Amer’s Delicatessen is a quintessential campus eatery with staff members who remember your name (and sometimes your exact order). The establishment has been serving University students and the Ann Arbor community for over 30 years. Sitting on State Street, right across from the Diag, Amer’s is convenient not only for a snack between classes but for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When I visited the University of Michigan in 2021 as a prospective student, my friend took me for crêpes after our tour. The crêpe, crispy yet pillow-soft, was filled with warm Nutella and zesty strawberries. Little did I know that when I began my freshman year at the University that Amer’s would become my “home base.” This year, I journeyed beyond crêpes and into the depths of the deli’s menu.
Amer’s selection can often seem infinite. Serving dishes from Mediterranean falafel and tabbouleh to New York bagels with lox and capers, Amer’s truly has it all. The menu physically spans over half of the restaurant. Despite the multiplicity of options, you truly cannot choose incorrectly at Amer’s. However, after a semester of tasting everything from their #101 “Eggwich” (a take on a bacon, egg and cheese bagel) to their iced chai latte with oat milk, I have determined that nothing will beat the Amer’s açai bowl.
The açai bowls differ from those I had back home in New York City. Amer’s açai base is simply composed of 100% açai berries, different from the usual method of incorporating smoothie ingredients such as bananas and nut milk. This preparatory choice allows the toppings to shine in the bowl. Amer’s açai bowl topping bar is like that of a frozen yogurt establishment in which customers can assemble their own bowl to their individual liking. One can choose from an array of topping options such as fruit, nut butters, chocolates and crunchy cereals. My toppings of choice: the açai base, strawberries, Nutella and mango. The strawberries and Nutella mix together for a chocolate-y and tangy combination, while the mango adds a tropical flavor and softer texture. While most people opt for the crunchy effects of granola or sunflower seeds, I prefer my method. An açai bowl from Amer’s has become the perfect ending or beginning to my school days. Words simply cannot express how satiating and delectable this dish is. I have become hungry for an açai bowl just writing this.
Due to the sheer amount of business from U-M students, sitting at a restaurant or waiting in lines may seem entirely impossible. Many students tend to order Amer’s via Snackpass (an app that allows you to order food at local establishments ahead of time). On the app, one can customize their açai bowl by removing certain toppings from the popular “Amazon Bowl” and adding additional alterations. I am usually not a fan of coconut flakes, so I typically replace that ingredient with mango on the app. While many people deem Snackpass impersonal (with a lack of face-to-face interaction), for a busy college student, efficiency will always take the cake.
The atmosphere at Amer’s is almost as comforting as the provisions. With its dark, wood interior and bounty of seating options, the deli feels almost like an extension of your family’s kitchen. Often, you will find Amer, himself, behind the counter, offering opinions and advice on what to order.
As the weather begins to chill and you find yourself trekking through the snow from Angell Hall to the Modern Languages Building, I guarantee that the warmth at Amer’s will defrost you. At least enough to enjoy a frozen açai bowl.
Daily Arts Contributor Skylar Wallison can be reached at email@example.com.