If you’re a cheese fiend and deli meat devotee, you ain’t tasted nothing yet until you’ve been to the world-famous Zingerman’s Deli, in beautiful Ann Arbor, Mich., home of the University of Michigan (go Blue!). Considered one of the ten great places to nosh on authentic Jewish deli food and the coolest small company in America, I’m not the only one who thinks Zingerman’s is doing something right, as they celebrated their 25th anniversary last month.
Zingerman’s is a different kind of deli because of its outstanding – and unmatched – selection of domestic and imported cheeses and meats, fresh Bakehouse breads, olive oils galore and much more! Their specialty foods has even inspired a gluttonous tradition that I’ve shared with my boyfriend for years – an outright feast of old and new favorites, laid out as a massive spread of what can only be described as the loveliest platter of tantalizing tastes and unforgettable flavors one has ever experienced.
Mmmm, my mouth is watering as I write this. It can get a bit pricey if you’re not careful — I never seem to escape without at least $50 worth of goodies, but it’s no rip off. Trust me, it’s worth every penny.
Besides amazing products, some of which are made in-house, Zingerman’s has an extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff. Think Juliette Binoche‘s character in Chocolat, only these experts can pick your new favorite cheese and deli meat. I enjoy testing them from time to time, giving the welcoming face behind the counter some vague description of what I’d like, for instance, “I’m in the mood for something salty, but with a twinge of sweet.” And you know what? They seem to always get it right. Plus, they’ll give you samples of anything and everything, which is entertaining in and of itself.
I really could go on and on about this delicious deli, but I’ll stop after I mention just one more thing. Zingerman’s also has Zingerman’s Training, aka “Zingtrain.” This area of the company focuses on teaching others – businesses and individuals alike – some of the secrets of their success. You don’t have to worry about bad service with Zingermans! You don’t have to be in the food business either, as their seminars are far more varied than you would imagine for a delicatessen (i.e. Award-Winning MerchandiZing!; Fun, Flavorful Finance; Small Giants: Creating a Vision of Greatness).
When I moved to Chicago a few years ago, I was saddened by the loss of my favorite deli. However, much to my DELIght, the owners of a small food speciality store around the block from me were big fans of Zingtrain and the Zingerman’s philosophy. I was more than two hundred and fifty miles from home, but I could still enjoy the treats of my favorite deli.
If you haven’t been, go. If you’re not nearby, order online. This deli gets it. Happy anniversary Zingerman’s!