Slow's BarBQ
 Detroit, Michigan        Date of Visit  05/25/11  

After two hours of watching rain pool in Comerica Park instead of watching baseball the powers that be studied the radar and the schedule and called the game. Bummer. Well, we can at least find some delectable eats to balance out the disappointment of shortened baseball. Most BBQ places have long storied histories but Slow’s has garnered a great deal of attention and praise in just a few years. Once we located the place on Michigan Ave we drove around the block looking for a place to park…and Oh, friends…you could smell it in the car, smoky, meaty, happy. We found a spot and already damp from leaving the ballpark stepped out into the rain to see where that smell was coming from. We then walked all the way around the same block we had just driven around trying to get in. We ended up at the screen door behind the kitchen asking the cooks where the door was, we did eventually find it, but it doesn’t look like a door. Now we are sopping wet, this better be good.



If You Try This Place...This Is The Door...Not a Wall...No...Not Kidding

After deciding whether we would wait for a table with a long drive home to come, we put our name in and found the wait was less than half of what was predicted. Inside, Slows is really slick. Two beautifully renovated buildings from the 1800’s feature an old world rustic feel with clean and modern additions. The staff is large and in constant motion although our server didn’t seem to have it all together and was constantly telling us he would be right back. He managed to do alright but could really benefit from tightening up his game.

Everyone else ordered an oddly named sandwich and I nearly complied but had to try the straight-up Q. The meats are all sourced from Niman Ranch in San Francisco which takes pride in both its products and responsibility. The sandwiches we ordered were the Brisket Enchilada, The Special Purpose, The Reason, and The Longhorn. I ordered the Half and Half which comes with a half chicken, half a rack of St. Louis ribs and two sides. As sides we ordered mac-n-cheese, corn bread, potato salad, coleslaw and waffle fries. Was Slow’s worth meandering aimlessly in the rain. You Betcha!

Brisket Enchiladas Were Tasty, Esp. the Sauce

The Longhorn

Stupendous Burger, The Special Purpose

The Reason

The brisket enchilada comes with chopped brisket and smoky gouda in corn tortillas topped with cheddar and spicy sauce. The brisket was tender and smoky but what really made this dish was the spicy sauce. Rich and red, it resulted in a delicious blend of BBQ and Latino flavors. The Longhorn has beef brisket sliced thin with an onion marmalade, smoked gouda and what I imagine is the same spicy sauce from the enchilada. I didn’t try the longhorn or the burger but by all reports they are memorable in a spectacular sort of way. Speaking of the burger, the Special Purpose is a half-pound burger cooked to order with spicy onions, smoked gouda, applewood bacon and a sweet sauce. I gotta tell you I haven’t heard folks rave about a burger like this in some time…I guess the name makes sense. The Reason is pork butt, smoked slow and pulled, bathed in sauce and topped with a signature coleslaw and dill pickle strips. This thing was excellent but could have used a touch more slaw to bring out the acidity. Over all the flavors were spot on.



And Half

The half and half couldn’t be anymore BarBQ. A rich and dark pellicle of smoke (bark for the Q’ers) sits atop a thick smoke ring that penetrates deep into the meats which are outstanding to begin with. The mac-n-cheese is screaming hot and packed with cheesiness. It has been a long time since I have had a coleslaw that was not sweetened or had a punch of citrus. At Slow’s the slaw is very cabbagey with a bit of tang to the mayo.

Look At That SMOKE Ring!!!

Killer Mac-n-Cheese

The waffle fries were functional but nothing special. Steph has been on the hunt for good cornbread for months…every time it has been on a menu she has ordered it and been disappointed. The hunt is over. Corn, a hint of sweet, a nice crust, exactly what she has been hunting for. The potato salad had a wonderful splash of hot sauce in the mix which also made it a standout of out visit.

Seriously Good Cornbread

Get Ready to Experiment

All of these dishes would be great alone but you are able to enhance anyone of them with the five signature sauces in squeeze bottles on the table. My least favorite was the mustard based sauce. It is one of my favorites at Old Carolina but here it is almost too complicated and really didn’t work for me. I almost never favor the sweet sauce and that was no exception at Slow’s. I would never use this on these dishes without the addition of another bottle. The apple Bbq sauce took some time to wrap my head around. Without the meat it tasted almost exactly like apple butter which was a new addition for me with the meat and took some getting used to. The Spicy sauce isn’t overly aggressive and has a mélange of tastes that work really well on everything I splashed it over. My favorite at Slow’s was their NC (North Carolina) which had the expected vinegar base but had a noticeable splash of a peppery hot sauce that really brought everything a sharp and lightly spicy punch which was awesome. I spent the rest of our stay doing chemistry experiments. All sauces together. These three. Does the mustard work better mixed with this one? Results are too numerous to list but if you find yourself at Slow’s I can guarantee you will find a combination that meets all of your expectations. Slow’s may be relatively new to the BarBQ world, but they certainly know exactly what they are doing.




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