Unverified Voracity Has a Pile Of Meat

Submitted by Brian on August 19th, 2011 at 5:10 PM

The Sandwich War. SI's Andy Staples was in town recently to cover something or another and took the opportunity to cast a vote in the ongoing blood war over the best deli sandwich in Ann Arbor. The contenders are Zingerman's and Maize 'n' Blue Deli:


Staples goes for Maize 'n' Blue, citing price and having to unhinge his jaw as major considerations. Message board duly blows up in a way that makes me think I should put conversations about Zingerman's in the verboten category with politics and religion. Clearly sandwiches are both.

I'm hoping to flag Staples down the next time he's in town so I can take him to Frita Baditos in the hope his mind will be blown and Satchel's in the hope he gives Northern barbecue at least a C-.

No. Stop asking. Kudos to the Big Ten for reassuring everyone that they're not going to pick off half the Big East for no reason. Via a press release:

"In response to a number of recent media inquiries received by several Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors regarding the likelihood of further expansion by the Big Ten, the COP/C would like to reiterate that it will not be actively engaged in conference expansion at this time, or at any time in the foreseeable future."


"We said that we will continue to monitor the landscape, but we have closed down active expansion and have no plans to seek new members."

Twelve and done and good.

Locks. In case this wasn't made explicitly clear by Tim's recap, Brady Hoke directly asserted three guys would be defensive starters. There are no real surprises in that group:

Hoke said he's filled "about two or three" starting spots on defense. When asked who they were, he responded:

"(Cornerback Troy) Woolfolk's had a nice camp, I think (nose tackle Mike) Martin's had a nice camp, (safety Jordan) Kovacs has had a nice camp."

If you were hoping Kovacs was overtaken by someone more athletic you can shelve that. I'm hoping he enters his Englemon phase where he doesn't do much that im- or de-presses anyone. Woolfolk shooting to the top of the cornerback depth chart isn't a surprise but there was a chance the lingering effects of his injury prevented him from being as effective; that apparently hasn't happened. Good news—in the secondary and everything.

I'm a little surprised Demens isn't on that list given the practice buzz. Bad sign? Overreaction? It can be both.

Snaps. Via Touch The Banner and AnnArbor.com, eeee it's football:

I'm getting the impression they might actually run more read option this year than they did last year.

You are feeling very sleepy. You are Desmond Howard. Jeff Hecklinski could have been a hypnotist if he wasn't a football coach. He also accuses Roy Roundtree of "prancing" and stands next to a short dreaded guy who's injured:


Unless I'm mistaken, that's Martavious Odoms getting his Bob Marley on. First the cast, now a shoulder injury—Junior Hemingway must have pressed a mysterious button that someone told him would make him resilient but turn someone else on the team into Glass Joe.



This is what "Iowa Corn" came up with instead of, like, a Hawk in an F16 launching a missile at a tornado that was reaching out a airy appendage of doom. That's a rivalry trophy. That thing above belongs at Art Fair. Adam Jacobi would like "a lot less of this effort to turn the conference into a bad Norman Rockwell painting." Co-sign.

It's not like they didn't know that was going to happen. Iowa Corn also came up with this:


Oh, no. Dave Brandon: do not slap a winged helmet on that thing and put it on the sideline. Please.

Etc.: Maybe Darrell Funk is just like his mother. The NCAA hockey committee changes the common opponents category to something that makes more sense. The Stanley Cup hits Ann Arbor the 25th.



August 19th, 2011 at 7:11 PM ^

I've tried virtually all of the places in Ann Arbor, but haven't had the chance to go to Frita's since it has opened.  I liked Eve (the owner's previous restaurant), so I'll be sure to go and order the "Brian Cook Special", hold the hair.

Marley Nowell

August 19th, 2011 at 5:26 PM ^

The read-option was rarely run last year. Hopefully with a real RB threat we can see more of Denard running scot-free down the sideline before the opposing defense realized it collapsed on the wrong guy.


August 19th, 2011 at 5:29 PM ^

I am hoping Zingermans is allowed to be discussed, even with Brian's caveat.  Once I get past football and sports and think of food, Zingermans always gets in the conversation.

How can you have a good sandwich without good bread, and that is where Zingermans shines.   Saveur magazine, a foody publication, did a comparison of the best rye breads in America.  Guess who won?  Zingermans.  I never lived in NYC but have visited the better delis in the City.  Zingermans' corned beef is as good or better as any corned beef sanwich I have ever eaten.  



August 19th, 2011 at 5:36 PM ^

I have to admit, I have only been to both Zingermans and M&B Deli a couple of times.

They are both excellent, however, every time I have been to Zingermans it has involved an hour or more wait. At M&B I was often the only one in the restaurant.

Wait time is a major factor for me when choosing a place to eat.

Patience. I no has it.

So I would side with M&B in the war, but not necessarily because of better food. 


August 19th, 2011 at 10:29 PM ^

You do realize Zingerman's Roadhouse is not the same as Zingerman's?  Related ownership, sure, but it's not the same food.  I've heard very mixed reviews on the Roadhouse but have never eaten there despite living out west of town.


August 20th, 2011 at 6:59 AM ^

are very involved in the Roadhouse, and have an ownership stake. The Roadhouse is in what they call the Community of Zingerman Businesses. With that said, I've been there 3 times, and several of the dishes are excellent - the fried chicken is outstanding. Their breakfast is also great.

Michigan Arrogance

August 19th, 2011 at 5:36 PM ^

Look. Zing's is good. Really good. Sure, their prices are high and the reasons for that were discussed. I wouldn't veto a trip to Z's. BUt I'm just a simple guy, I guess. I grew up back east in a city with a lot of food joints that most people would not be impressed with. Burger joints with sliders for like 65c. No cheese available b/c, well IDK why not. A place where you ordered as many mini hotdogs as could fit on a (very hairy-armed) man's forearm. I don't give a shit if the cheese is flown in on a Concord jet direct from Switzerland or if the roast beef came from free range cows who voluntarily donanted their bodies to the appetites of mankind. I'll take M&B any day of the week & twice on Sunday.

Zone Left

August 19th, 2011 at 6:47 PM ^

No it wasn't. There was a ball fake that was designed to look like the read option on an awful lot of plays, but they either didn't run it much or the quarterbacks were awful at making the reads. Compare film of Taylor Martinez, Pat White, and Denard Robinson handing the ball off. Their head position and how they react to the end (or whomever the unblocked player is) is hugely different than Denard's. He either had a straight handoff or a straight keeper except in a few circumstances.


August 19th, 2011 at 5:48 PM ^

I live in LA and was back visiting family in A2 a few weeks back. My sister took us to Frita Batidos and we went back again...3 more times in the week we were there. It's awesome.

Yinka Double Dare

August 19th, 2011 at 5:55 PM ^

I didn't think it was possible to have a worse trophy than the Land Grant Trophy, but it has been accomplished. 

The EDSBS comment thread on that trophy is pretty outstanding, by the way. 

Go Blue or Die

August 19th, 2011 at 6:11 PM ^

kovacs has been known for his solid tackling ever since he started get playing time, but the mental errors he and the rest of the team made, his hype has gone down, i guess with coach mallory he is back at the helm of the walk on hype express


August 20th, 2011 at 9:26 AM ^

is smarter and works harder than anyone else on the team. He doesn't make many mental mistakes at all. He also gets the defense in its proper alignment. He isn't coming off the field any time soon. There is a reason the coaches keep saying that if you play with maximum effort and great technique you can be successful. Its because its true. Kovacs is proof of that.


August 19th, 2011 at 6:37 PM ^

That trophy is disturbing. Why is that man on his knees holding a husked cob of corn? What could he be possible be communicating to the boy? I’m I unaware of some kind of bizarre Corn Belt ritual that requires the attendance of multiple family members? Children of the Corn please explain?


August 19th, 2011 at 10:03 PM ^

I gotta go with the minority here, I too actually prefer Maize and Blue over Zingerman's. Maybe when I'm no longer a broke student with a giant appetite my views will change, but for now, as long as I'm buying, Maize and Blue is my choice.

coastal blue

August 20th, 2011 at 11:17 AM ^

Is that all of you who were so up in arms over 11w using the term "couple" to describe Kalis and Strobel, are not enraged by Staples using the term "fruitcake" in his article. 



August 20th, 2011 at 12:12 PM ^

Southeast of town on Ellsworth and Carpenter Roads is fairly new and has great cornbeef sandwiches.  I think that the Ann Arbor Observer rated this as the best deli in town.  If not, then I imagined it.  They are having a contest to see who can eat their huge sandwich "The Angel" the fastest.

And parking is no problem.


August 20th, 2011 at 2:03 PM ^

Bread Basket now has a location on Carpenter Road, and has several locations in Detroit.  For about nine bucks, you will get enough corned beef or pastrami to make about three Zingerman's sandwichs (and the CB/pastrami is really good).  It's worth the drive if you are tired of the crowds and prices at Zingerman's.  Don't get me wrong--I have been a long customer of Zingys, but as the prices go up the actual amount of meat on the sandwiches goes down to where it is almost laughable as to what you get for $15.


I just ate at Zingerman's Roadhouse a few days ago and had the terrific macaroni and cheese (which was voted best in the country by the Food Network).  Had it for lunch, $9.50, and I swear there were about 15-20 penne pasta in the entire dish.  I realize the ingredients are the best (and, thus, expensive), but any normal guy could inhale two orders easily, and would have just spent $19 on mac n'cheese (really good mac n' cheese, no doubt, but it is just mac n' cheese).


Maize n' Blue will fill you up for about $8-10, and is good.  The ingredients are not the quality of Zingys, and the corned beef/pastrami is good, but certainly not great.  But--there is ALOT of it, and it certainly is an enjoyable sandwich (the place looks like it was set up overnight, and you get the feeling that you could visit the next day and the entire building could be empty with not a trace of the business left).


August 21st, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

Zingerman's is 1 of about 7 centers of my universe...I'm hoping here that physics will tell us that in spite of space having a defined if outward moving edge, that it will have no center thereby  allowing me 7.  That said, the food at Al's Famous in Royal Oak (a Bread Basket location) is excellent, plentiful and about 1/4 Zingerman's price pound for pound.