Looking for new twists on classic sandwiches using fresh, local ingredients? That’s what defines Mudgie’s Deli (along with eccentric names for some killer sandwich combos). "There’s always been a deli on this corner," explains Greg Mudge, who bought this corner eatery and reopened it in February of 2008.
The deli sits at 1300 Porter St. not far from the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Street in Detroit’s Corktown. After years as a waiter in the old deli, Mudge knew what he wanted to do with his own shop – offer new flavor combinations using Michigan-made products like Dearborn mustard, Michigan fruit preserves and more.
While Mudgie’s Deli is mostly known for its sandwiches, regulars can’t resist the warm, rich chocolate brownies topped with Calder’s ice cream and Sander’s hot fudge. And for Valentine’s Day, you can bring home a little Mudgie magic and serve this decadent dessert to your family – without even venturing to Corktown.
For more on Greg and his popular sandwich shop, Crumbs asked him to answer a few questions. Warning: your mouth may be watering after reading this post!
What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?
My girlfriend (Liza) and I live very close to a great market, so we find ourselves shopping on a per meal basis. I do, however, always have olive oil, fresh garlic and spices on hand in the pantry.
And your favorite meal to make?
I guess my favorite things to cook are meals I have previously never prepared myself. I’m most excited when I’m trying out something new.
We all have a favorite indulgence, for a foodie like you it must be something spectacular?
Yes: There is an ice cream that’s only made on Mars, and it’s out of this world. Just kidding. Honestly, my favorite indulgence only comes once a year around the holidays. My Grandma makes the best pizzelle cookies ever! She didn’t make them this year and knew I was disappointed, so she made and brought some to me afterward. Thanks, Grandma!
What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?
I think that mistakes can be gateways to new tastes and methods. The only times that are disastrous are when a soup or sauce gets away from you and the bottom of the pot burns. There is no fixing that unmistakable and foul taste of BURNT. Start over.
There are so many great Michigan-made food products; what is your pick?
I really can’t pick only one, there are so many. I love the movement that is happening with food right now. People are really starting to pay attention to where their food comes from. You can find many great Michigan products at your local farmers’ market.
For first-timers to Mudgie’s Deli, what do you recommend or what’s one item on the menu not to miss?
We definitely can do a mean New York-style Reuben and put our own house-made dressing on it. Everyone freaks out over the Sho’ Nuff (multi-grain bread with house-roasted turkey, applewood smoked bacon, baby spinach, strawberry cream cheese and Brownwood Farms Strawberry Preserves). I would also highly recommend the daily specials – this is where we have the most fun.
As a side note, I saw that Mudgie Deli’s specials are updated daily on Twitter. A recent temptation: Ahi Tuna with ginger-wasabi mayonnaise, finely shaved carrots, cabbage and sunflower sprouts on a Brioche Kaiser. Become a follower for some great dinner ideas!