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.
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.
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.
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).
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!!!!
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.
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