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William C. Altreuter
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I've been wanting to go to Zingerman's Deli for years, and fate finally sent me a deposition in Ann Arbor. Classic delicatessen is rare anywhere, and Zingerman's is said to be one of the best in the country. All the way across Ontario (and actually for a day or two before) I pondered what I would order, finally settling on a Reuben. In fact, this Reuben, pictured on the right.

It was pretty good. I think part of what gets people worked up about Zingerman's is the bread, which is certainly better than the bread one typically finds in a lot of sandwich joints, but for me the bread was an issue. Grilled, as a proper Reuben must be, the flavor profile of the bread overwhelmed the other ingredients. Good corned beef, but machine sliced. Sauerkraut was mild, as was the cheese. The Russian dressing added umami, but could have been more piquant. No beer (!?!) but you can't go wrong with a Cel-Ray soda. The next day, after my EBT, I went back and got a corned beef and pastrami combo to go. I was concerned that the sons-of-bitches at the Peace Bridge might confiscate my sandwich, so I drove back through Ohio to keep it out of the hands of the US Government. It arrived at Big Pink none the worse for the journey (along with a terrific coffee cake and some other things). That's what I'll order next time.

On the whole Zingerman's lived up to its reputation, I'd say. I didn't really see anything there that I couldn't get a Premier, or Gurcios-- except for the corned beef and pastrami, and I'd put the corned beef sandwich at Risa's right there with the pride of Ann Arbor.

I think for my next sandwich research project I will try Phillipe the Original for a French Dip, or maybe Ben's Chili Bowl, for a half-smoke

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