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One-Day-Only Dishes at the Roadhouse

A bowl full of golden fried cheese curds.

Our not-so-secret weekday specials

A trifecta of tasty treasures awaits you at the Roadhouse! These three exclusive weekday specials are all designed to tantalize your taste buds and keep you coming back for more. From the fiery flavors of Nashville Hot Chicken to the indulgent satisfaction of Fried Cheese Curds and the classic comfort of Fish & Chips, the middle of the week brings new culinary adventures. Dive into the essence of traditionally made cuisine brought to you right here in Ann Arbor, where every dish tells a story and every bite is a journey worth savoring.

Tuesday: Nashville Hot Chicken

You don’t have to look at our menu for long to spot regional specialties from Wisconsin cheese curds to New Mexico green chilies, and more. As Ari has said, “One of the things that we’ve had the most fun doing … is to bring some of this country’s little culinary “secrets” and bring them to Ann Arbor where everyone gets to eat and enjoy.” On Tuesday nights, that list includes Nashville Hot Fried Chicken.

This spicy Southern classic starts by brining boneless Amish chicken thighs for 24 hours with a flavorful dry rub that includes cayenne, paprika, garlic, and herbs. Then it’s dunked in a buttermilk batter, deep fried, and then finished with a dip in a spiced oil. We serve our Nashville Hot Chicken on slices of Bakehouse White from Zingerman’s Bakehouse—made with milk and a little butter, it’s pillowy soft and has a whole lot more flavor than other versions you may have had—with Topor’s pickles and a shot of buttermilk from Calder Dairy of Carleton, Michigan. 

Longtime Roadhouse manager Marcy Harris says it will light your taste buds on fire, adding, “With Chef Bob’s recipe, every bite has a lingering intensity that unfolds into flame, allowing the flavors to develop on the palate first.” It’s a customer favorite, too, but you don’t have to just take our word for it. When Darrin Klapprodt of Biker Dude Burgers visited the Roadhouse to try our Hot Chicken, he declared it “amazing,” adding, “The meat itself is perfectly seasoned and juicy, the crunch and flavor on their crust are outrageous and the slow building burn of heat is so addicting!” Serious hot chicken fans can show their love for this Tuesday night special by sporting a Nashville Hot Fried Chicken t-shirt!

Wednesday: Fried Cheese Curds 

We get cheese curds from the Widmer family, third-generation cheesemakers in the town of Theresa, Wisconsin. As Ari explains, cheese curds are basically “bits of young, unfinished cheddar, cut or broken into pieces about the size of a large crouton.” We take those tasty nuggets and coat them in a batter made with Wolverine Brewing Company P.U.B. Lager (brewed just up the road from the Roadhouse, exclusively for us!) deep fry ‘em until they’re golden brown, and serve the Fried Cheese Curds with roasted green chile ranch dressing. We can’t argue with Ari’s pronouncement: “If you want to get a taste of well-made, traditional, regionally-based American food, definitely give ’em a try.”

Of course, if you find yourself craving cheese curds on another day of the week, the Widmer’s curds appear (in non-fried form) on the Poutine. (Poutine-lovers tip: you’ll find a mini version on our Happy Hour menu!)

Thursday: Fish & Chips

We serve up Fish & Chips every Thursday (and on Fridays during Lent, too!). This staff and customer favorite is often associated with the UK—and rightly so, it’s Britain’s national dish!—but its actual origins might surprise you. Marcy explains:

Fried fish can actually be traced back to Western Sephardic Jews, who settled in England in the 17th century and prepared fish coated in flour. The inspiration for this recipe was most likely pescado frito, a floured and fried fish that was coveted in Spain and throughout the Mediterranean. The Andalusian Jews in Spain enjoyed the fish on Shabbat in the 16th century. Once the culinary phenomenon of battering and deep frying fish coincided with that of fried potatoes, the resulting trend took off all over the UK. But the first known fish and chip shop, or “chipper,” to open in London in 1860 advertised fish made in the “Jewish fashion.” Before long, the paper-wrapped goodness could be found all over Britain.

And now it’s nearly as popular stateside, too. Here at the Roadhouse, we make ours with fresh Maine pollack from Foley’s—its firm white flesh that stands up well to our full-flavored beer batter featuring P.U.B. Lager from Wolverine State Brewing Company. It’s exclusively made just for us and fries up golden and crispy (but you can also get a pint to enjoy with your fish!). Every order is served with our twice-cooked French fries, mustard coleslaw, and housemade tartar sauce, plus lemon wedges and some malt vinegar.

Sometimes nothing else will do except for that flaky tender fish, wrapped up in a light, steamy shell, drizzled with lemon or malt vinegar. Our malt vinegar comes from Cornwall, England, and Ari explains what makes it so special:

The vinegar is a revelation. Although nearly all modern malt vinegar is of industrial origin (certainly the name brand that nearly every restaurant in the U.S. uses), there’s no reason it needs to be. This terrifically tasty alternative comes from the aptly titled Artisan Malt Vinegar Company. While most vinegars have fruit wines—grapes, apples, etc.—as their base, this one has only malt. They make it from a range of artisan malts that have rich, nutty, even chocolatey flavors. The new vinegar then goes into oak barrels where its conversation with the wood leaves all involved richer for the connection. Conversion is old school, naturally by exposure to air and acetobacters over the course of many months. The result is, as per our long-standing definition of quality, traditional and far more full-flavored.

The middle of the week has never looked, or tasted, so good! So gather up your favorite fellow food lovers and get ready to take your tastebuds on a trip with these one-day-only specials. We’ll save a seat for you!