Midwest Living Review
Rarely has a city's culinary reputation been so intertwined with one restaurant as is Ann -Arbor's with Zingerman's Deli. What began in 1982 as Michigan's best place to get a Reuben has grown into a mini-empire of deliciousness, with a bakery (Jewish rye), creamery (homemade cream cheese), coffee roaster (single-origin Brazilian peaberry), mail-order catalog (sour-cream coffee cake) and sit-down restaurant (smoked chicken mac 'n' cheese). Make no mistake. We love Zingerman's. But we also love how the Zingerman's rallying cry--quality, quality, quality--has galvanized the larger food scene in Ann Arbor (population: 350,000). Bob Sparrow of Sparrow Meat Market and Produce says that using fewer, fresher ingredients means you can actually taste the cherries and duck meat in his handmade sausage. For years, University of Michigan students and faculty have sipped beers and lattes at downtown's sidewalk cafes. The city retains that college-town vibe, but the dining scene has grown up. You'll find fried local squash blossoms at Vinology, a ginger-glazed salmon burger at Logan and tender gnocchi at Gratzi. Even some ethnic spots have caught the foodie fever. Sylvia Nolasco-Rivers uses organic veggies and free-range chicken in tamales she serves from a street cart to a long line of Ann Arborites willing to pay a little extra for a whole lot more flavor.