First of all – I am one wife and two cats the richer! Rachel managed to haul the fat fuzz dumplings a full 22 hours, past such alluring attractions as the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Ohio’s Camp Washington Chili. Well, technically she stopped at Camp Washington, but she got it to go.
It’s now official. For the next 4 and half months or so, the Pants family are Ann Arborites. Ann Arborists? Ann Arboreals? Whatever. We’re making a tiny nest right at the edge of Canada so if you need anything try speaking a bit more nasally. We’re in to that now.
But enough about us. On to some food!
Yesterday, after a busy morning of scouting hospitals, I was in search of a quick and unsucky lunch. I’ve been enjoying SE Michigan’s booming sandwich culture so I thought that might be a promising option to pursue.
A quick look at a couple of my nerdy iPhone food apps and I was surprised to see I wasn’t far at all from a place that was getting off the charts feedback and reviews. Skeptical but curious, I headed up the road towards Ernie’s Market.
The neighborhood wasn’t particularly promising. Let's just say it didn’t seem like it was zoned for food service. As I got close to the supposed destination I was starting to think that Google maps had screwed me yet again and sent me off into the urban hinterlands.
But sure enough, as I rolled up to the appointed intersection I spotted a modest red brick building clearly sporting Ernie’s name. The sun-faded signs in the window weren’t touting anything sandwich or even lunch related. With no other options though I parked the Charger (hell yeah I push a Charger. General Lee style in the Motor City!) and headed in.
“Yeah baby!” greeted me as I entered the sparsely stocked little grocery. A line six deep stood waiting at a back deli counter as an older gentleman furiously worked a slicer and rattled off an energetic monologue.
“This is the LOVE baby! I am hooking you up! Yeah baby! Get ready for the best sandwich in the world!”
I was sold before I even made it all the way back to even get in line.
I deferred to Ernie’s choice of sandwich. In the course of making it he probably called me baby 15 or 20 times, he surprised me with a little misdirection that ended with me holding a half dozen Hersey kisses, and he never stopped smiling. The man is old-fashioned Prozac.
The sandwich itself it a towering exercise in deli engineering. The soft onion roll is stuffed with a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables and condiments and as Ernie himself says, “It’s ok- if you don’t like something you’ll never taste it with all the other stuff. I mean look at that thing!”
He’s got a point.
At $5 a sandwich you get a really good lunch and an even better show. You also get an excellent reason to tell Subway and their cadre of chorus-line crap monkeys to shove it up their wah-hoos.
Thanks Ernie! It was a real pleasure. It’s guys like you that make neighborhoods great. I hope to get back soon.