This one’s on the menu at the Roadhouse so, although I’ve been making it at home, you could actually just go in there and order it for dinner as well. Either way, the dish starts with potlikker—the broth from the long cooking of greens (collards or whatever you’re using) with bacon. I buy mine from the Roadhouse but you can easily make your own by doing some long simmering at home. Take the greens out and serve them for dinner—save the potlikker for whatever you like. In the moment, we’ll say for this very fine fish stew.
I cook a lot of fish, a) because I like it and b) when one starts with superior seafood, it’s simple and easy and a really great way to make a pretty special meal without spending more than a few minutes cooking. So, with that in mind, fresh fish is what I have for dinner two, three, four times a week. While my childhood fish fascination has stayed strong, I’ve expanded my range of favorites a lot. Lake fish is great, but there are oceans full of other options that my family never really accessed. The main characters in my fish cooking these days are mackerel and bluefish, with a recent big role for branzino (really great stuff from the Mediterranean if you haven’t yet had it). Sometimes though I cook trout, char, whitefish, hake, cod or catfish. I’m big on good scallops, oysters, and clams as well. And when I don’t go with fresh, I’m often enjoying really good tinned stuff—tuna, sardines, and anchovies.
by Claire Seelig, Roadhouse Regular & 10-year-old Oyster Enthusiast
The first time I tried an oyster I was probably about 7 years old. I was with my brother, Ethan and my mom at the Roadhouse. My brother had already had an oyster before and liked it. He was probably about 4 at the time. When he had them the first time, I was a little nervous to try them, so I didn’t. But I thought, as we were leaving, if a 4 year old can eat one, so can I. The next time we came here, my brother ordered some oysters and I asked him if I could have one. He said he would give me one but only one. I was nervous and excited at the same time.
This has been a steady core menu dish at the Roadhouse since we opened. It’s been on my mind this fall for two reasons. First off, I’ve had a steady stream of really positive customer comments about it of late. The second reason it’s on my mind this holiday season is because Uncle Joe Burroughs passed away this summer.
I’m not sure where to start this story so I’ll just begin it with the opening of the Roadhouse in the fall of ’03 since that’s the first time we served catfish here at Zingerman’s. It’s a classic American dish so it makes sense that we’d put it on the menu and it was pretty popular right off the bat. That said, we knew too that it could be better, so I started asking around about it.
If the lobster roll is the “king of clam shack offerings” then I’d have to assume that a fried clam sandwich must be the queen. I’ll just have to ask Jasper for his take on the royal rankings but when I talk to him next. But in the mean time, let’s just say that freshly fried clams are worth clamoring for. Whether on a plate with a few wedges of lemon and cocktail sauce, or better still (being the sandwich lover that I am) in the form of a clam roll.
Dine with us
Celebrating a special occasion with us? The Roadhouse can order a cake for you from Zingerman’s Bakehouse with 48 hours notice! Just give us a call at 734.663.3663. If you plan on bringing your own dessert, we do charge a dessert fee of $2.00 per person. For private parties, contact our Events Team.
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2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48103