Monday, June 7, 2010

Field Report: Ann Arbor, MI

Zingerman's Deli is a pretty famous spot. And the breadth of the menu is just fantastic. Ann Arbor is also a fantastic college town. Talk about variety as far as food along the main drag. The only thing I couldn't figure out was why were all the football players practicing so much when I drove by the field house....?

Zingerman's has tons of breads, baked goods, cheeses, and deli items.... But, I've struggled with this place for a bit. I mean, the sandwiches, they're great. The breads are great, the meats and cheeses are fantastic. But, man, they're expensive. I thought a reuben at Shapiro's at $10.50 or whatever was bad.

On this stop at Zingerman's, I got a sandwich with Montreal smoked meat. It is like corned beef, but... better. It is a cured brisket, but different spices. With the Better Half being Canadian, I first had some Montreal smoked meat up in Montreal when we were there for the final immigration interview. Anyhow, we went to this places, Schwartz's, and it was a huge hit. Great sandwiches, great local chain.

Zingerman's does several different things with their meats, and, hey, they offer 3 versions of brisket! Hot American brisket, corned beef, and Montreal smoked meat. Can't go wrong with there. I had Stan's Canadian Hotfoot. The dijon mustard and the green chilies were a great complement to the meat.

So, here is my struggle with Zingerman's. It's really expensive. Yeah, I was on expense account, but... $13.50 for a sandwich (or, $2 more for more meat)? Yeah, it comes with a choice of their home made pickles, but.... that's a big outlay for a sandwich. I did pick up a fantastic small rhubarb pie to take home, but... still, the price is eventually a detriment.

The verdict: 2.5 belly rubs (out of 5). Yes, very tasty. Fantastic menu. But, not a good value at all. But, if you are okay with paying $15 for a sandwich, you are in for a treat, and will have a hard time picking a single sandwich.


Inorganic Foodie said...

Agree that Zingerman's is overpriced. Certainly, it's a venerable Ann Arbor institution, but for those prices, you'd expect them to go KFC Double Down style. Can you imagine all that corned beef or pastrami piled high between two slabs of fried chicken breast with cheese and a fried egg to top it off??

Inorganic Foodie said...

On the subject of the Double Down, I tried it for the first time last week. Even though it's from a chain, the concept is so over-the-top American and liberating that I'm using this weak segue to post some first impressions. Maybe I got a positive outlier, but the quality and thickness of the 'buns' was simply impressive - probably between 3/8" to 1/2" thick steaming, juicy white chicken breasts on top & bottom. If they were always like that, I would take either the crown or the heel of a Double Down over the centerpiece in a Chick-Fil-A sandwich - not even close. Unfortunately, the 'meat', which consisted of 2 slices of cheese, bacon and some unknown mayo-based sauce couldn't live up to the packaging (what can?). It actually made for a bit of protein overload; I would have preferred simply a piece of lettuce and a light shot of mayo and mustard. In fact, I think it would be pretty good with their coleslaw as the 'meat'. The Vegetarian Double Down - the possibilities are endless ("Yes, doc, I've been restricting myself to vegan sandwiches for lunch"). Add a scoop of mashed potatoes and gravy, and voila, you've got a spork-free version of the family meal deal. Man, I could even do just a PB&J for lunch as long as it's Doubled Down.

Inorganic Foodie said...

Did you see this? Not a fan of Tate, but this is a stupid jock crime I can almost rationalize. You really need to run something on the edible toroids. Next time you come up through central Michigan, you must stop in Clare at this place called Cops and Donuts run by the Clare city police. Get a t-shirt and a cream filled long john.

Indy Grub Review said...

I think you might want some quotation marks around that vegetarian double down, but... mmmm.... the possibilities are endless.... and, worthy of awe and wonder......