Food, Food Artisans

Lottie Talks Zingerman’s

The Deli’s Maddie LaKind interviews Tim Mazurek of Lottie + Doof

I can’t recall how I first discovered food blogs. I know my first exposure came about five years ago, but outside of that, its all a giant, wonderful blur. I remember thinking at the time how at home I felt among these writers, people who love food, love travel, and love using their experiences to connect with others. Today I follow upwards of twenty blogs and am constantly on the hunt for more.

Among the few blogs that first caught my eye was Lottie + Doof. Curated by Chicagoan Tim Mazurek, the blog is a stunning collection of eye-catching recipes, drool-worthy pictures, travel stories, and musings on everything from feminism to food politics. In addition to being an excellent writer, photographer, and general food connoisseur, Tim is a major Zingerman’s fan and a frequent visitor to the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. I had the good fortune of connecting with Tim recently via the comments section of his blog. We struck up a conversation about the Detroit/Ann Arbor food scene, and we began to delve more deeply into his relationship with Zingerman’s. Here is what he had to say on the subject.

How did you first hear about Zingerman’s?

Aren’t we all born with the knowledge of Zingerman’s? I guess at some point the catalog became a regular staple in our house and I loved reading it and ordering strange things like pine syrup or some crazy honey.

What’s your most memorable moment at Zingerman’s?

On my very first trip to Ann Arbor, we completed the Tour De Food [alas, retired -ed.], and were very proud of our accomplishment. I still have the t-shirt somewhere. It was impressive to see this food empire that had only ever existed in catalog form for me. Everywhere we went we were welcomed warmly and given lots of samples. Some kind person even took us on an impromptu tour of the bakeshop, and I really loved that. It was definitely love at first sight.

What Zingerman’s products or dishes would you rank as your favorites?

I’ve liked everything I’ve tried, so this is tough. I am a big fan of the apricot rugelach, and always pick up a package for the road. All of the cookies, really. And all of the bread, and sandwiches, and…

Most notable service experience at Zingerman’s?

I love the market section of the Deli. Everyone is so helpful and encourages you to try things. Their excitement about the food is contagious. A lot is said about the great customer service at Zingerman’s, but until you actually visit for yourself you can’t understand just how wonderful it is.

Favorite deli sandwich of the moment?

Either the Cowboy Reuben or the Hot BLT.

Corned beef or pastrami?


New or old pickle?


Cake or pie?

Pie, always pie.

Buttery hard cheese or creamy soft cheese?

Definitely a hard cheese, preferably with some crunchy little bits of tyrosine.

Fried chicken or mac and cheese?

Fried Chicken, but not an easy choice.

Cup of brewed coffee or cappuccino?

Brewed coffee

Chocolate bar or peanut brittle?

Peanut brittle, by a mile.

New features or recipes on the horizon from Lottie + Doof ?

“Keep Lottie + Doof Weird” is my motto for the future. I’ve been doing this for a while now, and times have changed. Food blogs are not a novelty anymore. I think it is important to keep things interesting.

Tim Mazrurek - Lottie and Doof

For those of you who haven’t yet had the privilege of reading Tim’s blog, I insist you hop right on over to Lottie + Doof and pay a visit. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you Tim for sharing these memories with all of us.