Like the 1927 Yankees or the “bottomless” party scene in “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” some things just seem too good to be true. Except they really are true. Zingerman’s is one of those places. Ask any Ann Arbor resident where you should eat, and Zingerman’s comes up, usually accompanied by a soft sigh and an “oh my god.” Everyone, from eager high school seniors touring campus to a certain Commander in Chief with a fondness for Reubens, must make the journey to Kerrytown when they visit.
The long wait outside on a brisk Saturday, even on a game day, is worth it. The walls, shelves and glass cases are stuffed with an overwhelming bounty of food — breads and cheeses and cured meats and salads and seemingly everything else humanity regards as delicious. You want everything, so badly that you consider buying the whole store. The menu, with several dozen sandwiches, makes the agonizing decision worse. When you finally make the call, and the slightly easier one of a half sour or old garlic pickle, you find a table, and longingly wait to hear your name as if the caller is a long-lost lover.
It finally comes, and you take that first glorious bite. The pastrami and corned beef is comparable to a New York deli’s, but the bread is worlds better; crusty and dense, it puts the rye in rye bread. With a Dr. Brown’s soda, a basket of latke fritters and that all important pickle, it’s a meal worth any wait or any walk.