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Slows Bar-B-Q

Not Rated.
Slows Bar-B-QSlows Bar-B-Q

43 Reviews
Reviews: 43
Visits: 85
Avg: 4.41
pDev: n/a
Taps: 56
Bottles: 52
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

2138 Michigan Ave
Detroit, Michigan, 48216-1305
United States
phone: (313) 962-9828

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @slowsbbq

Place added by: putnam on 09-26-2005

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Visits: 85
Photo of CBA
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went with friends who are ardent Slow's fans, and it's easy to see why. Great set up inside with exposed beams, brick and wood detailing. Place was packed, and we thought we'd got there early (just before 5pm on a Saturday) - evidently not. No problems though, just sit at the bar and enjoy the excellent tap list (Arcadia, Dragonmead, Motor City, Bells, Founders, Great Lakes, JP, Shorts and on and on) Nice to see the focus is on regional and local brews. Food was outstanding with monsterous portions. Service was efficient and quick considering how slammed they were. My vote is for the NC sauce. Go, eat, drink and enjoy the meat sweats.

Oh ya - if you've got 6 or more in your group be sure to make a reservation.

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Photo of DrJay
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I saw this listing on BA and figured it would make for a good stop during a recent trip to Detroit. I'm very glad this listing was here, because otherwise I would never have found this gem.

We stopped in for lunch on a cold day and sat at a table near the front door. It was sort of chilly, but fortunately they had some big, hearty beers on tap for us to enjoy. Our server seemed pretty knowledgeable about the beers and made some good suggestions for side dishes (definitely get the mac 'n' cheese). The bar was centered in the dining area and there were several booths along one wall.

Current draft beers were listed on a chalkboard. There were offerings from Shorts, several from Dragonmead, Arcadia, North Coast, Founders Breakfast Stout and Great Lakes Eddie Fitz (+ a couple more I can't remember off the top of my head). Definitely leaning towards local craft beers. Plenty more locals, regional craft and imports available in bottles, so there's no lack of good drinking options.

As good as the beer was, it's the food that really shines at Slow's. This was some of the best soul food I've had outside of Harlem. At our table, we tried the fried catfish appetizer (delicious) and wings (full wings slow cooked rather than the chopped up things you get everywhere else) to start. Entrees were impressive. The half rack of ribs filled the plate and the triple threat sandwich was packed with nothing but pulled pork, ham, and bacon. I had the beef brisket, which consisted of a pound of thin sliced meat all by itself on a plate. Sides were served on side plates and were nearly a meal on their own. There were five homemade BBQ sauces available at the table, so you could choose what you wanted or mix and match. The apple BBQ sauce was the fav at our table.

Overall, we left stuffed and full of good beer. It was quite reasonably priced too, just check the website to see current prices for food and beer. I know I'll be back the next time I visit Detroit. Highly recommended.

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Photo of frazbri
3.98/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Slow's is a place that you wouldn't just happen to find in your wanderings. It's not in a trendy neighborhood lined with sidewalk cafes and art galleries. It's on Michigan Ave near Rosa Parks Blvd almost in the shadow of the old train station.

The name is a statement of how food should be. The essence of Barbecue (q) is time. It can't be hurried. Low & slow is the mantra.

The menu is a combination of barbeque & southern comfort foods with a few twists. I chose thier version of surf & turf: blackened (or fried) catfish, brisket, and jambalaya. My two sides were macaroni & cheese and corn bread. The fish, jambalaya and corn bread were good, but the brisket and macaroni were among the best I've ever had. The brisket was fork tender, juicy and delicious. Add a little spicy sauce, and it was killer. The mac was creamy with a nice crust of cheese on top. We also had barbecue buffalo wings as an appetizer. The apple barbeque sauce was perfect on the chicken.

Slow's beer menu was pretty darn good as well. They showcase Michigan breweries with selections from Short's, Bell, Founders, Jolly Pumpkin and Motor City, but also carry some beers from Rogue, Stone, Unibrou and Great Lakes to name a few. There are beer menus on the table, which always helps make choosing easier.

Service was solid. Our server wasn't a full on beer geek, but knew the taplist and asked others to get answers she didn't know.


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Photo of GJ40
3.75/5  rDev -15%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I stopped into this place on a business trip after consulting Beer Advocate.

The area is a little questionable but this is a nice place. It's got exposed brick walls, natural woods finish and good natural lighting from the front windows. There's a U shaped bar in the center with booths on one side and tables on the other.

The bartenders were OK but didn't seem to be very outgoing with their service or knowledge of beer.

They have a large selection of beer on tap (I'd guess 20-25) and lots more in the bottle. I tried Ommegang Hennepin, Founder's Brewing Red's Rye and Goliath Triple. I found the selection good but not inspired.

The food was very, very good but a bit pricy for what you get. I had a catfish sandwich and at $9, you should get fries or something with it.

This is as good as I've found in the Detroit area but not exceptional when you consider other parts of the country.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Based on good-ol' Beerfly, I decided to try this place. And what an experience. On a cold, overcast "spring" day, while in town for a conference, I drove to this completely derelict looking part of town, full of abandoned buildings (not the least of which was old Tigers Stadium, which I last visited some 30 plus years ago at my first ever MLB game), and a slightly unnerving feel. Honestly, I wasn't too sure about coming here. But I saw the street around the building full of cars, and there was nothing else open, so they all had to be here for Slow's.

And in entering the place, they are really trying to revitalize a very depressed area, and I give them a lot of credit. A mix of old bricks (the original building), old wood, and new stone makes for a pleasant atmosphere, even to the point of new tech, high tech waterless urinals. My biggest problem is that I am no longer used to smokers indoors- they were limited to half of the wrap-around bar, but still was hard to take. Overall, it is first and foremost a BBQ restaurant that centers around this bar.

But a very nice bar indeed. 20 taps, 40-60 bottles, mostly very good. I enjoyed 2 midwestern brews from tap with a great pulled pork sandwich and Mac and Cheese side, but they also had Stone Old Guardian and Pale Ale, Hennepin, and a bunch of quality taps.

Highly recommended for both beer and food, plus the opportunity to see a real effort to rebuild a part of town that has seen much better days.

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Photo of SaucyA
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Given my ratings, I obviously love Slow's. It's in a really cool part of Detroit... one that gets no love, but has a lot of character. Some people may call it a bad area, but the looming train station, the abandoned streets... everything just adds to the appeal of the restaurant.

The interior is well decorated and cozy. Lots of exposed brick and wood. Big glass windows let you watch Michigan Ave. The bar is large and central, with booths and tables peppered throughout. I also really dig the bathroom.

The beer is great. They have an awesome selection of both bottles and taps... the last time I was there I had some Maudite, Edmund Fitzgerald, and Ghettoblaster all on tap. I reckon they have about 20+ taps, and nearly 100 bottles. They also have a phenomenal selection of bourbon, which I happen to love.

Service is always spot on. I suppose it helps that I know one of the bartenders personally, but quite frankly, I've never had a dissapointing moment.

The selection of both beer and food is fantastic. Amazing brews, and amazing meals. Their "The Reason" pulled pork sandwich is outta this world, and you MUST try the Mac n Cheese... seriously great.

I love Slow's for everything it is... a great meal, some great brew, great service, and a great vibe.

A round of applause for this wonderful restaurant, please.

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Photo of Stimack
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place looks to be down in an older part of the city, down the road from the old Tigers stadium, which was a treat to drive by. The area where it is located seemed to be quite vacant. The place is very inviting as you walk in you are right next to a wrap bar that is placed in the middle of the large room that wraps around. Booths are on the side of the bar where the entrance was and on the other side numerous tables. The feel of the place is very nice, brick and wooden walls which seem to give it an inviting feel. Cant exactly remember but I think that the floors where wood as well and that seemed to just add to everything. The beer selection was very impressive, I got 2 Great Lakes and one Michigan Brewing offering just because I can not get them back in NY but the number of brews offered on tap seemed to be about 14 or so and then I lost count after 70 bottles. The food was very good, from the reviews I had read and then my experience, simple great and did not disappoint. Had a nice menu with many different choices. I got their version of Surf and Turf which consisted of fried catfish, beef brisket and jambalaya along with a side of their mac and cheese. Everything was very good, the mac and cheese was out of this world. The service was great, when my beer was getting low the bartender would be over asking for my next selection as well as checking in on how the food was, etc. I would say with the beer selection that they have and the good food, this place is a must when in the Detroit area.

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Photo of alexgash
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Stopped by on a beautiful Sunday afternoon after a Twins/Tigers game at Comerica. Not too hard to find (just look for non-abandoned buildings), not far from the old Tiger Stadium and across the street from the eerily abandoned architectural gem of a railroad station. Anyways, modern, brick and wood exterior with a fenced-in patio. Inside has same wood and brick look with a large, horse-shoe shaped bar with variously-sized tables scattered around it. We sat at the bar since the table wait was over 45 minutes. Place was busy, but not crazy. Took the bartender a few minutes to help us but after that he did a decent job of attending to our needs. Nice tap selection of good, old standbys (Great Lakes Edmund, Bell's Oberon, Arcadia IPA, etc.) and some exciting rotating taps (Short's, Atwater, Rogue). Big bottle selection as well, laid out in a multi-page beer menu.

From our angle, the taps were hard to see and they did not have a board menu, so we couldn't tell what all the rotating seasonals were, so they could fix that. My only real complaint though! Beer was fresh and delicious (I had a Short's Huma...IPA). But the food was exceptional! The best BBQ I have had in a long time! Great beer, great food, desolate location. A must-visit place when in Detroit.

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Photo of mcallister
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went here on advice from cmore. Right down the road from old Tigers stadium. Not the best part of town but definitely worth braving the conditions to go to this great joint.

Tap selection was very good with many Michigan brews that I would have loved to try. I did get to sample Short's IPA. They also had Atwater, Bell's, Rogues, Michigan Brewing, and many other great tappers. Bottle selection was also tremendous both imports and craft beers alike. We all split a bottle of Hitachino Weizen after dinner. Also to note a wonder scotch and whiskey list was also available. I also recognized many "good" bottles of wine although I did not view a wine list.

Food was awesome. I have a brisket sandwich with smoked gouda and onion marmalade and a side of black beans. 5 different sauces to choose from at your table (or the bar for us) which were all very tasty. Served on your choice of texas toast or Kaiser roll. I chose Texas. Sandwich was great and I'd love to try some of their other goodies.

Only thing lacking in this joint was service was pretty subpar. Seems we had too wait quite awhile in between ordering beers, food, beers. According to cmore this usually isn't the case.

Only other complaint is cmore drank them out of Short's Cherry Porter before we could make it to Michigan.

Highly recommended and I look forward to returning if ever in the area.

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Photo of olacub
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

What a surprise this place was. It's located a few blocks from Tiger Stadium, practically across the street from the old abandoned train station. The atmosphere is comfortable - lots of exposed brick, dark wood, and large windows in the eating area.

Nice selection of beers. 15 or so taps, carefully chosen, and a sizable bottled beer list. I started with a pint of Short's Spiced Ale (which I didn't like - lemon and black pepper, ugh), then moved on to some Ghettoblaster, and finished with some Lion Stout to have with lunch. The beers were all fresh, and served in the proper glassware. Nice.

The food was a mixed bag. My cup of Crawfish Bisque was excellent, but was served luke warm at best. I tried the Lonestar, a brisket sandwich served on Texas toast, and was a little disappointed. The sauce was terrific, but the brisket was way too fatty. A couple of bites were pure fat - enough to induce a gag reflex. I also tried a side of the macaroni and cheese, which was incredibly rich and tasty.

I'll definitely come back when in Detroit again.

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Photo of 86sportster883
4.63/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

A great place on the outskirts of downtown Detroit. I visited on a weekday evening around 7:30. On the outside, the surrounding area appeared disserted except for the lack of parking nearby the restaurant. On the inside, the place was full of folks and buzzing with conversation. This is exactly the type of restaurant you would expect to find in a renovated old building in a downtown urban setting. I sat at the large bar in the center of the restaurant and ordered both food and beer. They have a fantastic selection of beers on tap and in bottles. I had a draft Chambly Noir from Unibroue that was outstanding. I like most all of Unibroue’s beers, but I rarely find them on tap. The black Belgian style ale went well with the “Big Three” BBQ entree that I ordered (a combo plate of pulled chicken, pulled pork and sliced brisket). The food was excellent as well, and it came out before I even finished perusing the extensive beer menu. The service was prompt and professional, the crowd was an urban mix of all ages, and the selection of BBQ sauces added an extra level of satisfaction to my dining experience. I found that the Apple BBQ sauce went well with my chicken, the Mustard sauce was great on the brisket and the Spicy sauce was a good compliment to the pulled pork. The sweet potato mash and cornbread were also quite tasty. After my meal, I ordered a bottle of Duchess de Bourgogne. This is an amazing beer and a testament to the well thought out selection of Belgian and French style ales offered at Slow’s. Quite honestly, I found this to be the best BBQ restaurant I’ve visited in recent memory. I will certainly return.

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Photo of benito
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

While Slow's may get (rightfully) lauded on this website, it is first and foremost a top-notch barbecue joint, one of the only restaurants in the city of Detroit that will be filled on a Monday at 12:05.

The entire restaurant is done in a simple wood-paneling, and a main bar divides the entryway from the main dining room. The kitchen is just off to the side, and it's easy to sneak a peek inside. I won't say much more about the atmosphere here, because it's the food and beer (and bourbon) that are front and center.

Slow's meats may be the best barbecue I've tasted outside the Carolinas, Texas or Missouri, and what's best about it is that it takes the best of each of those bbq hotbeds and brings them to downtown Detroit. The pulled pork, brisket, and chicken are all delicious and taste even better when tossed with one of Slow's homemade sauces. The Apple BBQ and Mustard are spectacular, and their Spicy BBQ, Sweet BBQ, North Carolina Sauce, and Jalapeno Garlic are all impressive as well. I also enjoyed my homemade side dishes--sweet potato mashers, greenbeans with mustard sauce, potato salad, and a rich, buttery slice of cornbread. I split the fried catfish appetizer with the folks I ate with, and there was more than enough to fill us twice over on the table. Not a single dish was short of brilliant.

As for beer--right this is a beer review after all--they've got about twenty taps fitted with brews specifically chosen to match the barbecue. Over the course of the meal I had a Founders Pale Ale, Hennepin, and Bell's Best Brown. Amongst the other taps were Two Hearted Ale, Arcadia IPA, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Maudite, and Rogue Chipotle Ale. Their bottle list, which is also available on their website, is equally impressive, and all this in a bar that has a wide-ranging collection of American whiskies to boot! The beer does the food justice--no small feat given how fantastic an eatery this is.

The only downside to Slow's is that it lives up to its name. We waited over 40 minutes for our lunch. Our server, to her great credit, apologized and offered us a free round of beers, and the wait was certainly worth the food. But, caveat emptor, you might wait for a bit for Slow's dishes.

Slow's is much more than a "beer bar." It's a great restaurant that acknowledges the importance of great beer, and eating here, one almost helps to elevate craft beer to a much merited status of food 'pairer.' If the craft beer movement is going to enter and change the realm of haute cuisine (as I believe it should) by shifting the way people think about food and drink pairings, we'll need more places like Slow's.

Don't miss it.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Wow, did we ever pass up a good thing when the people that I was with opted not to take me here in February! It sat a couple of blocks north of the former Tiger Stadium site, and boy, was it deceptive. The address (correctly) was 2138 Michigan Avenue, but the number was frosted into the upper glass panel at the end of a short vestibule. “What fronts said vestibule?” you may ask. Well, how does a huge, horizontally slatted, varnished blonde wood doorway with a small mail-sized slot marked “Pull” grab you? Yeah, me too. Fortunately, some of the staff were on break and pointed to the way in. Phew.

The whole place was dominated by blonde and light-brown wood and exposed, unfinished brick. Along the right wall, headed aft, were three extremely high-backed booths, followed by the kitchen, all of the way aft. Fronting the kitchen were wide strips of hammered copper, fastened by pop rivets. Turning left after entering the door, I encountered the elongated, “U”-shaped, copper-topped bar. The right side of said bar, facing aft, was the smoking section. There was a nice, open passageway that bisected the bar, which was buttressed in the overhead by heavy bolted and nailed wood plates. This was probably necessary because the left side of the space, facing aft, is/was 2140 Michigan Avenue! To the far left were their restaurant tables and chairs, followed by three big picture windows overlooking Michigan Avenue. There was also a biergarten under construction, ostensibly due to open after 04 July weekend of 2006, on the site of what would have formerly been 2142 Michigan Avenue. The washrooms were all of the way aft on the left-hand side and continued the industrial feel with rough welds and a tiny concrete sink. The ambiance was also very good, with soft jazz and blues being played as background music.

The beer (and bourbon and wine) list came sandwiched between two wood boards, hinged together like a hospital clipboard. Ha! They featured twenty (20) taps and one hundred (100) bottles, almost all micros and quality imports. Fabulous.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Reviewed from a visit on Wednesday, July 5th.

Finally, made it down to Slow's, during my week off from work. Putnam from Cloverleaf, has always highly recommended this place. Showed up Wednesday around 8:00pm. Only seating that was available, was at the bar. Very nice decor, tons of wood and hammered copper. Booths and tables are available, and about 15 seats at the bar.
The bartender was excellent, told us about the specials and what was new on tap. Speaking of taps, Slow's has 20 awesome taps. From Bell's, Arcadia, Hennepin, Rogue, and Great Lakes, just to name a few. They have a fanastic beer menu. All beers are listed by styles. They even have Trappist brews from Orval and Rochefort. Most likely the best beer selection I've seen in this state. They even have two pages dedicated to Bourbons.
Now to the food. The food is absolutely fanastic!! I ordered the North Carolina pulled pork. It was awesome!!! Along with the pork you get to choose two sides. I had the potato salad and the baked beans. Both were very tasty and delicious. Portions are good sized, I was very full when I finished my meal. All in all Slow's has to be the best place to go for great beer and great food! Prices are very reasonable and the waitstaff is great. I can see many return trips in my future. A must try!!!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I stopped here for dinner while in Detroit on business. It was rated #1 place by BA to stop for a beer in Detroit, so I finally tried it.

The atmosphere is pretty cool, lots of woodwork, especially in the entrance. But the food and the beer is the draw:

There were about 15 taps, all with good selections: Maudite, Hennepin, Bell's Oberon, Bell's Consecrator, Arcadia IPA, Rogue Chocolate Stout, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Hoegaarden, and more. Also there were ~25 more Belgian and French style beers in bottles, including Trappists such as Westmalle, Rochefort, and Achel. Very good selection for a BBQ place.

The food was excellent and the beer was relatively low priced. I had Hennepin on tap for $4, and Saison DuPont (375ml) for $8. I highly recommend this place for a good dinner in Detroit.

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4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I visited Detroit over the long weekend and went to Slow's after the Tiger's game on Sunday. It was a treat and a surprise too. I didn't expect it to be anything special pre-judging by the neighborhood, which for the most part, appears to be abandoned. Parking was a cinch. The A/C felt great coming in out of the heat. We sat at the bar and the service was prompt. The bar menu is two wood planks connected by a hinge on one end. The selection was deep. Michigan micros are well represented from a visitors standpoint. I was surprised to see one of my west coast favorites on tap: Rogue Dead Guy. They also had the Lindeman’s Pomme on tap . I think there were 16 draft choices and none of them are macros. I hadn’t tried the Lindemans yet so we asked for a taster. The bartender poured a sample for us. I ordered a Bell’s Oberon Ale draft. We ordered a plate of wings that were served with 4 different BBQ sauces. They were the one-piece drumette and wing portion and they were fabulous. The bourbon menu is an extensive 2 pages. There are more bottled Belgian’s to choose from than I was familiar with. We also had a Jolly Pumpkin Roja to help the wings down. The menu pokes fun at the macros by using their respective propaganda to describe them. It’s even funnier because they deliberately mix them up. Bud Light description: Why ask why, drink Bud dry / Bud Description: The Champagne of beers / Miller High Life: Tastes great –Less Filling and so on. There were a few construction guys at work outside on what appeared to be the start of a patio. The wash basins and fixtures in the bathroom are unpretentiously cool so don’t forget to go and wash your hands. Thanks to the BAs on the Great Lakes forum for a great suggestion!

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Photo of ypsifly
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited Slow's on a Monday evening after working all day downtown. It was just what I needed after a long day on my feet. I sat at the hammered copper bar and stared in amazement at the number and quality of beers on tap. After looking through the wood covered beer list I ordered a MC Ghettoblaster followed by a Hennipen. Both were fantastic. I was a bit tired to begin with and the beers were setting in so I opted for carryout and had a goblet of Maudite while I waited for my half slab of St. Louis ribs with baked beans and potato salad. I ordered the ribs sans sauce because I know sauce can cover imperfections in the ribs or the way they were cooked. I wanted to see if these folks know what they are doing and they passed with flying colors. I will say that it was the best ribs I have had in MI and they could hold their own against and even surpass the level of quality found in most southern rib joints.

The atamosphere was very comfortable with the simple yet elegant interior design. The use of hammered copper and wood fit perfectly together. The quality of the food was top notch. The service was attentive and knowledgable. The beer selection blew me away. From PBR to Trappist styles other than Chimay and a little bit of everything in between. The food and drink is very reasonably priced. Most beers on tap are $4 and the bottles are only a few bucks more than average shelf prices. They also have a killer whisky selection.


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Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Had heard and read alot about this place and I love the cue so I headed on over after the Tiger game last Thursday.In the section of Corktown in Detroit near old Tiger stadium,really not much parking we found a spot acroos the street off to the side of the place,alot of wood in the interior with a big bar that goes thru the front room into the side room.I didnt get the number of taps I would say 30-35 with a heavy tilt towards MI. micros I had a Founders pale ale,and a Bell's Concecrator doppelbock.We had the bbq beef and gouda enchiladas they were awesome,for an entree I had the tri platter of brisket pulled pork and pulled chicken the chicken was very good the brisket was ok and the pulled pork seemed a bit dry but was flavorful.Iam not a big fan of eastern style NC style bbq but the vinegar and chili based sauce was spot on for the style,also a sweet,spicey,apple based,and orange oberon sauce was available with the spicey sauce my personal favorite.Its always good to find a good cue place with a great tap selection,a good place to go while in metro Detroit.

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Photo of marburg
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

ADDENDUM: The beer list at Slow's has grown as quickly as its number of patrons. Without a single macrobrew on its list and only a limited number of overzealous American micros, the 10 or 12 pages is that much more impressive. A majority of the beers are obviously selected to match the cuisine perfectly. There are bigger lists in Michigan, but there is no BETTER list in Michigan.

OLD REVIEW (10-10-2005): Saddled up to the porcelin pot, it took me a moment or two to recognize the accoustic southern blues tunes playing over the speaker. Sounded about right for the cuisine, though it was interesting the audio was more theme appropriate in the restroom than in the dining room. It was a good first impression, however, as I'd hurried through the place to the back, not giving much of a glance as I passed through.

The beer list is good, though the knowledge -- as might be fair to expect at a new place -- is lacking. Ch'Ti is not Castelain with a different label; thanks for playing. (You're forgiven though because you charge a miniscule 4 dollars for a pint of Dead Guy Ale and a paltry 6 bucks for a bottle of Orval.)

I can't do any more justice to the aesthetic or to the creativity placed in the details than has already been done by inebrius. But I can, if provoked, expend much energy rambling on and on and on and on (and on) about the sauces. My meal selection was The Big Three: chicken, pork, and brisket. At first I dribbled the sauces on just a bit because, really, the smokey flavors and ragged, varying textures were appealing enough. But once I got my favorite combos down, I slathered. I drenched. I swamped. I drowned. Chicken with the mustard sauce. And I have to agree that the Apple BBQ is the greatest thing to come out of a squeezy bottle since 45spf hit the scene for those of us with a Casper-like complexion.

The pork and brisket were better, I think, than the chicken. Perhaps that's obvious. I wasn't impressed by my cornbread, but I couldn't help but steal a sizeable portion of my wife's mac n cheese. I never eat mac n cheese -- good, bad, processed, homemade, elbow, shaped like little cartoon characters, whatever -- but I couldn't really stop myself. Black beans, fried catfish, and corn flan also helped lend my denim wasitband a certain elasticity as I filled up.

All in all, I found it immensely satisfying. It's a great atmosphere, our waitress was quick beyond her three days of experience, and the people seemed very friendly. I'm curious to try the sandwiches, because I have to imagine that one could escape with a big sandwich and the right low-cost beer for 10 bucks, which is pretty amazing considering the $6.95 low-rent turkey wraps slathered in week-old Garden Foods mayo being peddled at so many places these days.

Slow's is refreshing for its food, for its drink, and for its change of pace. Eating oneself into a daze never felt so good.

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Photo of putnam
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

BEER: The beer list was just re-done (January 2006) and vastly expanded. I've done some beer-aware travelling in my days (New York, San Francisco, Munich, Chicago, Amsterdam, London, Prague, and other places) but I've never seen such a coherent collection of top-quality full-service beer under one roof, anywhere. Period.

Three selections from Mahr's, two from Jolly Pumpkin, and others from Thiriez and de Ranke join Duvel, various Bell's products, various beers from Rogue, Hennepin, Samuel Smith's, Fullers, Great Lakes, etc. I think there's over 100 now.

ATMOSPHERE: This isn't merely a restaurant, it's a way of living. Recycled materials in a recycled landscape glorify a city's proud history. Everything about this place conspires to put its audience in touch with a wholesome, lively past, when food was cooked slowly and people were relaxed and happy.

SERVICE: Give them time. It is a minor miracle to bring together such a large team of specialists in such a short period of time (Slow's has only been opened less than 6 months). Considering the progress I expect the next report card to show even more improvement in this area. ALL the servers are eager to help and the ones who are new to real beer are willing to learn. Help them out. They may know more than you think too. Also, this is Detroit. Snobs will be smothered in brisket ends and filled with beer until they get the vibe.

FOOD: There are times on busy Saturday's, when more guests are turned away than who find seats, and at these times, occasionally, the plates of smoked meat can seem a touch on the dry side, like they were prepared maybe that afternoon. I can't imagine how the 6 month old kitchen team has kept up with the onslaught. Long hours and little sleep is my guess. By far, the vast majority of experiences with the food has been world-class (I've been there over 30 times). Fans of slow food will admire the delightful, authentic inconsistencies that prove someone is really making this food by hand. Five sauces are brought to every table every one of them perfect. Macaroni and cheese has nutmeg and pepper in it. Black beans, green beans, waffle fries, blackeyed peas, mashed sweet potato and cole slaw are all great.

Detroit now has a beer stop unsurpassed by any other in the world. Especially if you like bourbon too!

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.63/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Original Review: 12/24/05
Edited: 05/16/06

A barbeque place that showcases craft beer as the beverage of choice? Yes please!

Located in what formerly was a very vibrant area many decades ago but in the last thirty years sank into a deep funk. Recently though, places like Slow's have been starting up in the area, in the shadow of the grand but long-closed Michigan Central Train Station on Michigan Avenue.

Slow's itself is located in an old brick building which much of it's character has been allowed to shine through it's new upper scale facade. Lots of brick, exposed beams, wood floors and so on. The tables are situated around the centrally located bar. The beverage list is exactly opposite of most restaurants, about fifty bottled beers listed and twenty to thirty available on tap with a very meek wine list. A highlight was Rogue Chipotle on draft for $2.50 a glass which pairs really well with Slow's various barbeque offerings. There is a lot of variety but just about everything goes well with their fine culinary offerings The food was well made, but with a few weak links in there, including their very dry and bland cornbread. Entree portions can be small depending on the entree, especially at the prices, which doesn't always live up to the real barbeque traditions. The brisket for instance was listed as being "a full pound" when it was more like 8-10 ounces at most. Truly though, those are the only criticisms I can come up with and compared to all they do right, these are really minor points. Overall really good food, the baby back ribs are truly delicious. One could argue about the food's authenticity in execution or spirit, but their unique urban take on a down home style is authentic and without peer. If you've ever had the real thing, you'll see the differance immediatly, but make no mistake, this food is seriously good.

A good spot to get great food and even better craft beer, and just the type of place Detroit needs. I'm sure as this place develops itself the few kinks it has will be ironed out and it will get even better. I've been here a number of times now and have really fallen in love with the place. I was at first a little unimpressed with their interpretation of barbeque and their initial lax service standard but have since accepted Slow's for what it is and not what it isn't and truly everytime I go their weaker points are less pronounced and their strengths shine. What they do well they do exceedingly well and while it's a bit on the expensive side, it's well worth the expense (and the sometimes long wait for a table). I highly recommend going, truly a personal favorite. Top three in Detroit, hands down.


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Photo of jtw
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

located on a somewhat "dated" stretch of michigan ave in the middle of detroit’s historic corktown. apparently it’s a renovated building from a while ago, and they managed to keep some of the ambiance. new-feeling but incorporates the bustling history from the area. long peninsular-shaped bar surrounded on all 3 sides by inviting booths and tables of varying size. i was seated at a table with a view of michigan avenue.

has a one-page beer and wine menu, but to my pleasant surprise, it’s 95% beer! about 20 taps, with some locals and many imports and other US micros. decent bottled selection, including about 10 bottles in 750s (such as most of the Castelain series), with about 40 bottles total. the prices are good, with a glass of Rogue Chipotle ale for $2.50; up to $16 for some of the Castelain 750s. Incidentally, Rogue Chipotle is the cheapest beer on the menu, and it functions as its own sommelier, because it quite literally would pair exceptionally with every single item on the menu, and even better considering the price! the food is serious barbeque, sandwiches from $7 and entrees to $25. pulled pork, beef brisket, ribs, grilled salmon, mac & cheese, sweet potato mash, and 4 different types of their own barbeque sauce (and a special spicy mustard).... i WILL be back for more, i suggest you do the same.

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Photo of inebrius
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I like to try and gauge the value of a joint by the menu. Before a morsel of food touches my lips I generally have a good idea what to expect. Some restaurants are easy to figure, The Fly Trap and its Spartan card of quality on one end, most Coneys and their five page Sysco inventory sheets on the other. Slow’s was easy: two pages on eight inch square paper, everything based on slow smoked southern fixed food, whimsical names not telling some story, an amazing drinks bill redesigned by a passionate local. Simple fare intended for comfort, joy and value.

I started with a $2.50 pint of Rogue Chipotle, a gently spicy, smoky session ale. There were a dozen good taps, twice as many good bottles. If they’re out of something there is something else just as good to replace it. As good a beer menu as I’ve experienced at a place not promoting themselves a beer bar.

When the food comes a spiritual red and white checkered cloth forms over the polished wood table and the folks around you start to drawl. I have lived in and traveled the Deep South extensively and barbeque does not get any better than this. Sure, you’ll find some semi-rural 200 square foot cinder block houses in Alabama that can smoke a side of pork like no one else but you won’t find many places doing this many cuts of meat this well. Sides are good too. Thick cut waffle fries, fat coleslaw redolent of celery seed, shells and cheese with bite, my only grumble a lack of collard greens.

Who thinks collards when they’ve got a plate of peppery dry-rubbed smoked short ribs in their face though? C’mon! Buttery brisket and melty pork and five regional sauces to cover them—the North Carolina and Apple were favorites. A goat cheese and fried green tomato appetizer vibrates off the plate. I need to go back just to make sure it’s real.

Sated and waddling back to the car and before a real estate tour of Corktown I made note of the long stack of well seasoned Hickory lying behind the kitchen, the laundry hanging from the balcony of a flat above the storefronts lining Michigan Avenue, and realized this scene never looked more natural anywhere.

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Slows Bar-B-Q in Detroit, MI
96 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.