Slow’s Bar BQ

>> Monday, August 2, 2010

Chic. Barbeque. Detroit. No these are not all antonyms, but words used to describe my dining experience this past weekend while in Michigan for my brother's show and family reunion. I try and keep up with the happenings of Detroit, not only because a majority of my family still lives there, but because I was born there and it breaks my heart to come back to visit and witness the devastation that city is suffering…I read an article not too long ago about a man named Phil Cooley, who started this barbeque restaurant in downtown Detroit. Always one to support local initiatives, when the subject of dinner was discussed with me and 8 other boys/men, Slow's Bar BQ seemed perfect.

Brisket Enchiladas (photo credit: Slow's)
We loaded up the band, my dad and uncle then headed downtown to Detroit's Corktown neighborhood. Situated on a corner facing the old Detroit train depot, Slow's is a beacon of light in an otherwise desolate part of the neighborhood. It reminds me of how the Meatpacking District must have looked after the first time someone decided to create a trendy restaurant among the abandon warehouses…

The first thing you will notice is the massive door (made from the timber of the old place) and the smell of slow roasted meat. Just thinking about it makes me hungry. Walking in were told an 90 minute wait, however seeing all the happy faces and a plethora of local craft beers, we decided to wait it out. A full 90 minutes and 3 beers later (Oberon's for me!), we're sat right outside of the patio. Extremely hungry, we told the waitress "one of every appetizer…now please!" Within 10 minutes our food came out:

  • BBQ Wings
  • Fried Catfish
  • Brisket Enchiladas 
  • Split pea and okra fritters

Like wolves that had just made their first big kill, we attacked this food. Despite being rock stars and famished, the boys were nice enough to share with me. Far and away the enchiladas were the winners for me. The corn tortilla, despite being covered in sauce, still retained some of it's crunchy texture, and the flavor of the brisket came through nicely. This is how enchiladas were meant to be. The wings had a great smoke, the catfish was a great snack and perfect for sharing, the split pea and orka fritters were tasty too, but at the end of that round of food I was longing for more enchiladas.

Carolina Pulled Pork (photo credit: Slow's)
Next came the entrees. I ordered the Carolina pulled pork, my brother order the St. Louis Sparerib, and my dad the Jambalaya with sides of mac and cheese, cornbread and sweet potato mash. I tell ya – I was 2 for 2 this dinner. My pork was so tender and had a nice "bark" on the outside. You could still taste the smoke and see the pink smoke rings. Armed with 5 different styles of bbq sauce, I was all over this dish. As you know dear foodies, I love Carolina BBQ, and this sauce at Slow's was pretty darn good for being so far north. It was not as vinegar-y as I like it, but still great. The apple bbq sauce was OUTSTANDING. I am notorious for having a sweet tooth and this definitely fulfilled my needs. The spicy, was semi-spicy, and good on it's own, but when you combined it with the apple bbq sauce. Shut up. Just shut up. It was SO good. Highly recommend! The ribs were great – tender, but not falling off the bone. They were dry and definitely needed some sauce, but I enjoyed them. The Jambalaya was…ok…it's wasn't bad, but when everything else is so good it just left me (and my dad) wanting more. The mac and cheese, sweet potato mash, fries, cornbread and all the other sides were delicious! Mac and cheese was definitely the star though.

St. Louis Spareribs (photo credit: Slow's)
I can say without a doubt, that this will be my go-to place when I visit Detroit again, and I will make a reservation – don't want to wait that long again. Aside from the delicious food (and probably the best bbq you will get out of the South), I love Phil's initiative to make Detroit better, not only through his efforts to clean up parks, but through food. It's amazing what he's already done and if you are in Detroit I would encourage you to stop by Slow's and enjoy some good BBQ.

Slow's Bar BQ
2138 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI 48216-1305
(313) 962-9828


Anonymous August 2, 2010 at 1:31 PM  

How fun and delicious was Slow's? I'm so glad you trusted me on this one!

Renee Barone August 3, 2010 at 10:15 AM  

Slow's was truly great - I will be going there again when I come back!!


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