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Slows Bar-B-Q

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

61 Ratings
Ratings: 61
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
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%

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.

woodychandler, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.07/5  rDev -7.9%

Slow’s is right next to Michigan Central Station, which is one of those places you MUST visit when you’re in Detroit. The area looks run-down and ghetto (unsurprisingly), but there are a couple of quality stops around Michigan Avenue.

Slow’s is mighty cool, a BBQ-joint with two bars, nice bartenders, jazz music and tons of good beer. Among the brews on tap: Founders Smoked Porter, Griffin Claw Flying Buffalo, Founders Devil Dancer, Right Brain Looping Owl, Witch’s Hat Train Hopper, Short’s Goodnight… mostly Michigan, mostly rare, all high-quality.

Our bartender was burly, sweaty, slightly gruff and super knowledgeable. He gave me a bunch of samples because I was nice. We were in a bit of a hurry to make it to a lunch date so we stayed for only one beer and didn’t try the food, but you’d better bet I will check Slow’s again next time I’m in Detroit!

DoubleSimcoe, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Sammy, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

TurdFurgison, Jun 09, 2006
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 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 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 86sportster883
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%

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.

86sportster883, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of benito
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

benito, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of MarcatGSB
3.84/5  rDev -13.1%

Wednesday night around 6:30, a group of four of us roll up, and it's an hour wait for a table. I'm not surprised. We find some room over by the bar, and study the chalk board of draft selections. Wow, really nice selection. A great variety, and more taps than I had expected.
All four of us got something different, and we all got to try something we hadn't had before on the trip. A nice mix of Belgian Imports, American Craft and alot of Michigan craft.

Even just as a beer destination in the Detroit area, Slow's is worth the stop.

The food wasn't anything special. This evening the chicken was very moist, the brisket was a touch dry, the ribs (short ribs) were mediocre and uncut (which makes it difficult for the customer to consume, no steak knife, and the butter knife wasn't eating through the meat either), and the pulled pork was the best thing on the plate. The sides were rather blan...but the corn bread was very good.
As being highly regarded as some of the best BBQ in the Midwest, I was pretty disappointed. It's a cool place, don't get me wrong, but there is better BBQ in Michigan.

MarcatGSB, Dec 06, 2013
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Slows Bar-B-Q in Detroit, MI
97 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.