Monthly Archives: April 2012

Zingerman’s Deli

For one last Ann Arbor dinner before I left for Chicago, my friend Jessica let me pick anywhere to eat in Ann Arbor.  I didn’t really want to go to Main Street… too expensive.  Jessica and my roommate Jill aren’t really the biggest meat eaters either, so I wanted somewhere with a bigger variety.  I also wanted something “special”.  Then it hit me… Zingerman’s Deli.  Zingerman’s is the total Ann Arbor experience and is known around the country.  Even though I went to school at Michigan, I didn’t really know about Zingerman’s until Oprah named the Lisa C’s Boisterous Brisket one of the best sandwiches in America.  If there’s a celebrity in town?  They’ll be seen at Zingerman’s.

Walking into Zingerman’s is awesome because it immediately smells like a deli. There are tons of cheeses and other deli foods like olives and smoked trout that they’ll let you try.  The menu is broken up into sandwiches with corned beef, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, beef, pastrami, or vegetarian, so it’s easy to have a starting point to work with since their menu is so huge.

While you wait for your food to be delivered to you, you can go into the Zingerman’s creamery next door to fill up your soda… I’m not sure if this is new, but they were all old school sodas from Boylan!  You can get different flavors of soda like cream, black cherry, orange, and root beer.  The creamery also has its famous gelato. I’ve never tried it because I’m always spending enough on my sandwich, but they look delicious!  I’ve heard good things about the ginger flavor.

I got the #23, Mary’s Commute, which is chicken salad with bacon on challah bread.  I really like the bread – it’s almost a little buttery and it’s easy to eat (I hate breads that are extremely hard and almost break your teeth).  And I love the bacon in this!  It’s thick and I even saved a little bit of it to eat by itself when I was done with my sandwich.  All the sandwiches come with a pickle, either traditional (more garlicky) or new (more cucumbery).  I’m not a pickle fan so I gave mine away, but I think the consensus is that the traditional one is definitely better.

Max and Jessica both got a #77, Jimmy Wants Rosemary’s Baby, which is ham, fresh mozzarella, and tomato.  I talked to Max about it the next day and he said it was good, but it was kind of a lot of mozzarella and not enough meat.

Jill got a Peter’s Peppered Pick, which is a BLT + turkey + ranch dressing.

The bad thing about Zingerman’s, and all of the Zingerman’s businesses, is that it is so expensive.  My sandwich + drink was $16.42 and I didn’t even get any leftovers to take home.  Once, I won a $50 gift certificate to Zingerman’s, and it lasted me one sandwich at the deli and one meal at the Roadhouse.  It’s also little more off campus than other places to eat, so that plus the cost makes coming to Zingerman’s a special occasion.  But everyone should visit at least once… it is definitely the #1 food related thing to do if you’re ever in Ann Arbor.

Blue Tractor BBQ

I didn’t really know where to bring my parents for the one dinner they’d be in Ann Arbor for, so I just decided to bring them to Main Street to let them pick out something.  We parked right in front of the Jolly Pumpkin near Main & E William and I started pointing out things – Italian (Palio, Gratzi), Chinese (Middle Kingdom), seafood (Real Seafood Company), Indian (Shalimar), stir-fry (Mongolian BBQ), brewery food (Grizzly Peak, Jolly Pumpkin), and on and on.  My dad finally decided that he wanted barbeque, so we headed up to the Blue Tractor on Washington St.

I’ve only been to the Blue Tractor once before with my old roommates, and after we were done, one of them said, “Why haven’t we been going here all the time!?” After that, he’s been to the Blue Tractor with his family a lot and, on separate occasions, saw Tim Hardaway Sr. and had a beer with Shane Battier!

My dad decided to get the pulled pork sandwich, while I got the pulled pork sliders and a basket of fries.  My plate was huge!  I was expecting 5 tiny little burgers, but each one was a pretty decent size; I also got a big helping of fries.  I’m not the biggest french fry eater, but these fries were really good.  The pulled pork was a little bit dry, but this was remedied by the barbeque sauces that came with the meal.  They came in four different varieties, described as vinegar BBQ, smoky and sweet, tomato BBQ, and mustard BBQ.  My favorite was definitely the smoky and sweet!  In addition to the taste, a big reason I thought this meal was great was because of the price.  $10 for this whole basket!

My mom got a half rack of baby back ribs and upgraded her fries to sweet potato fries for an extra dollar.  She really liked the sweet potato fries!

The one bad – and really bad – thing about this place was the service.  I think the bartender was the only one taking care of the bar AND a large number of tables.  Getting our food took a long time and it took forever to pay.  So I wouldn’t go here if you’re in a rush… but it’s a great place to get your barbeque fix without breaking the bank!