1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Slows Bar B Q

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

60 Ratings
Ratings: 60
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: 60 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of evilinc
evilinc

Ontario (Canada)

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

08-16-2011 21:13:40 | More by evilinc
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

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.

06-29-2011 18:26:34 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of moshea
moshea

Michigan

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

11-20-2009 02:12:26 | More by moshea
Photo of ktel
ktel

Michigan

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.

08-25-2009 03:34:31 | More by ktel
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

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.

05-21-2009 02:05:40 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of kels
kels

Virginia

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.

01-31-2009 15:37:12 | More by kels
Photo of uno99
uno99

Ontario (Canada)

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.

01-20-2009 01:36:48 | More by uno99
Photo of CBA
CBA

British Indian Ocean Territory

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.

12-28-2008 13:04:56 | More by CBA
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

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.

12-25-2008 03:33:15 | More by DrJay
Photo of frazbri
frazbri

Ohio

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.

06-30-2008 02:06:37 | More by frazbri
Slows Bar B Q in Detroit, MI
97 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.