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Slows Bar-B-Q

Not Rated.
Slows Bar-B-QSlows Bar-B-Q
BA SCORE
97
world-class

62 Ratings
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 9.5%
Taps: 56
Bottles: 52
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: 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

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: putnam on 09-26-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Sammy, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of Jaysmittyland
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Jaysmittyland, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Danielr26
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Danielr26, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of Rons35
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Rons35, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

JohnnieNepal, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of garuda
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

garuda, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of Hibernator
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%

I made a visit to Slows last Friday afternoon. This place was high on my priority list for things to do while in Detroit. Little did I know at the time that my long weekend would turn into an unexpected week long trip in the Big D (thanks Hurricane Sandy).

After arriving at the airport, we jumped in a cab and went directly to Slows Bar Bq, with our cumbersome bags and all. The timing of our arrival was methodical, realizing that this place is notorious for long waits on the weekend. In retrospect, our mid-afternoon arrival, between lunch and dinner worked out quite well.

We started off Brisket Enchilada that was awesome and packed with flavor. The brisket was really tender and the enchilada tasted authentic. We spilt an entree, so I got to try the St. Louis Ribs and the brisket, everything is super flavorful. Awesome food, no doubt.

Slows showcases a very respectable selection of beers. I ordered from the draft selection, there is a large chalkboard up front that lists all of their selections. You can expect about 20 or so draft offerings with a heavy emphasis on Michigan based craft breweries. Awesome selections from Bells and Founders like Bells Two Hearted, Hell Hath No Fury, Batch #10,000 and Batch #11,000 (this was really tasty!), Founders Breakfast Stout & Harvest Ale.

I would say that this place is a must stop while in Detroit. Slows is an establishment that has done a wonderful job of offering great craft beer and high quality BBQ. Recommended.

Hibernator, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of Debbiedo
2.13/5  rDev -51.8%

The reason I'm only giving this place only two stars is because it is incredibly overrated and someone just needs to be honest. The wait was 2 hours. Ok, we'll kill the two hours; I understand this was the most hopping place on Michigan Ave. The trouble I had with Slows is the food was just 'ok.' I ordered the ribs and chicken combo. I upped for the $2 to get baby back ribs. The ribs were nothing special, very difficult to eat (tough), but I would still say they were not awful. The chicken was cooked very well like it was pre-cooked and reheated. What was the chef thinking?

Overall I didn't mind the dinner. What I want to advise everyone is don't wait two hours expecting the best BBQ you've ever had. Granted, the primary audience in the place was suburbanites and I'm not sure Bloomfield Hills is bopping with good BBQ either. In many cases, this may be the best BBQ they've ever had and that was an honest response.

They have a good selection of beers on tap. However, when I asked my server about a couple of them, she had no idea. Bummer, I was hoping for a different experience.

Debbiedo, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of crossovert
4.83/5  rDev +9.3%

Stopped here before the Wings Blues game on New Year's Eve. There is a good amount of free street parking.

Inside it was pretty damn busy. A 1 hr 15 minute wait for 2. We nabbed a spot at the bar though after about 5 minutes.

Our bartender was excellent. She game me a lot of free samples and was prompt about everything. The food is pretty good. I just got a sandwich and couldn't finish it. It was massive. The hot sauce is good but could be hotter. The tap selection was world-class although i was pissed they didn't have the Ayinger on tap that was on the boards.

I thought the prices were pretty reasonable. A world-class restaurant.

crossovert, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of cratez
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%

Visited with my girlfriend before heading to the Wings & Jets game on December 10th.

Atmosphere: finished-wood-on-worn-brick decor gives the place an inviting "down home" feel that works well for a barbecue joint. Lots of tables surrounding a U-shaped bar with some light coming in from outside. Only complaint is that we felt a bit cramped since the restaurant was jam packed.

Service: our server was a really funny and jovial guy who provided great recos and lots of laughs. Food came out quickly and after we finished our meal he assured us that we still had plenty of time to enjoy a few drinks (but we had a game to catch!).

Selection: went with an Arbor Brewing Milestone Porter on cask and a pint of Larry Hoppe Double IPA from the same brewery. Both beers paired beautifully with the BBQ and my girlfriend liked her white wine. Other standouts were Southern Tier Mokah, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, and Weihenstephaner White Hoplosion on tap and Stone 15th Anniversary in bottles.

Food: ordered the three dishes that were featured on MVF Nation (Brisket Enchilada, Slow's Mac-N-Cheese, Triple Threat Pork); each one was incredibly good. The pork was super tender and juicy and I couldn't get enough of the delicious spicy sauce on the Enchilada. First-rate fare.

Overall: Slow's combines my two favourite things like no other. This would be my regular hangout if I lived in the area and it's probably even better during down times (if they have any). A mandatory stop for beer and barbecue lovers with the best micro lineup in Detroit.

cratez, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of mcomben
4.88/5  rDev +10.4%

Slows is in Corktown right in the shadow of Detroit's most infamous building, the MCS. Yes, the area seems sketchy, but any long term resident of metro Detroit knows that so long as you remain within the highways that bound Downtown (Detroit's demilitarized zone) you will be fine...just be smart.

I have been a long time fan of Slows, first drawn down by the promise of the best BBQ in Detroit and was certainly not disappointed. The dinner plates are overflowing, the sandwiches are amazing, and the sides are all so good its difficult to choose.

Only recently have I come to fully appreciate the beer selection. 20 or so taps + a firkin. Mostly Michigan brew (obviously not a bad thing) but some amazing beers from around the country/world also make a strong showing. The bottle selection is also strong, with just about any Jolly Pumpkin beer you could want. I would also suggest a nice glass of whiskey with dinner as Slows has the best whiskey/bourbon/scotch menu in town with great prices. On top of the awesome beer/booze selection, the bartenders all seem to be quite knowledgable and great at what they do.

Honestly one of my favorite restaraunts of all time, but quickly becoming my favorite beer stop in Downtown Detroit. I just recently stopped in after a Tiger's game and only drank, no food at all.

One important point to make: Slows only takes reservations for groups 6 people and larger and will quickly fill the spots shortly after opening at noon. If you cannot get a reservation I would suggest only going as a twosome, that way you can battle for a spot at the bar rather than wait the 2+ hours for a table. Then again, with such a great bar 2+ hours may not be a bad thing. Just think of it as having your post-dinner drinks a bit early.

mcomben, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of buschbeer
4.59/5  rDev +3.8%

I visited Slows before a Tigers game. It was in a run down neighborhood. I actually walked by the front door and didn't realize it was the entrance. Once I entered, around 12:45pm on a Friday, I was told that there was a 45 minute wait. I figured the lunch rush was about over. Luckily, two seats opened at the bar.

The place is quaint. They had I think 20 beers on tap with about half being from Michigan. It was a decent selection. I was more impressed by the food. I had to have some of the barbecue and the mac and cheese was delicious!

The server was amiable and competent. I thought the beer leaned toward the high side as far as price goes and for the offerings but overall it was well worth it.

buschbeer, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of evilinc
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%

I will occasionally make a special trip here if I visit their website and see that they have tapped an interesting beer that I have yet to try.

I had Founders KBS and Nemesis for the first time at Slows, as well as the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, multiple pints (what a night that was...) This place has special events every now and then that allow people to try incredible beers such as the ones I just mentioned. Reading about a DFH, Founders, or Bell's "happy hour" at Slows gets my taste buds tingling.

Some might say that for a "beer bar", 20 taps + 1 firkin isn't a lot, but I'd say that they keep things moving pretty nicely there. Season-wise they are pretty good, and it's pretty balanced, too. Every time I go there, the taps are varied to offer a good range of styles, from darker maltier beers to IPAs and summer wheat ales. Winters usually see some great barleywine style ales, imperial stouts, and other Winter warmers. They also have an extensive bottle list available, which is also always changing.

The food is pretty much amazing. I try to get something new every time I visit, and I think I'm getting close to trying the whole menu. Great bbq, and some good veggie dishes if you're not feeling like a meat and carb feast.

If it's your first time, might I suggest "The Reason" Sandwich, and the Mac'n'Cheese, along with a pint of some Michigan pale ale (Two Hearted?). Or, if you are really hungry get any entree with two sides, you're a champ if you eat it all. Big servings.

I only have good things to say about service and staff. Very respectful and friendly enough to chat about beer or whatever.

It's very close to my home, and very close to my heart. I recommend a visit.

Cheers

evilinc, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%

As an out-of-towner, I had an impression of Slows before I even walked in the door. My cousin had cautioned me that the area was less than stellar, just to be a little careful.

The area around Slows is not built up, but the inside is very urban chic. A host stand sits in front of you with the bar to the left as you walk in to a brightly lit wood and exposed brick interior with high ceilings. It has quite the loft feel throughout.

The food definitely deserves its reputation. The ribs were delicious, and I was disappointed that I could not try all of the BBQ on the menu. The mac and cheese and cheese fries are their two signature sides, so I really loaded up on the health food.

Their tap list is well thought out, with around 20 taps of local and seasonal beer on tap. They skip the Michigan beers you have had a million times already and go for Short's, Jolly Pumpkin, and Rochester Mills Brewing Co., to name a few. Their draft beers were reasonably priced, so I did not even need to dive into the bottles, although they had a good selection.

The service was fairly friendly and prompt. The bartender (while we waited for our table) and the waitress (once we sat down) were both able to make friendly suggestions without being overbearing.

Recommended for sure.

KickInTheChalice, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of moshea
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%

I have been putting off reviewing Slows for some time now. How do I review this place? As a beer bar I would maybe give it a B. However, the food and overall experience, for me, make it an A+. So how do I rate this place; as a beer bar or as my favorite overall hometown spot?

Atmosphere: BBQ shack urban chic. The restaurant is located in a rundown part of Detroit, but hell what part of Detroit is not run down? Out of towners do not fear, there is plenty of well lit free parking on both sides of Michigan Avenue, but be careful not to stray too far.

Quality: The tap list is a bit on the small side for a beer bar but well thought out. The food is top of the line. My family is a vegetarian family, and on each visit my wife and I and two small children walk out of there as stuffed as can be.

Service: Hipster unshaven boys in tight jeans and cute hipster girls. I have never been blown away by the service but they get the job done.

Selection: As I said, the selection is a bit limited but well thought out. There are always a few Michigan only taps, a few solid California offerings and several other American and European offerings

Food: Best food in town. Nuff said. A true BBQ head may disagree, but hell this is Detroit. How ironic is it that a vegetarian familiy's favorite restaurant is a BBQ joint? The vegetarian chicken sandwich is fantastic as is the mac and cheese. There are plenty of great sides to choose form as well.

Value. Fair enough

moshea, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of ktel
4.33/5  rDev -2%

Slows is on my list every time I go to Detroit. Don't always make it there, but its always on the list. The BBQ is VERY good. Brisket, pulled pork, with traditional sides like mac-n-cheese, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, cornbread, etc. Their BBQ sauces are all house-made, with 5 different varieties. All are very good. I've only had sandwiches, not any entrees, but I have to assume they are just as good.

What was such a pleasant surprise when I went here the first time was the beer list. They have a superb beer list. They have about 20 on tap, with a broad variety of Michigan, other U.S., and imported beers. Also an extensive bottle list, with a number of Belgians and U.S. Belgian-styles. If the barbecue wasn't so damn good this place would just be an awesome beer bar. But instead its an awesome barbecue restaurant with a phenomenal beer list. What more could you want.

Slow's is a slice of heaven. I highly recommend it. Go there - just go there.

ktel, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.33/5  rDev -2%

This is one of the stops that I looked forward to the most. Being able to combine two of my favorite loves, beer and bbq together in one place is quite special.
For a place to have food this good and all the beer available that they do should be a sin. The food was hearty and absolutely delicious. Whenever you can have a Shorts Huma Lupa IPA with your pulled pork sandwich, life has to be good. If I had a place like this locally, I would be there at least once a week with no problem what so ever. The beer list is enough to bring you there alone. Then when you couple the incredible food with it this place is a no brainer. Detroit has something very special with this place and to say that I'm jealous would be an understatement.

FtownThrowDown, May 21, 2009
Photo of kels
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%

Stopped in at Slow's one late night during a recent trip to Detroit. The kitchen was already closed (and I was sooo looking forward to some Mac & Cheese), but the beer was definitely worth hanging around for.

Atmosphere: The interior of Slow's is a unique blend of bbq shack and sleek modernism - very cool vibe. The bar is U-shaped and very open, with all the taps in the middle. Good music playing overhead. The only downer - the location is definitely scary. We took cabs from our hotel because we were afraid what would happen to our cars.

Quality/Service: Definitely good quality in the care and serving of the beers. Everything seemed close to the right temperature and tasted fresh. The service was excellent. The bartender was happy to talk to me about all the different beers on tap and was very knowledgeable. He was also able to help my friend who isn't as into beer yet find something she would like. Service was in the proper glassware as well.

Selection: The selection was excellent. I had decided that I would only drink Michigan beers while on this trip, and Slow's definitely lived up to that challenge. They had a good number of taps (didn't count, but I'd guess somewhere around 14+), and about half of those were Michigan beers. The others were mostly Belgians and other imports. They had additional selection in bottles, and they also had a full bar and extensive bourbon list, much to another friend's excitement.

Definitely a must-stop in Detroit. We had gone to another place the night before, and the bartender there even recommended any BA in Detroit stop by Slow's.

kels, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of uno99
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%

My first visit here based on recommendations from BA

Atmosphere was average, I wasn't crazy about the decor, but the bathrooms are very nice and clean and I suppose all the folky wood tables suits the food

Service was great, I asked the bartender to give a rundown on the tap list and he spent a good 10 minutes explaining what he had. He didn't mind giving out samples of ones we were interested in.

Selection: 20 beers on tap and about 20 more bottles. there entire tap list is micro as is most of the bottles. I immediately ordered a Founders breakfast stout which i was happy to see was on tap. Sampled the cask ale which they had as well. they have large bottles of Chimay available as well as Ayinger Celebrator and other Belgian/German goodies.

Food: the 3 of us ordered different things and we all enjoyed it. I love how you can selected 2 different sides with your main course. I recommend the mac and cheese.

uno99, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of CBA
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

CBA, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of DrJay
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

DrJay, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of frazbri
3.98/5  rDev -10%

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.

Go.

frazbri, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of GJ40
3.75/5  rDev -15.2%

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.

GJ40, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.33/5  rDev -2%

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.

Dukeofearl, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of SaucyA
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

SaucyA, Mar 08, 2008
Slows Bar-B-Q in Detroit, MI
97 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.