Slows Bar-B-Q


43 Reviews
Slows Bar-B-QSlows Bar-B-Q

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(313) 962-9828 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by putnam on 09-26-2005

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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 91
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.


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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 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 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 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.


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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 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.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
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 86sportster883
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
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 buschbeer
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

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.

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Photo of marburg
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
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 cratez
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

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Photo of kels
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

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.

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Photo of DrJay
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
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 SaucyA
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
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 smbslt
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Pretty busy for a Tuesday night in what seems to be a small dining district in Corktown. At least ten maybe twelve taps - some local some not, a good cross section of styles. Bottle list was extensive but stuck with taps.

Food was good but don't know how authentic. Only menu shortcoming was no collards.

Friendly staff that was more than happy to talk about food and beer.

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Photo of CBA
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
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 alexgash
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
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 benito
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
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 KickInTheChalice
4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

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Slows Bar-B-Q in Detroit, MI
4.4 out of 5 based on 91 ratings.
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