Monthly Archives: September 2013

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.

photo (12)

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.


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.

photo (2)

photo (3)

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.


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.

photo (10)

photo (8)

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.

photo (6)

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!

photo (11)

photo (7)

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.


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.


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.


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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.


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