Roadie Nancy Leat Talks Pimento Cheese

It really is the best pimento cheese. Ever.

By Nancy Leat

Roadhouse server Nancy Leat, holding the Ari's Pimento Cheese appetizer.

I was chatting with my friend Marcy (the Roadhouse marketing manager) the other day, and we were talking about food (no surprise there). The topic turned to Ari’s Pimento Cheese and how much we L-O-V-E it!

Marcy said I should write about it and I thought, “How do you write about a food that has been a staple of Zingerman’s Roadhouse from the beginning, and say something that hasn’t been said before?!!”

She said I should try, so here goes!

It was love at first bite.

I don’t consider myself a foodie, per say, mostly because I gravitate towards good, simple fresh food. (Lucky for me, I work in a hub of such yummy things, Zingermans Roadhouse.) I should also state that Ari’s Pimento Cheese is the only pimento cheese I have ever had. So I’m not judging, I’m just sharing my point of view.

My first experience with Ari’s Pimento Cheese was during my server training with the lovely Ashini Harris. Six years on, I still am reminded of her great training, and I think of her often and smile. One day, as I was following her on a training shift, a table ordered the pimento cheese appetizer. When I first saw it, I thought, “Yes please!”.

I didn’t recognize the celery, because I had never seen celery sliced diagonally before (the culinary term is “cut on a bias”). I asked Ashini if it was aloe or cactus. She looked a bit horrified, probably wondering how I made it through life ever seeing celery, and told me what it was.

That being explained, she offered me a taste and WOWZA! Creamy, sharp, with just a kick of cayenne–I was hooked. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of my pimento cheese adventure!

My favorite way to eat Ari’s Pimento Cheese. What’s yours?

A short time later, I got to taste Ari’s Pimento Cheese in an omelette. With 5 eggs, free-range and delicious, and myriad combinations of ingredients, the Roadhouse makes an omelette that will take you through your day like a champ! So when I tried it with with Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon, New Mexico green chilies, and fresh tomatoes? Mind. Blown. Even better with a fresh baked biscuit and breakfast potatoes crisped to perfection.

It’s amazing on its own, yet there are so many ways to enjoy the cheese with other things on our menu. Melted pimento cheese is liquid love for your hungry soul. Add it to a burger, over your corned beef hash, or make a grilled cheese out of it. The taste blooms and the Vermont Cabot cheddar cheese just seems to highlight and compliment the other ingredients. As you eat it, you really do feel your tummy smile with satisfaction and happiness.

But that really is just the beginning…..

What will you have with our pimento cheese?