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Slows Bar Bq
Taps: 56 / Bottles: 45
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
2138 Michigan Avenue
phone: (313) 962-9828
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2 | $$
The reason I'm only giving this place only two stars is because it is incredibly overrated and someone just needs to be honest. The wait was 2 hours. Ok, we'll kill the two hours; I understand this was the most hopping place on Michigan Ave. The trouble I had with Slows is the food was just 'ok.' I ordered the ribs and chicken combo. I upped for the $2 to get baby back ribs. The ribs were nothing special, very difficult to eat (tough), but I would still say they were not awful. The chicken was cooked very well like it was pre-cooked and reheated. What was the chef thinking?
Overall I didn't mind the dinner. What I want to advise everyone is don't wait two hours expecting the best BBQ you've ever had. Granted, the primary audience in the place was suburbanites and I'm not sure Bloomfield Hills is bopping with good BBQ either. In many cases, this may be the best BBQ they've ever had and that was an honest response.
They have a good selection of beers on tap. However, when I asked my server about a couple of them, she had no idea. Bummer, I was hoping for a different experience.
03-28-2012 17:00:24 |
More by Debbiedo
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Visited with my girlfriend before heading to the Wings & Jets game on December 10th.
Atmosphere: finished-wood-on-worn-brick decor gives the place an inviting "down home" feel that works well for a barbecue joint. Lots of tables surrounding a U-shaped bar with some light coming in from outside. Only complaint is that we felt a bit cramped since the restaurant was jam packed.
Service: our server was a really funny and jovial guy who provided great recos and lots of laughs. Food came out quickly and after we finished our meal he assured us that we still had plenty of time to enjoy a few drinks (but we had a game to catch!).
Selection: went with an Arbor Brewing Milestone Porter on cask and a pint of Larry Hoppe Double IPA from the same brewery. Both beers paired beautifully with the BBQ and my girlfriend liked her white wine. Other standouts were Southern Tier Mokah, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, and Weihenstephaner White Hoplosion on tap and Stone 15th Anniversary in bottles.
Food: ordered the three dishes that were featured on MVF Nation (Brisket Enchilada, Slow's Mac-N-Cheese, Triple Threat Pork); each one was incredibly good. The pork was super tender and juicy and I couldn't get enough of the delicious spicy sauce on the Enchilada. First-rate fare.
Overall: Slow's combines my two favourite things like no other. This would be my regular hangout if I lived in the area and it's probably even better during down times (if they have any). A mandatory stop for beer and barbecue lovers with the best micro lineup in Detroit.
12-29-2011 22:03:17 |
More by cratez
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Slows is in Corktown right in the shadow of Detroit's most infamous building, the MCS. Yes, the area seems sketchy, but any long term resident of metro Detroit knows that so long as you remain within the highways that bound Downtown (Detroit's demilitarized zone) you will be fine...just be smart.
I have been a long time fan of Slows, first drawn down by the promise of the best BBQ in Detroit and was certainly not disappointed. The dinner plates are overflowing, the sandwiches are amazing, and the sides are all so good its difficult to choose.
Only recently have I come to fully appreciate the beer selection. 20 or so taps + a firkin. Mostly Michigan brew (obviously not a bad thing) but some amazing beers from around the country/world also make a strong showing. The bottle selection is also strong, with just about any Jolly Pumpkin beer you could want. I would also suggest a nice glass of whiskey with dinner as Slows has the best whiskey/bourbon/scotch menu in town with great prices. On top of the awesome beer/booze selection, the bartenders all seem to be quite knowledgable and great at what they do.
Honestly one of my favorite restaraunts of all time, but quickly becoming my favorite beer stop in Downtown Detroit. I just recently stopped in after a Tiger's game and only drank, no food at all.
One important point to make: Slows only takes reservations for groups 6 people and larger and will quickly fill the spots shortly after opening at noon. If you cannot get a reservation I would suggest only going as a twosome, that way you can battle for a spot at the bar rather than wait the 2+ hours for a table. Then again, with such a great bar 2+ hours may not be a bad thing. Just think of it as having your post-dinner drinks a bit early.
09-29-2011 18:40:24 |
More by mcomben
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I visited Slows before a Tigers game. It was in a run down neighborhood. I actually walked by the front door and didn't realize it was the entrance. Once I entered, around 12:45pm on a Friday, I was told that there was a 45 minute wait. I figured the lunch rush was about over. Luckily, two seats opened at the bar.
The place is quaint. They had I think 20 beers on tap with about half being from Michigan. It was a decent selection. I was more impressed by the food. I had to have some of the barbecue and the mac and cheese was delicious!
The server was amiable and competent. I thought the beer leaned toward the high side as far as price goes and for the offerings but overall it was well worth it.
08-20-2011 20:50:54 |
More by buschbeer
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
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.
08-16-2011 21:13:40 |
More by evilinc
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
As an out-of-towner, I had an impression of Slows before I even walked in the door. My cousin had cautioned me that the area was less than stellar, just to be a little careful.
The area around Slows is not built up, but the inside is very urban chic. A host stand sits in front of you with the bar to the left as you walk in to a brightly lit wood and exposed brick interior with high ceilings. It has quite the loft feel throughout.
The food definitely deserves its reputation. The ribs were delicious, and I was disappointed that I could not try all of the BBQ on the menu. The mac and cheese and cheese fries are their two signature sides, so I really loaded up on the health food.
Their tap list is well thought out, with around 20 taps of local and seasonal beer on tap. They skip the Michigan beers you have had a million times already and go for Short's, Jolly Pumpkin, and Rochester Mills Brewing Co., to name a few. Their draft beers were reasonably priced, so I did not even need to dive into the bottles, although they had a good selection.
The service was fairly friendly and prompt. The bartender (while we waited for our table) and the waitress (once we sat down) were both able to make friendly suggestions without being overbearing.
Recommended for sure.
06-29-2011 18:26:34 |
More by KickInTheChalice
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
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
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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
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Slows Bar Bq in Detroit, MI