Slows Bar-B-Q

BA SCORE
97
world-class

92 Ratings
Slows Bar-B-QSlows Bar-B-Q
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

2138 Michigan Ave
Detroit, Michigan, 48216-1305
United States

(313) 962-9828 | map
slowsbarbq.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by putnam on 09-26-2005

PLACE STATS
Score:
97
Ratings:
92
Reviews:
43
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
7.27%
 
 
Taps:
56
Bottles/Cans:
52
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Place Reviews | Events
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Ratings: 92 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of Danielr26
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of beornagain
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of spham
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of amalburg
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of A_Ondersma
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of n2492004
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of ALECOHOLIC
4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
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 crossovert
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.78/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

GO TO SLOW'S NOW!!

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Photo of inebrius
4.78/5  rDev +8.6%
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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Photo of MaxPowers
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Photo of slasich
4.75/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Great food, great brews, great feel to the place.

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Photo of putnam
4.75/5  rDev +8%
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 Jaysmittyland
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Photo of jtw
4.75/5  rDev +8%
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 TypsiYpsi
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Photo of AndyEdgar
4.75/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of evilinc
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

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

 1,710 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
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 SaisonRichBiere
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Arguably Detroit's best BBQ spot. Great food, and one of the best tap lists in metro Detroit. 50+ taps, usually some rarities on as well. Occasional cask and cellar-pull offerings. Tap-takeovers an patio parties from time to time as well. Great spot to grab a beer and some good cue.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
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 Tripel_Threat
4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Look, they carry lots of local brews, which is great. also, great not so local ones. But the best part is getting some of that BBQ to go with it. Many of us have driven down from the burbs on lunch hour just to pick up some Slows and boogie back to work. Many have gone out of their way just for Slows BBQ.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of Hibernator
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

 1,482 characters

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Slows Bar-B-Q in Detroit, MI
4.4 out of 5 based on 92 ratings.
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