Sandwich of the Month: November

History has proven that some of the coolest people in life come in pairs. Sonny & Cher. Ben & Jerry. Snooki & Jwoww. Brutus and, what was that guy’s name?  Oh yeah, Caesar.

Wait. What the hell does this have to do with anything?!

That little anecdote up there leads us to our next greatest discovery at Zingerman’s Delicatessen: Luis’ Rey Del Pollo. Thank you, Sir Julius, for inspiring someone out there to create this magical dressing.

Photo courtesy of Zingerman's website

Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s website

Grilled chicken breast, caesar dressing, grana cheese,
chopped lettuce on grilled foccacia bread.

Luis’  Rey Del Pollo is Zingermans’ November Sandwich of the Month and you only have a few more days to indulge! This sandwich was inspired by an old standby that’s no longer on the menu (#86 Kathy saves the day), however, I guarantee after one bite Zing fans will be begging for a permanent comeback.

Enough with the history lesson. Let’s get to the good stuff.

Zingerman’s focaccia is one of five aspects that makes this sandwich so special. It’s a unique choice because it is not featured on any other sandwich, yet it works perfectly here. The bread is surprisingly thick, but with a fluffy consistency, the top brushed with herbs and a buttery finish.

Second, the cheese. Grana, where have you been all our lives? This shredded cheese was some of the best I have ever tasted. It had the flavor of parmesan with an intense bite. The cheese melted, literally melted, into the focaccia alongside the third best aspect of the sandwich…

The caesar dressing. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on chicken ceasar wraps as they were, once a week, a welcome surprise in my middle school lunch bag. While the caesar here brought me back to the nostalgia of cafeteria days, it made me realize that caesar dressing can taste that much better.

Fourth, the chicken. Thankfully the sandwiches of the month don’t officially count under the TdZ bucket list and ranking system, otherwise we might see some intense competition with Thad’s “Yes I Can!” No other meat would have done Luis’ justice. Perfectly sliced and served warm, the chicken soaked up all of caesar’s glory.

And finally, who can ignore the lettuce, the fifth and still very important aspect of Luis’ Rey Del Pollo. Never would I expect to say  “thank God for lettuce” on Tour de Zing. I mean, c’mon, lettuce? Such a minor performer in this greek play. But the lettuce here is no understudy. It provides a much need crunch and balances the intensity of the caesar flavor. Without it, this performance could have turned into a major Greek tragedy.

Well, sandwich lovers, less than two weeks to get your caesar on. Ready, set…

Clear eyes, full stomachs, can’t lose,

The TdZ Team

CHEESE.

THE CHEESE.

Mid-Blog Crisis

Readers: we are at a standstill. There’s only one turkey left to try. Almost all of the chickens have been crossed off. God only knows when we’ll be done with the beef. Should we skip right to the matzoh ball soup already?!

You could say that Tour de Zing is in full sandwich swing. All hail the holy bucket list [Amen].

In the midst of our post midterms bombardment of studying, the gang got together for yet another pivotal tasting of Zingerman’s hidden gems. With Ashley’s brother in town, we knew we had to impress him with our ordering finesse and expertise. Sixty bite-sized pieces of farmhouse bread and truffle oil later, I’d say we nailed it. Did I mention they were sampling magic brownies and pecan bread? And a happy Friday to all!

Trip 4: Friday 11/08/13

Jessie: Charlie M’s Tuna – Homemade tuna salad (made with mayo, chopped red onion, celery, sea salt, black pepper & lemon juice) & Vermont cheddar on grilled rye bread. I know how I picture my tuna melts. Said cheese melts atop the creamy tuna and crunchy bread accompaniment, the warm cheese contrasting with the crisp tuna and bread. While Zingerman’s ingredients certainly deliver in quality, we can’t say that they worked in perfect harmony. The cheese was hardly melted and the tuna was a bit mayo-y for our tastes. For those of you who don’t prefer tuna melts open-faced, however, this may be perfect for you.

TdZ Rating: 7/10. Would we order again? Surely

TdZ Rating: 6.5/10. Would we order again? Surely

Jen: Gregg’s Master Recipe – Beef brisket, grilled onions & green peppers with melted provolone cheese on a soft Bakehouse bun. We know what you’re thinking. This is Zingerman’s version of a Philly cheese steak, right? Well, sort of. Think of it as a fancier version of your typically greasy hoagie. Similar to Reina’s On A Roll, the main problem for us was the bakehouse hoagie. The bun was too dry and, because there was no sauce, we felt a bit choked up by the cheese and meat. A meltier sauce (does the consistency of queso work for anyone out there? Bueller?) may have done the job. Nevertheless, you can’t argue that the sandwich was good. It just doesn’t scream “classic Zingerman’s” like, say, Binny’s Brooklyn Reuben.

TdZ Rating: 7.5/10. Would we order again? Possibly

TdZ Rating: 7/10. Would we order again? Possibly

Karly: JJ’s Pastrami Special  Zingerman’s pastrami, Switzerland Swiss cheese & oven-roasted onions on grilled Jewish rye bread. Zingerman’s pastrami is a force to be reckoned with. If we had to eat this plain, we’d happily oblige. Oh yes, it is that good. But once you’ve experienced the greatness of pastrami combined with sauerkraut, russian dressing and pumpernickel bread, it’s hard to imagine any other combination tasting better. No doubt that the onions here added a nice crunch and bite. We would have definitely preferred a slathering of yellow or spicy mustard to give it that added edge.

TdZ Rating: 7.5/10. Would we order again? Not over Binny's

TdZ Rating: 6.5/10. Would we order again? Not over Binny’s

Lizzy: The Extra Special – Maine smoked salmon & Zingerman’s smoked whitefish salad, scallion cream cheese, tomato & red onion on a toasted sesame bagel. It must be noted that Lizzy chose to order the extra special on her favorite bread, challah. While she couldn’t wait to sink her teeth into it, she admits she would have preferred it on a bagel. The challah simply did not deliver on the crunch level and a bagel would have given it a much-needed salty tang. Plus, the whitefish and lox weren’t in sync here – maybe a little more lox would have made it extra special. Moral of the story: when in doubt, don’t swap the bread. Zingerman’s has it paired like this for a reason (they’re the real sandwich masters, we’re just hopeful wannabes).

TdZ Rating: 8/10. Would we order again? Yes

TdZ Rating: 6.5/10. Would we order again? Yes

Lauren: Gemini Rocks The House – Zingerman’s own handmade fresh mozzarella, tomatoes & Italian pesto on grilled farm bread. Let us start by saying Lauren was absolutely ecstatic once we, as a group, decided to include the vegetarian sandwiches on Tour de Zing. Although she once had this sandwich Freshman year, she decided to give it another try as a more mature, experienced Senior. She could not stop plotzing over the mozzarella. And the PESTO! Oh, and the bread! Absolutely fantastic! Best sandwich EVER!!!!

TdZ Rating: 9.5/10. Would we order again? Yes

TdZ Rating: 9/10. Would we order again? Yes

Amanda: Leo’s Friendly Lion – Fresh avocado spread, spicy fire-roasted New Mexico green chiles, Wisconsin muenster cheese & tomato on grilled farm bread. Look similar to you? This sandwich is the tarbs for vegetarians. Amanda, who is known to keep a turkey in her bed because she is uncomfortably obsessed with this deli meat, was clearly disappointed that her favorite meat/companion/friend was excluded between the bread. However, taking one for the team to go “halvsies” with our veggie-lover Lauren, she agreed to go for Leo’s. Being ever-so spice cautious, Amanda and Lauren decided to play it safe and order the green chiles on the side. Duly noted considering Ashley’s face almost blew up in flames after one bite of Stan’s Canadian Hotfoot. Melissa decided to give it a go and try the pepper solo. As expected, she was barely fazed. Note to readers: if you think you have what it takes, don’t wimp out and order the sandwich as is.

TdZ Rating: 8.5/10. Would we order again? If you are a vegetarian, yes

TdZ Rating: 7.5/10. Would we order again? If you are a vegetarian, yes

Overall, this was a solid week for #tourdezing. We do note with sadness that Zingerman’s is not the time nor place for placing your order in ahead of time. Melty cheese and piping hot bread are simply not feasible when your sandwich has been waiting patiently for 20 minutes to be eaten. Hello forty minute line, you are most definitely worth it.

Be sure to look out for our next post featuring November’s Sandwich of the Month: Zingerman’s take on a chicken caesar sandwich on fresh-baked focaccia! Stay hungry, sandwich lovers.

Clear eyes, full stomachs, can’t lose,

The TdZ Team

Ode to Pimento Cheese

For our first guest post, we enlisted the help of our friend and fellow deli aficionado, Matt Slovin. Matt, who is a Managing Editor at The Michigan Daily, knows that there’s nothing like a sandwich from the Deli to keep you full during late nights working at the paper. He, like many of us at Tour de Zing, ranks the TNT Cowboy Reuben as one of his top picks. But Matt is also no stranger to the plethora of side dishes offered behind the counter. His passion for pimento cheese paired with fresh pretzel rolls, well, you’ll have to read for yourself…

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Michigan in the fall is nothing like Georgia in the spring. And yet, Zingerman’s best-kept secret is the link that bonds the two, bringing a taste of The Masters to the mitten. No, not the Georgia Reuben, which my Tour de Zing friends have dissected in an earlier post, but rather the creamy, salty, spicy pimento cheese that can be found in the creamery case at the front of the deli.

It’s easy to pass over the pimento cheese spread, which seems out of place — a southern tradition that has somehow, thankfully, escaped to the north. I first discovered it while dining at the Roadhouse. There, it comes as an appetizer — a generous serving to be spread on accompanying celery sticks.  But spread it on pretzel rolls from Zingerman’s bakery for a perfect snack during the seemingly never-ending wait for your sandwiches to emerge from the kitchen.

According to Zingerman’s website, “If you’re from the south, you were probably raised on it. If you’re from anywhere else, you’ve probably never heard of it.”

Southerners may scoff at the idea of a restaurant in Michigan offering its take on their traditional side dish. But Zingerman’s deserves much praise for introducing those north of the Mason-Dixon Line to this versatile spread, which is as good on bread as it is as a veggie dip.

-Matt Slovin

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get to Zingerman’s of course!!!!

We know the suspense has been killing you. It’s been two whole weeks since a fresh post. Midterms have come and gone, back to back Vegas and Indiana weekends have destroyed our livers, and in the process our sense of humor has gotten pretty bad (re: joke above).

Well, we wanted to keep the suspense brewing for a sandwich-packed entry including our very first pick for best sandwich (only in the chicken category, folks. What did you think – that TdZ was over?!)

With all of the visitors in town for last week’s epic Indiana game, we knew we still had to maintain our responsibility to the blog. Yes, it is important for the visitors to experience the glory of the classics. But it was our duty to go above and beyond and show our out-of-towners that Zingerman’s has hella more to offer beyond Tarbs.

Still curious about that chicken? Offended by our horrible jokes? Too bad. You’ll have to read on to find out.

Trip 3: Thursday 10/17/13

Mel : 57 Nic’s Opportunity – Zingerman’s handmade fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced pepperoni, oven-dried tomato spread, oregano, & balsamic vinaigrette on grilled Sicilian sesame semolina. Of all the sandwiches we’ve tried so far, this one brings us back to the good ol’ days of grilled cheese and mozzarella sticks – minus the grease. There was an abundance of flavor between the tomato spread and pepperoni and we fell in love with the sesame semolina. Think of it as a Challah 2.0 with all the softness plus a much needed crunch. Definitely not your typical deli sandwich but we loved it all the while.

TdZ Rating: 8/10. Would she order again? Yes

Tour de Zing Rating: 8/10. Would we order again? Yes

Karly: 43 S. Muno’s Montreal Reuben – Hot Montréal smoked meat, Switzerland Swiss cheese, Brinery sauerkraut & Russian dressing on grilled rye bread. We hate to say it, but this sandwich was missing something. Meat? Check. Cheese? Yup. Kraut and Russian? It’s all there. Something about the combination of the montréal meat with the traditional reuben fixings didn’t work as well as our other favorite reubens. Sadly, we will admit that it fell a bit flat. Good thing we have plenty of other reubens to resort to (sandwich rebound? We’ll take it).

TdZ Rating: 6.5/10. Would we order again? Not over Binny's!

Tour de Zing Rating: 6.5/10. Would we order again? Not over Binny’s!

Ashley – 7. Kelly’s Ménage à Turkey – Smoked turkey breast, Zingerman’s Creamery Manchester cheese (our version of a double-cream camembert), oven-roasted onions & Dijon mustard on grilled farm bread. Haters gonna hate, so sandwich lovers are gonna dispute over a fan favorite. Let’s just say no one can argue that the grilled farm bread is a neutral party here. So who are the axis powers and who are the allies to our Switzerland metaphor? We’d have to say the onions and turkey were the good guys, while the Manchester cheese and mustard were too controversial for our own good.

Tour de Zing Rating: 7/10. Would we order again? Sometime in the future.

Tour de Zing Rating: 7/10. Would we order again? Sometime in the future.

Trip 4: Wednesday 10/23/13

To celebrate the end of our exhausting journalism midterm, Jen, Mel and our friends Samantha and Matt basically ran out of North Quad towards the deli. For all of you who still have midterms left: nothing like the thought of bread & oil samples to get you through those multiple choice questions (pick C! It’s always C!)

50 Where is Deveaux, Anyways? Montréal smoked meat, Switzerland Swiss cheese, Russian dressing & homemade coleslaw on Jewish rye bread. The montréal smoked meat struck again and this time we were ready for it. Still, we just can’t put a name to the taste. It has the smokiness of pork, the texture of corned beef, and the brine of pastrami. We’re not scientists here but somehow this hybrid of flavors come together in the form of montréal smoked meat – and we love it. Aside from the meat, our favorite aspect of the sandwich was by far the coleslaw. The slaw perfectly balances the intense flavors of the meat – a compliment not even the finest sauerkraut could provide.

TdZ Rating: 8.5/10. Would we order again? Absolutely.

Tour de Zing Rating: 8.5/10. Would we order again? Absolutely.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The #tdz declared winner for best chicken goes to…

76 Thad’s “Yes I Can!” – Grilled Amish chicken breast, Wisconsin muenster cheese, roasted red pepper sauce & lettuce on grilled sourdough bread. Words will simply not do this sandwich justice. Jen and Mel, who longtime feared chicken as the most lackluster meat, were blown away by Thad’s. The star of the show was hands down the obscure roasted red pepper sauce. The lack of information Zingerman’s provides as to the contents of the sauce makes it even more mysteriously wonderful. While we figured that it is a mayo based sauce, there must be some magical combination of spices that adds to the experience. What could it possibly be? More on that later as we will probably order this sandwich again within the next 3-5 business days.

TdZ Rating: 9.5/10. Would we order again?Immediately

Tour de Zing Rating: 9.5/10. Would we order again?Immediately

“Yes, Thad! Yes we can declare this sandwich best chicken at the deli!”

Clear eyes, full stomachs, can’t lose,

The TdZ Team

#throwbackthursday 18. Georgia Reuben

Here at TdZ, we value tradition. Yes, we look forward to new experiences shaped by adventurous sandwich combinations and intriguing meats (what exactly is Hot Montreal smoked meat?!) But we will always have spots in our hearts for those sandwiches that bring back fond memories of our early Deli days.

We haven’t forgotten about you, classics. Tour de Zing is proud to present our very first in a series of Throwback Thursdays! And the chosen sandwich for our first #tbt is…

The GEORGIA REUBEN!

All-natural, 100% preservative-free turkey breast, Switzerland Swiss cheese, coleslaw & Russian dressing on grilled Jewish rye bread.

*mouth-watering photograph courtesy of Zingerman's website

Mouth-watering photograph courtesy of Zingerman’s website

18 is the same as the corned beef reuben (13) but with turkey. While the corned beef reuben is the traditional choice, we at TdZ love to switch it up with the Georgia. It’s a bit lighter than the corned beef and the coleslaw complements the turkey perfectly.

We will admit, however, that there have been some modifications throughout the years. Mel and Jen have been known to substitute yellow mustard instead of Russian. Thankfully Jen finally got out of her anti-mayo funk and has totally opened up to Russian dressing. The Russian dressing is the cherry on top of this perfectly grilled creation. How about keeping Russian and adding yellow mustard, you ask? That is something no Zingerman’s connoisseur could dispute.

Now, on to the coleslaw. It adds an ideal amount of crunchiness that compliments the grilled rye. While some claim that challah is a more appropriate accompaniment to the Georgia Reuben, the majority agrees that rye is the more natural choice. Save the challah for 27 Pat and Dick’s Honeymooner (more on that later, as an entire post is necessary to share our love for Honey Cup Mustard).

We recommend pairing the Georgia Reuben with any pork, beef, or corned beef sandwich. Any if you’re feeling extra adventurous, we dare you to go halvsies on the Georgia Reuben and the TNT. Because you can never have too many reubens…

Clear eyes, full stomachs, can’t lose,

The TdZ Team

All Roads Lead to the Deli

First off, we are floored by the outpouring of support, jealousy and outright praise we have received from our fans! We are sorry you didn’t think of it first.

Another week gone by, another seven sandwiches crossed off our list. You must be asking yourself: “Are we graduating early or something?! At this rate you’ll be done by December!!” Yes, we are moving at a pretty remarkable pace. But that just gives us more room to explore the cheeses, magic brownies, and plethora of oils & spreads!

*Editor’s note: On Sunday night, do not expect there to be challah. At such high demand, this bread was off the shelves by the time we arrived. Unrelated, there was also a paella party occurring. And if you want to avoid the Disney World-esque lines of Saturday lunching, we recommend heading over on Sunday nights. They practically forced samples down our throat but, hey, we’re not complaining.

Trip 2: Sunday 09/15/2013

Mel: 00 D-$’s Cuban Conundrum – Cuban-style pulled pork, Arkansas peppered ham, Switzerland Swiss cheese, old-fashioned dill pickles, mayo & hot mustard on a grilled paesano roll. As you might recall, Mel is in it for the pickles. But this sandwich was more than just the pickles. Words will never do justice to that first bite. Sauce was everywhere – the combination of mayo, mustard & BBQ sauce was inspiring. People, this is one hell of a spicy & feisty sandwich. Thank god the paesano roll was so neutral. It definitely tamed this sandwich down a notch. Plus, it acted like a baseball glove to the home-run worthy baseball pitch that is the combination of meat, cheese and saucy heaven.

Tour de Zing Rating: 9/10. Would we order again? Yes.

Tour de Zing Rating: 9/10. Would we order again? Yes.

 Jen: 48 Binny’s Brooklyn Reuben – Zingerman’s pastrami (instead of the classic corned beef), real Switzerland Swiss cheese, Brinery sauerkraut & Russian dressing on grilled pumpernickel bread. Word on the street is that this is the best sandwich on the menu. While we cannot yet confirm this rumor as TdZ is still very much underway, this sandwich is definitely tops. Most of us were previous corned beef fans but were pleasantly surprised by how delicious the pastrami was. It really did add a different dimension to the reuben and we loved the peppery taste. Even Jen, who used to substitute coleslaw for kraut, says she wouldn’t have this sandwich any other way. And thank you, pumpernickel bread, for showing us that there’s more to reubens than meets the rye. (punny!!!)

Tour de Zing Rating: 10/10. Would we order again? Self-explanatory

Tour de Zing Rating: 10/10. Would we order again? Self-explanatory

Jessie: 88 Peter’s Peppered Pick – All-natural turkey, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing, Arkansas peppered bacon on grilled farm bread. We know you’re out there, BLT lovers. We found your sandwich. This was a nice take on your classic turkey sandwich. Simply put, bacon and ranch are a perfect combination and Zingerman’s knows it. The farm bread was a nice base and didn’t overwhelm the other flavors, especially the unbelievable turkey. And ever the lactose, Jessie decided to add Vermont cheddar into the mix. We can’t say we’re disappointed.

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Tour de Zing Rating: 8/10. Would we order again? Yes

Karly: 15 Bill’s 2 Over Prime – Hot Brisket, turkey, Vermont cheddar, lettuce, tomato and yellow mustard on challah. Similar to Jessie’s sandwich, we thought this was a classic that could be ordered over and over again. Something about the beef and the turkey seemed like a Zingerman’s take on comfort food. While they were unfortunately out of challah for the night, bakehouse white bread gladly took its place. Karly also ordered it grilled as to not violate thy ten commandments. If you’re a mustard fan, you will like this sandwich.

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Tour de Zing Rating: 7/10. Would we order again? Yes

Tour de Zing Rating: 7/10. Would we order again? Yes

Ashley: 46 Stan’s Canadian Hotfoot – Montréal smoked meat served warm, Switzerland Swiss cheese, hot mustard & New Mexico green chiles on Jewish rye bread. As a friend of our’s dad is the namesake of this sandwich, we were thrilled to see if it lived up to the hype. Adam Richman (of Man vs. Food fame) would consider this sandwich a scorcher. Beware of those green chiles. Ashley’s face said it all: this sandwich is HOT. And while we were all hesitant to try the Montreal smoked meat, we agreed it tasted something like a blend of corned beef and roast beef. Feeling adventurous? Stan’s got you covered.

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Tour de Zing Rating: 7/10. Would we order it again? Yes

Emma: 96 Reina’s on a Roll – Housemade meatballs made with beef & pork, pomodoro sauce & melted provolone on a Bakehouse hoagie. Man, those meatballs. Perfect tenderness and blend of pork and beef that had us wanting more. And that sauce! Simple yet complemented the cheese so well. This leads us to our biggest predicament yet: the Bakehouse hoagie. The bread was, like all Zingerman’s baked goods, delicious. However, it was meek in comparison to the allmighty meatballs. The sauce soaked right through it. We would have called in a hot dog bun to the rescue, or even (shall we say it) a paesano roll.

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Tour de Zing Rating: 6/10. Would we order this again? If you’re not feeling a deli sandwich, yes.

Lauren: 94 Amazing Grace’s Family Shroom – Grilled portobello mushrooms, carrot top spread, fresh cucumber on grilled sourdough bread. The standout is the carrot top spread, hands down. This sandwich tastes like Fall: Thanksgiving, squash, leaves, you know. The cucumber adds a much needed bite.

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Lauren’s Tour de Zing Rating: 9/10. Would she order again? Yes.

Amanda: 73 Tarbs Tenacious Tenure – All-natural turkey breast, fresh avocado spread, Wisconsin muenster cheese, tomato & plenty of Zingerman’s Russian dressing on grilled farm bread. Had to be included in the post as an honorary repeat offender.

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Lizzy: 123 TNT Cowboy Reuben – Hand-pulled, BBQ-sauced beef brisket topped with coleslaw and provolone cheese, served on a grilled paesano roll. Yee-haw! Look out for a post dedicated to this famous sandwich coming soon!

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Thoughts on the next visit: We think we’re moving at a pretty solid pace. Soon we should be able to venture into salads, gefilte fish & even blintzes. Are you a sour cream or blueberry compote kind of blintzer? Stay tuned as #tourdezing continues…

Clear eyes, full stomachs, can’t lose,

The TdZ Team

The Journey Begins

Welcome sandwich lovers! Thanks for joining us as we embark on the most thrilling and delicious ride through the one and only Zingerman’s Deli. It may be dangerously caloric, ridiculously expensive, and incredibly risky, but isn’t this the kind of dumb stuff 20 somethings are meant to do?

There’s no turning back now. You are officially on #tourdezing.

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09/06/2013. Our first trip to the deli as “sandwich connoisseurs” was nerve-racking. What are we going to order? How are we going to attack this massive list? Do we try the pork? Old or new pickle!?!?

This was no ordinary meal time. This time, we meant business.

Our approach to day one was to be strategic. As Jen’s brother was in town for the Notre Dame game, we had quite a crew at the deli. We decided to each get a sandwich from a different category and rotate bites down the line. Here’s how it all went down.

Karly: 28 Randy’s Routine – Zingerman’s smoked whitefish salad, scallion cream cheese & tomato on pumpernickel bread. Although Karly got served the wrong sandwich – 17 Helen’s Have Another –  this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we killed two fish with one stone. The number 17 is actually the same sandwich as 28 but with smoked salmon instead of whitefish. Both sandwiches were good but some of the team thought the fish was overpowered by cream cheese. Still, this is a perfect sandwich for those cream cheese and smoked fish lovers.

Tour de zing rating: 6/10. Would we order again? Maybe for Sunday brunch.

Tour de zing rating: 6/10. Would we order again? Yes, for Sunday brunch.

Jen: 34 Diana’s Different Drummer  Beef brisket served warm, Russian dressing, coleslaw & fresh horseradish on Jewish rye bread. This sandwich was an overall winner, however, Jen wished there was more horseradish. While it can’t hold up to the the holy TNT, it’s still a tasty sandwich.

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Tour de zing rating: 8/10. Would we order again? Yes.

Mel: 74 Dave’s Open Road  Grilled Amish chicken breast, applewood-smoked bacon, Wisconsin muenster cheese, Zingerman’s ranch dressing & lettuce on grilled challah bread. Fresh off the bat: we loved the ranch. None of us usually go for chicken so we were pleasantly surprised with how it tasted. And how could you ever go wrong with bacon? While Mel is partial to crunchier bread, most of the group liked the grilled challah.

Tour de zing rating: 7.5/10. Would we order again? If you're a chicken aficionado - yes!

Tour de zing rating: 7.5/10. Would we order again? If you’re a chicken aficionado – yes!

Emma:  204 Jen’s Pimento Party  Pimento cheese (Southern cheese spread with Vermont cheddar, mayo & pimentos), Arkansas peppered bacon & tomato on grilled country wheat bread. This sandwich was definitely the surprise of the bunch. The bacon had a nice crunch and the cheese was a revelation. This is definitely not an everyday sandwich, my friends. Enjoy responsibly.

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Tour de zing rating: 8/10. Would we order again? Yes.

Tour de zing rating: 8/10. Would we order again? Yes.

Jessie: Sandwich of the month [Aubrey’s Milk & Honey] – Thinly sliced hot sopressata salami is paired with Zingerman’s Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese, then drizzled with honey on grilled Bakehouse Rustic Italian bread. Although Jessie only complicated our attempt at narrowing down the sandwich list, we are happy she did! One server even told us they are considering making it a permanent staple.

Tour de zing rating: 9/10. Would we order again? If this stuck around, hell yeah.

Tour de zing rating: 9/10. Would we order again? If this stuck around, we’d be thrilled.

Lauren: 5 Rodgers Big Picnic – Oven-roasted asparagus, grilled marinated portabello mushrooms, Vermont cheddar cheese & Dijon vinaigrette on grilled farm bread. Even the non-vegetarians gave Lauren a hand on her pick. Thanks, Lauren, for loving this sandwich so much that you are BOUND to order it every time!!

Lauren's Tour de zing rating: 10/10. Would she order again? Yes. (*photo taken from Zingerman's website)

Lauren’s Tour de zing rating: 10/10. Would she order again? Yes

Three other friends joined us on our inaugural tour de zing visit. And thankfully each of them ordered classics that we couldn’t wait to steal a bite from: the Zingerman’s reuben, JVW’s Detroit Street BBQ, and the TNT Cowboy Reuben. Emma also ordered jalapeno peaches as a side dish, and Mel tried Puck’s diet black cherry soda. Adventurous? We think so.

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Thoughts on the next visit: it’s definitely time to start venturing deep into pork territory. We plan on trying at least two from the pork menu and perhaps a pastrami. Maybe number 7, Kelly’s Menage a Turkey, will also make an appearance. Letters have poured in from our followers begging us to try this beloved sandwich. We hear you, fans! We’ll get there!

Stay tuned for our upcoming posts featuring a how-to guide on choosing your pickle, which samples to try from the dessert case, and whether a $12 brownie is really worth it.

Clear eyes, full stomachs, can’t lose,

The TdZ Team

Thy Ten Commandments of Zingerman’s

As students at the University of Michigan, we’ve heard our fair share of pre-graduation bucket lists. Try every shot at Charleys, spin the cube, eat late night hippie hash at Fleetwood Diner, break into the Big House, the list goes on.

Our bucket list involves one establishment and one establishment only: Zingerman’s Deli.

While every student at Michigan is legally required to go to Zingerman’s at least once in their four years in Ann Arbor, not many can say they have tried every sandwich on the menu.

And that’s where we come in.

We are embarking on the ultimate foodie quest. As a group, we will be trying all sandwiches on the Zingerman’s Deli menu before graduation next May. Can we do it? You bet your pastrami.

Before we set out on our journey, we will lay the groundwork for what we believe will be the most epic, rewarding, and delicious bucket list to ever hit Ann Arbor. Let’s do this.

BEHOLD: THY 10 COMMANDMENTS OF ZINGERMAN’S

1. As avid Zingerman’s fans, it’s safe to say we have been to the deli numerous times. That being said, once we found our favorite sandwich, it was hard to break out of that rut. Some of us have actually only had one sandwich (gasp!).

For rule number one: thou shalt not order a sandwich that has been ordered 2+ times prior.

2. We often ponder why Zingerman’s would go so far as to duplicate a sandwich and choose not to grill said sandwich. For example, #18. The Georgia Reuben and #20. Tom’s New Job. More on that later, as the Georgia Reuben is a fan favorite and deserves its own post.

Therefore, thou shalt not order a sandwich that is the same as another sandwich but isn’t grilled. Duh.

3. To us, Zingerman’s is all about the sandwich experience. It is for this reason that we choose to remove the salad options as well as side dishes from this bucket list. Maybe if we go to grad school.

Thou shalt not eat salads on the Tour de Zing. Go to Revive or something.

4. Melissa will go above and beyond to try all trendy fountain drinks that Zingerman’s has to offer. This will most likely prove to be challenging, as she is a passionate Diet Coke fan.

Thou shalt give underdog soda companies a chance.

5. We have thought long and hard about the hot dog portion of the menu and have come to the conclusion that hot dogs will be in the running! Because a Zingerman’s hot dog has got to be tastier than a Hebrew National weiner…

Thou shalt enjoy America’s pasttime and indulge in all 4 of Zingerman’s hot dogs.

6. Vegetarians: we love ya, but we simply don’t have time to try all 9 of the vegetarian options. Our roommate, Lauren, will bravely attempt to try one (ONE!) other sandwich on the menu.

Thou shalt eat your veggies.

7. We recognize our faults. Yes, I admit to requesting yellow mustard over Russian on my reuben. A sin! Preposterous! How could one possibly alter the Godly flavor combinations Ari and Paul set before us?!

Thou shalt not alter the ingredients on the sandwich. Unless it is mayo.

8. Back to the grilled scenario. We simply cannot get past the fact that certain Zingerman’s sandwiches are served cold. Thus,

Thou shalt order all non-grilled sandwiches grilled.

9. Unfortunately, Zingerman’s only serves breakfast until 11 AM. Because we are “very hard working, passionate, and dedicated Seniors in college and work until the wee hours of the morning,” we simply don’t have time to try each of the breakfast sandwiches.

Thou shalt enjoy brunching at Nick’s, Fleetwood, Angelo’s, Northside, and Broken Egg around 1 PM.

10. Let’s make this the most unforgettable and delicious year yet.

Thou shalt solemnly swear to try our best and complete the tasks set before us. Thou shalt also make some time to do school work.

Clear eyes, full stomachs, can’t lose,

The TdZ Team

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