Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Review by: Michael Stern
Zingerman’s began as a small deli and has become a culinary empire that includes a bustling mail order business, a creamery, a bake house, a coffee shop, and a full-service Zingerman’s Roadhouse. While not every such achievement proves the adage that they must be doing something right, I would say that Zingerman’s deserves success for the unbelievable number of things it does not just right, but fantastically well.
There is no point to enumerate them all, but foremost on any short list of the deli’s wonders are sandwiches made with top-notch ingredients (Nueske’s bacon, Amish free-range chicken, Niman Ranch pastrami, Michigan-grown vegetables, Italian salami, Arkansas ham, smoked salmon from Maine, et cetera). They are constructed on slices of what may be the best bread in the Midwest – world-class baguettes, ryes, rolls, sourdoughs, chile-cheddar, pecan raisin, and challah. I won’t even get into such peripheral (NOT) items as pickles, olive tapenade, smoked fish salads, an amazing selection of cheeses, including the best pimiento cheese north of Paducah.
Getting food can be a little confusing to a first timer. You enter the shockingly small deli, which is primarily a retail operation selling meats, breads, cheeses, etc., and browse the menu posted all over the wall. While you are figuring out what you want and probably getting hypnotized by the beautiful foodstuffs on display, a server will approach to take your order and your name. You are given a check that you take to a register and pay. Find a seat and in a while your food will be brought to you. Unlike the classic New York deli staff, people who work here are friendly, helpful, and patient; and they are full of recommendations if you can’t decide between, say halloumi and muenster cheese.
Yes, Zingerman’s is more expensive than an average sandwich shop. A full-size smoked meat sandwich won’t leave you much change from a $20 bill. But what you get is far superior to, and considerably bigger than, any average sandwich.
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|