“Zingerman’s, the deli of my dreams.” – R.W. Apple, The New York Times
On Saturday, June 7th, two adventurers embarked on a 340-mile round-trip journey to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a culinary experience beyond compare.
Our gluttonous duo made their first stop at the University of Michigan’s Nichols Arboretum, to explore some of the finest hiking trails in Washtenaw County and hopefully create a calorie deficit that could later be remedied. “The Arb,” as it is colloquially known, is a 123-acre preserve bordered by U of M’s central campus and the Huron River. Stephanie and David began their hike near the peony garden and continued down to the shores of the river, through open prairie land, and back up some steep hills surrounding the main valley, for a total of 2.67 miles. The paths were wide but winding, with many smaller unmarked trails branching off at odd intervals, so it was easy to find yourself utterly lost even with the help of the complementary map. Luckily, our adventurers found their way out before succumbing to starvation.
One highlight of the hike was when David spotted a doe and fawn about 40 yards away on a section of trail adjacent to the railroad tracks. Later, David successfully located a Geocache in the trunk of a fallen tree. The large peony garden was also in full bloom this time of year, and many visitors to the Arb were enjoying its 800 blossoming plants.
After hiking the Arb, it was finally time for some world-class sandwiches. David and Stephanie arrived at Zingerman’s to find the line out the door and around the building – something Stephanie hadn’t seen since before the building was remodeled with a large addition in 2012. The wait was only about 30 minutes, though, and the line stretched past shelves lined with olive oils and baked goods – like a gastronomic version of Disney World. Finally, it was time to order. David, a newcomer to the deli, requested a custom-made roast beef sandwich, while Stephanie opted for her all-time favorite Tarb’s Tenacious Tenure, a mouth-watering medley of turkey, avocado, tomato, cheese, and Russian dressing. David was pleased that after almost a decade of living in Northern Indiana, he had finally found a deli somewhat close by that lived up to his New York standards.
All in all, it was a beautiful warm day for exploring these Southeast Michigan gems. We will definitely return, and encourage all of you to join us!
Photo credit to Stephanie and David’s iPhones