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Slows Bar Bq
Taps: 56 / Bottles: 45
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
2138 Michigan Avenue
phone: (313) 962-9828
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vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
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.
08-28-2006 22:58:05 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I stopped here for dinner while in Detroit on business. It was rated #1 place by BA to stop for a beer in Detroit, so I finally tried it.
The atmosphere is pretty cool, lots of woodwork, especially in the entrance. But the food and the beer is the draw:
There were about 15 taps, all with good selections: Maudite, Hennepin, Bell's Oberon, Bell's Consecrator, Arcadia IPA, Rogue Chocolate Stout, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Hoegaarden, and more. Also there were ~25 more Belgian and French style beers in bottles, including Trappists such as Westmalle, Rochefort, and Achel. Very good selection for a BBQ place.
The food was excellent and the beer was relatively low priced. I had Hennepin on tap for $4, and Saison DuPont (375ml) for $8. I highly recommend this place for a good dinner in Detroit.
06-08-2006 23:49:25 |
More by TurdFurgison
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
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.
04-29-2008 01:27:43 |
More by GJ40
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped here before the Wings Blues game on New Year's Eve. There is a good amount of free street parking.
Inside it was pretty damn busy. A 1 hr 15 minute wait for 2. We nabbed a spot at the bar though after about 5 minutes.
Our bartender was excellent. She game me a lot of free samples and was prompt about everything. The food is pretty good. I just got a sandwich and couldn't finish it. It was massive. The hot sauce is good but could be hotter. The tap selection was world-class although i was pissed they didn't have the Ayinger on tap that was on the boards.
I thought the prices were pretty reasonable. A world-class restaurant.
01-02-2012 00:33:24 |
More by crossovert
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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!) and 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.
11-02-2012 18:15:27 |
More by Hibernator
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
A great place on the outskirts of downtown Detroit. I visited on a weekday evening around 7:30. On the outside, the surrounding area appeared disserted except for the lack of parking nearby the restaurant. On the inside, the place was full of folks and buzzing with conversation. This is exactly the type of restaurant you would expect to find in a renovated old building in a downtown urban setting. I sat at the large bar in the center of the restaurant and ordered both food and beer. They have a fantastic selection of beers on tap and in bottles. I had a draft Chambly Noir from Unibroue that was outstanding. I like most all of Unibroues beers, but I rarely find them on tap. The black Belgian style ale went well with the Big Three BBQ entree that I ordered (a combo plate of pulled chicken, pulled pork and sliced brisket). The food was excellent as well, and it came out before I even finished perusing the extensive beer menu. The service was prompt and professional, the crowd was an urban mix of all ages, and the selection of BBQ sauces added an extra level of satisfaction to my dining experience. I found that the Apple BBQ sauce went well with my chicken, the Mustard sauce was great on the brisket and the Spicy sauce was a good compliment to the pulled pork. The sweet potato mash and cornbread were also quite tasty. After my meal, I ordered a bottle of Duchess de Bourgogne. This is an amazing beer and a testament to the well thought out selection of Belgian and French style ales offered at Slows. Quite honestly, I found this to be the best BBQ restaurant Ive visited in recent memory. I will certainly return.
12-07-2006 02:53:03 |
More by 86sportster883
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
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.
11-20-2006 21:17:46 |
More by benito
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.
12-25-2008 03:33:15 |
More by DrJay
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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.
03-31-2008 00:21:02 |
More by Dukeofearl
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.
12-29-2011 22:03:17 |
More by cratez
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Slows Bar Bq in Detroit, MI