Service at Zingerman's has a style all its own, part culinary evangelist, part student activist, part deli counterman. Servers are clad in Zingerman's T-shirts and attentive to a T. You'll rarely hear one say, "I'll have to ask."
And then, of course, there are the baked goods. Among the three reviewed establishments, Zingerman's own crusty, coarsely cut bread and simple desserts take the cake. The brunch-time pastry basket is to die for. Add a cup or two of their superior coffee...that's a meal!
All three are worthy establishments, so how does one choose? Gandy Dancer puts the "special" in "special occasion" and delivers the most formal and luxurious experience, all while doing justice to the main ingredient. Real Seafood Company, true to its name, is all about the fish (sometimes the whole fish), and little else but the fish. Zingerman's Roadhouse is in that uniquely Zingerman's place, offering far more than fish, a bit of adventure, and its famously full flavors. All three belong on any seafood lover's list. In the end, the choice may come down to your mealtime mood.
Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 4:30-10 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Appetizers $9-$14, soups and salads $5-$8.50, sandwiches and entree salads $8.99-$15.99, entrees $12.50-$49.94, desserts $5.95-$7.95, Sunday brunch $21.95 ($9.95 for children ages 2-10)