A compelling reason to move anywhere near Ann Arbor, MI, Zingerman's Delicatessen is easily the best Jewish deli outside of New York City. Started in 1982 by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig, the modest establishment offered amazing sandwiches and a steadily expanding selection of specialty foods from around the world. In 1992, they opened a bakery to ensure a steady, reliable source of breads and baked goods for their customers. Despite intense customer demand to expand into practially every major American city, Zingerman's has never opened additional delis, opting instead to create a mail-order gourmet food catalog that sells all their specialty foods, as well as cold-packed sandwich-making kits for Zingerman's most popular sandwiches.

Since I was traveling by myself on business, I had no problem driving well out of my way to Zingerman's. After all, the Zagat Survey couldn't shut up about the place, so I figured it would probably be worth my time. People, it was beautiful. Their sandwiches come in two sizes: nosher and fresser (same bread, more meat), and you order them in the gourmet shop. Walk across an alley to the dining area, and you're only minutes away from a sandwich that would make you consider moving to Ann Arbor, possibly even Detroit. The fresser-sized sandwiches can often be too big, so it's often better to order a nosher if you want to save room for chocolate cherry bread or a fresh-baked brownie. I, of course, ordered the fresser, which I could barely finish, so I had to drive back the very next night all the way from Detroit to do the whole thing all over again.

Zingerman's Delicatessen is located at 422 Detroit St. in Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104. Their phone number is 734.663.DELI and they are open from 7 am - 10 pm daily. Information on Zingerman's Deli, catering, or their mail-order catalog is available at www.zingermans.com

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