In 1817 the governor and judges of the Michigan Territory established the Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania in Detroit. The university would move to Ann Arbor in 1837 after the town lost it’s bid to be the newly minted state’s capitol. The land earmarked for the capitol would be turned into the Universtiy of Michigan’s Central Campus. The first graduating class in Ann Arbor consisted of 11 students. It has grown to include one of the largest alumni groups in the nation at aproximately half a million.
It was on these campus grounds that President John F. Kennedy first proposed publicly the notion that a group of "young college graduates would find a full life in bringing technical advice and assistance to the underprivileged and backward Middle East.” In 1961 the President would unveil, the Peace Crops.
Much like any college town Ann Arbor has a thriving food scene. As you know I’ve visited Zingermann’s Deli and Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger (among others) in the past. Mrs. Sippi also has a friend that works at the University. So with that and our love of food we have occasion to visit periodically. This particular trip saw a stop at Maize and Blue Delicatessen. A venue I recently saw featured on Man vs. Food.A favourite of UM students and fans Maize and Blue has been around for almost 25 years. Opened by the Jordanian/American Sukkar family they’re serving up tall sandwiches and other deli favourites to Wolverine nation and anyone else who just likes great food. Started as a take out only sandwich shop they now seat 20 or so patrons in what was once the waiting area. Much like most deli’s these days they do not cure their own meats but do source them locally from respected vendors. They do however cook what they can in the tiny kitchen.
From the outside it’s little more than a store front on University Ave. On the inside is rather sparsely decorated. One thing that stands out though, the signature board. A large tribute to UM on one wall has filled up with signatures of guests and alumni alike. Among them are a multiple gold medal winner, a hall of fame coach and a 3 time Superbowl champion.
Mrs. Sippi tried to recreate her favourite sandwich from her days at Ole Miss and the Rebel Deli in Oxford, Ms. While she failed terribly in her attempt the result was one great sandwich. Smoked turkey and gouda on sourdough rye. It was fantastic. The cheese was a perfect match for the meat and deli mustard rounded it out nicely.
My Triple Play Rueben was simply awesome. I’m more of a pastrami than corned beef guy but having both together between some great bread is the best of both worlds. Top that off with both Jarlsberg and Swiss cheeses and top that off with kraut and house made Russian dressing. How can you go wrong??
The chocolate chip cookie was a winner too. A Toll House style cookie with plenty of chocolate chips to keep those owing to the Dark Master happy.
The brownie was phenomenal. Chocolate with caramel icing, milk chocolate drizzle, dark chocolate shavings and pecans. Decadent.
Well there you have it folks. A little taste of the college experience from Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan.
You can find Maize and Blue at 1329 S. University Ave. in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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