I'm sorry, but the Maize and Blue deli is simply not very good.

Submitted by aaamichfan on May 12th, 2012 at 6:29 PM

So I decided to give the Maize and Blue deli another try today, thinking that maybe I just hadn't ordered the right thing every other time I've been there. Ordered the #23 "Italian Style" which should be a no brainer great sandwich, but it wasn't. After eating there 6 times now, I've come to the conclusion that it just simply isn't a very good sandwich place. Fairly confident that I could buy some pre-sliced Oscar Meyer lunchmeat from Kroger and make a better sandwich than this place. 

I find Zingerman's to be overpriced, but at least they know how to do Pastrami and Corned Beef correctly. I really have no idea why so many people defend Maize and Blue so vehemently. 

Your thoughts? 



May 12th, 2012 at 6:33 PM ^

I will start by saying it's been probably 5 years since I've eaten there, but prior to then, I would take a sandwich there anyday.  Can't remember what I used to order, but it was outstanding.  I'm sure it was a type of ruben, or typical turkey type simple sandwich.  Zingerman's was always sort of ho-hum for me, as I think you pay for the "experiance."


May 12th, 2012 at 7:18 PM ^

1) there is only a 1 in 10 chance that a "famous" local place is actually really, really good. The only example I can think of is the Pancake Pantry in Nashville (New Regal Ribs near Fremont, Ohio is another, but I don't think that really is "world famous" despite what they say)

2) If a local, famous place that is actually really really good actually exsists, it is probably only worth going about twice a year because the wait is always really long. 

3) Local places that are really really good only have about a %50 of becomming famous. Usually, if they are famous it's because they are either unique or because they have a schtik... like naming yourself Maize and Blue Deli. 


May 13th, 2012 at 7:10 AM ^

Your post gets exactly to the point of why Maize and Blue cannot touch Zingermans and why, to some extent, it is difficult to emulate certain cooking at home.

First, with any sandwich, it is about the bread.  If you don't have great rye bread, the contest is over before it begins.  Zingermans rye bread, in a nationwide review by foodie Saveur magazine, was rated the top rye bread in the US.  Try baking that at home.

Second, it is about the corned beef or whatever else you put on that.  I've made a lot of corned beef over the years, but with various outcomes.  Zingermans is always excellent.

I have always thought Zingermans was top notch, but after reading the reviews about Maize and Blue I tried them recently. It was a classic case of you get what you pay for.

Silly Goose

May 12th, 2012 at 6:39 PM ^

Maize and Blue is all right. If you were to take out location, price, and just compare sandwiches, Zing's crushes it hands down every time. I know people get all crazy about this, but if the meat was so good at Maize and Blue than Zingermann's would carry it.


May 12th, 2012 at 6:45 PM ^

this.  Could never stand the Maize and Blue deli.  I couldn't stand Zingerman's either (or their roadhouse).  I actually felt bad when I took my parents there and they paid 50 bucks for 2 and a half overrated sandwhiches and pickles.


I am a firm believer in good ingredients, but I think these two shops are just thriving on the size of AA.  In a decent sized city where you can find delis, bakeries, butchers, and even cheese shops--it put's the AA deli's to shame.  Plus they are almost never as crowded as Zingerman's.


The one thing I miss most about Ann Arbor is the food, and I have never felt a longing for either of these two shops.


edit: Oh and I forgot, who the hell at Zingerman's decided sandwhiches were supposed to be that small?  It's one thing to be rediculously overpriced, it's another to be rediculously overpriced but sell small portions so you force me to go wait in your line from hell and get more food.


May 12th, 2012 at 6:53 PM ^

I see this... Personally I think maize and blue deli is reasonably priced and gives a solidsandwich, however, it is not even close to the quality of zingermans regardless of price, and with all of the good restaurants in the ann arbor area, I will probably not go to the deli that many more times... 3 was enough to know what it is... good, but not fantastic or great


May 12th, 2012 at 7:14 PM ^

Relative to the portion size and price of Zingerman's it's cheap.

I understand your issue with Maize and Blue, but I think you went over the top by comparing it to cheap lunch meat from the super market. I am a die hard Maize and Blue guy in the AA deli wars so take this for what you will, but this is my personal opinion of them.

1. It's perfect "college food" by that I mean large portion size, relative price and location make it preferable to Zingerman's to a student on a budget.

2. The food isn't the same quality as Zingerman's, but then again that's like comparing the food from a small time local steak house to something you'd get at a five star restaurant. I LOVE Maize and Blue's sandwiches.

3. It's awesome game day food. I can get a sandwich there around 1030ish before a noon game and be full until the game is over. My pregame ritual when I'm in Ann Arbor always involves going there first.

At the end of the day if you want something that's going to be equal  to the high end delis in New York City then you go to Zingerman's and you pay high end deli price. If you want a huge sandwich that tastes damned good without waiting in a long line and paying top dollar you go to Maize and Blue. Personally as a college student with a crappy part time job I fall in the second category.

Out of curiosity what sandwich do you order there? My personal favorite is #28 minus onion.

edit: By the way why are people negging aaamichfan's original post? Just because someone has different taste in sandwiches than you doesn't mean they deserve to be negged. It's not like he posted something neg worthy.


May 12th, 2012 at 6:56 PM ^

Just curious how he managed to get that negative.

Also after his second post his point total remained the same. Does it mean he no longer can move  his point toward positive territory, like sometime when Team 144 plays?


May 12th, 2012 at 6:57 PM ^

There was a place in Farmington called Breadbasket that was awesome (size, quality of the corned beef & pastrami were old-school Zingerman's-esque).  Don't know if they are still open though.



May 12th, 2012 at 8:27 PM ^

I was going to say something about your corned beef obsession... but really, isn't that the best barometer of a deli/ Sandwhich shop's quality? Corned beef is one of those foods that doesn't seem like there is much of a range in quality.... untill you have really good corned beef, then it's like "woah".  This discussion reminds me of an argument I often have about beer-- to me, 70 per cent of beer is all roughly the same in quality. 20 percent is undrunkable, and 10 percent is really good. Beer is just beer unless its beer


May 13th, 2012 at 10:46 AM ^

bread basket doesn't make their corned beef in house. they get it from a place in detroit.

nevertheless, i ate at one of these in livonia for the first time the other day, and the corned beef was incredibly good. better than zingerman's (where the absurd price and hype turns me off) and maize 'n blue (where the size justifies the price but the quality just isn't there).


May 12th, 2012 at 6:59 PM ^

The Zingerman's vs Maize n Blue deli debate really needs to be a banned topic on here. Despite that, I can't help myself and will add my 2 cents anyways. This afternoon, without hesitation, I happily dropped about $30 on a sandwich, mac n cheese and a brownie at Zingerman's. I haved lived in A2 for 20+ years, have tried delis all over the country, and will always keep coming back to Zingerman's. I respect people's differing tastes in food and that not everything appeals to everyone. But I will continue to ignore the claims of overrated and overpriced because no food gives me more delicious satisfaction nor nostalgia than a #2 with an old pickle from Zingermans. That right there to me makes it the best deli in the world and worth whatever they want to charge.


May 12th, 2012 at 6:59 PM ^

I dont' dislike it but I don't love it. I go there everyonce in a while because their sandwiches are decent, but definitely not great. The one thing I will say is that they definitely do give you enough food, which is nice since a lot of places don't.


May 12th, 2012 at 7:05 PM ^

So we had a thread about Rich Rod and another on "Zingermans vs. Maize and Blue Deli" on the same day.

Can we never have debates about these topics again?