Since its opening a few years ago, Slows BarBQ has been one of the most popular eating destinations in the Detroit area. This is great for both Detroit’s economy and local business owners, but terrible for this guy named John who visited the place 5 times in hopes of eating delicious BBQ only to have his hopes smashed by an hour wait. Don’t think just because I didn’t stick around those other 5 times that it’s not worth the wait. It’s just difficult to justify that long of a wait when Mexican Town is right around the corner. If you’re going to give them a try, I strongly suggest going at an odd hour for late lunch/early dinner as there’s often a wait to get a table or even a lone spot at the bar.
You walk into Slow’s through a huge wooden door that doesn’t really even look much like a door. I’m sure some of the general public has fits about where they enter the restaurant. How inconvenient! It’s a nice, artsy touch, I think. We walked into a modern looking place, light wood everywhere and a hell of a bar that sits right in the middle of the restaurant. The decor is upscale and offers trendy take on BBQ. It’s a nice place in a rough neighborhood, just down the street from the old Tiger stadium site. It’s a pretty dodgy looking area, and parking is just on the street, but there’s little reason not to feel completely safe there during the day. During the night time you may run into a character or two, but that’s going to happen in Detroit.
Service is laid back. You don’t get the feeling that you’re being waited on by some college kid but they also don’t act like professional servers. There’s no drink suggestions or a recommendation of a daily special. They ask what you want, recommend something if needed, then bring you your food. It’s no bullshit service, which I can always appreciate.
The menu is divided between soups/appetizers, sandwiches, and actual BBQ platters. There are many different appetizers that range from 5-8 bucks, the sandwiches are very affordable and usually fall in 7-10 dollar price range, while the BBQ platters are anywhere from 11-20 bucks depending on how much food you get. On this particular visit, it was 11:30AM so I wasn’t exactly in the mood yet to start shoveling ribs into my mouth. Looking back, I don’t think there is a bad time for that, but I just felt like ordering something different.
I started with the Brisket Enchiladas and man was this a good decision. The corn tortillas, which come from Mexican Town, tasted incredibly fresh and were well stuffed with very juicy brisket. They are topped with smoked Gouda and American cheese and finished with their spicy BBQ sauce. This is serious. I could have ordered an entire pan of these for my dinner.
For my main course there really wasn’t any choice other than the Triple Threat Pork sandwich, which was featured on Man v. Food. The Triple Threat comes with apple wood smoked bacon, pulled pork, and a large slice of ham. This combination is surrounded by two huge pieces of Texas toast. This is some serious stuff. The pulled pork is probably the most tender I have ever had in my life. The flavor isn’t amazing, but it’s not bad either. I’m very picky about my pulled pork and I would have to say this gets a solid B. The bacon is perfection and that’s all I have to say about it. The ham is fantastic, as well. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if you’re not a fan of pork products, then maybe this sandwich isn’t for you.
Just in case this meal didn’t make me fat enough already, I decided I had to have a side of mac and cheese. Who goes to a BBQ joint and doesn’t get Mac and Cheese? Come on now. That would be terrible of me. The mac and cheese was solid, but not great. It’s more hearty than creamy and is heavy on the pepper. It’s different than most mac and cheeses I’ve had. I’m not saying it’s bad, just a little different than I expected.
If you’re in Detroit and have some time to kill, go check out Slow’s. It’s a fun experience and the food is quite tasty. Like I said, you may end up waiting up to an hour for a table, but it’s worth it to sample some of the best BBQ Detroit has to offer.