oyster shells strewn liberally amongst the snow covered planters. The menu looked great, being a daily-printed affair. It looked like a diner or more to the point, a roadhouse, and it felt warm and wholesome.

As a non-beefeater, my entree selections were either chicken or pork, and the bbq pork sandwich with a south carolina vinegar sauce was a no-brainer. For appetizers we had a selection of Malpeque oysters, Hudson Valley foie gras, sweet potato fries (which went well with the horseradish jacked cocktail sauce) and some paddlefish caviar served on crip toast with sour cream.

Everything sounded too good to be true, with detailed recitations from our server, Marcus, and the appetite was suitably prepped. A whiskey/rum cocktail to begin with, and the ride began.

The oysters couldn't do much wrong, and the caviar was suitably briny and minerally, which made for the perfect duo. The foie was a little disappointing, being paired with a mushroom roulade of sorts and rice. It really needed some sweetness and acid to lift the rich unctuousness of the just seared goodness (some sea salt flakes would have been great, failing which table salt worked just fine).

Soups were wholesome and hearty, with chunks of potatoes and strings of leek doing battle with the creamy chicken broth.

One shall return for breakfast and lunch this week to make some headway into the various plates involving smoked bacon and perhaps a little fish.

A genuine surprise for a jaded diner.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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