Satchel’s Barbecue – Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor, Food Reviews

This is based on a true story…

Shaya and I were sitting around the other day when the hunger pains began to hit.  It had only been 45 minutes since the last time we had eaten, and we had plans for a serious tennis battle, so we knew our stomachs meant serious business on this one.  We put our heads together and tried to decide which local establishment would do the best job at battling these pains.  Burgers?  OCB?  This was going to be an extremely important decision that would determine exactly how many more times we would need to eat that day.

So I’m like “Hey Shaya, I saw this article in about this little BBQ place in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti started but this guy who’s never owned a restaurant before.  He just really likes BBQ so he was like “Oh hey I’m going to start a restaurant”  It sounds good.  Let’s go there.”  And Shaya was like,  “Bananas.  Let’s go there.  Hooray!”  So we both jumped into Danger Ranger and headed off for this BBQ joint we knew nothing about that was started by a guy who had no restaurant experience.  It sounded promising.

I pull into Satchel’s, which is right next to Whole Foods, and I see the smoker sitting right next to the road.  Who needs some fancy sign when you have a metal contraption smoking large pieces of meat and preparing them for my consumption?  I’m not saying that because Satchel’s doesn’t have a sign, because they do.  I’m just saying it’s good advertising.  Nice work, guy who’s never owned a restaurant before.  The inside of Satchel’s  pretty much looks like a backyard picnic that had to be moved indoors due to inclement weather.  Everything is simple, from the menu written on a large chalk board to the wooden picnic tables which would probably fit a little league baseball team.

I stepped up and ordered the pulled pork, mac and cheese, and baked beans.  That’s pretty much my go to BBQ order.  Shaya went with the brisket, greens, and mac and cheese.   I’m now going to list my 6 favorite things about Satchel’s BBQ.

  1. BBQ Baked Beans – The beans are made in the smoker.  They are incredible.  By far my favorite part of the meal.
  2. Smoke Raaaaaang – All of the meat has a beautiful smoke ring.
  3. Burnt Eeeeeeends – Beautiful burnt ends on the brisket and the pulled pork.  My favorite part.
  4. Unlimited Sweet Tea – And it’s good too.  Diabities in a cup.  The way it’s supposed to be.
  5. Simple – No bullshit.  You eat on paper plates and bus your own table.
  6. SAUCE – This should be higher up but whatever.  There’s about 8 different sauces to choose from.  Whats up options?

Ok, but seriously.. The pulled pork comes undressed(allowing for consumer meat application), and is actually pulled from the bone.  Often pulled pork is simply shredded chunks of pork but Satchel’s serves you large chunks of pork meat that is obviously hand pulled after coming off the smoker.  The  meat itself is incredibly tender and tastes of a delicious peppered rub even without any sauce.  I had a small amount of fat on a couple chunks of my pork, but If found it to be the perfect amount.

As I mentioned before, the BBQ baked beans are out of this fucking world.  I have never in my life had anything like them.  They are smoky but sweet at the same time.  They are, by far, the best baked beans I have ever had in my life.  The mac and cheese was great, but wasn’t anything incredibly special.  Just solid BBQ joint mac and cheese.

Satchel’s is combination of legit and delicious.  If you like food that is both legit and delicious than it just may be for you.

Satchel’s BBQ
3035 Washtenaw Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104