Despite being a city that has largely fallen to corruption, been abandoned and left for broke, there seems to be a lot of positive attention on Detroit these days – TV shows, Oscar nominated movies, NY Times articles, documentaries. Regardless of these outside influences, Detroiters remain proud of and hopeful for the Motor City on their own. When some small gem succeeds against all odds, the buzz spreads quickly drawing crowds that give the establishment a feeling of being part of a more populous metropolis.
So when the NY Times wrote a piece on Slows Bar-B-Q, I figured it was time to pay a visit to this Motown miracle while I was home for Thanksgiving. Despite being a Monday night, the tables were full and the projected wait exceeded 20 minutes. To pass the time, we grabbed a craft beer from a selection of about 20 local and national artisanal brews and perused the menu. I was happy to learn that all the meat is sourced from Niman Ranch, a network of family farms that raises its livestock sustainably, using all-vegetarian feeds and no antibiotics and added hormones.
After we finally got a table, we ordered several items from the menu to sample a little bit of everything. By far the best thing we ate was “The Reason” – Niman Ranch pork butt, smoked slow and pulled, bathed in Slows sauce and topped with a signature crispy and slightly spicy coleslaw, thin dill pickle strips, and served between two thick slices of Texas toast. With a selection of Slows sauces on the table, we were able to adjust the flavor of everything we ordered to our liking – spicy, sweet, apple-based, mustard-based, and even a seasonal sauce. I would also highly suggest the mac ‘n cheese – an item that is a perfect companion to any good BBQ, Slows uses jumbo macaroni shells and a generous amount of gooey, melty cheese to make each bite truly rewarding.
The Skim: If you happen to be in Detroit and are looking for a Reason to appreciate this once-thriving city, be sure to add Slows Bar-B-Q to your list of memorable Motown stops. The Detroit renewal may be slow coming, but it’s through establishments such as this that will continue to inspire growth and polish the city’s tarnished image. While you may be tempted to order their smoked, dry rubbed ribs, take my recommendation and go for the juicy, flavorful pulled pork sammie – it’s named such for good Reason.
Map: 2138 Michigan Avenue
Reservations: Not Taken
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