It seems like everyone’s been buzzing about the new Slow’s Bar-B-Q, one of the newest additions to the Downtown Market and the second location for the Detroit-based chain. I love good ribs and brisket as much as the next red-blooded Michigan girl, so I grabbed my barbecue-loving boyfriend and headed down to the market to see what the fuss was about.
Tucked in a private corner in the back of the market, Slow’s warm, rustic interior was oozing with upcycled wood and immediately drew us into the world’s most confusing deli bar menu. That might be a slight exaggeration — the sides were laid out and described nicely overhead, but where to obtain which sides and food items wasn’t at all clear. Some sides were self-serve by the register further up the line, others were being served by employees behind the counter, and there were two separate meat stations for barbecue and brisket.
Also, the famed ribs and brisket are sold and priced by the pound. How many POUNDS of brisket do I want? While that was a curveball I wasn’t expecting, the employees were helpful and offered suggestions.
After we triumphantly checked out at the register with a few Vander Mill ciders, we found a seat at one of the tables by the window. There were several community-style benches closer to the entrance, which we beelined past. “We’re here to eat ribs, dammit, not make new friends,” commented the surly boyfriend guarding his plate.
I ordered the Mac-n-Cheese, the “famous” Pit Smoked Pork & Beans, a quarter pound of the Beef Brisket (which turned out to be a good-sized serving for me) and a half pound of the Baby Back Ribs. Of these, the standout was without contest the beans. Perfectly saucy and sweet with bits of pork tenderloin, they were alone worth the trip. #truestory
The brisket was also exceptional — juicy, marbled, with a delicious crust of spices and salt — but I’m a sucker for fatty red meat. The mac and cheese was definitely authentically Southern. Shells lay encased like Han Solo in a thick cheese roux beneath a nearly impenetrable layer of cheddar, which worked well in unison.
The ribs were delicious — they were superbly done, slow smoked to a perfect tooth encrusted in a delicious blend of Cajun spice.
Overall, it was a great meal and a really lovely venue. I could see myself heading down there for a good plate of ribs and hanging out at the bar, where they have a good local selection on tap.