Detroit is becoming more of a destination for travelers to visit now that the city has been making a comeback. The city may be known for its coney dogs and Detroit-style pizza, but it is also a fantastic city for some great barbecue. Slows Bar BQ is the place to go for succulent barbecue classics. The restaurant has even been featured on television programs such as “Man v. Food” on the Travel Channel.
Slows Bar BQ is located in the Corktown neighborhood west of downtown Detroit along Michigan Avenue. Corktown is the oldest neighborhood in Detroit dating back to 1834. Corktown was home to the now demolished Tiger Stadium until the Detroit Tigers moved into Comerica Park in 2000. The neighborhood also has the historic Michigan Central Station which was recently purchased by the Ford Motor Company in 2018. Corktown has seen a revival in recent years thanks to many great restaurants opening up including Slows Bar BQ. Since 2005, Slows has been serving some of the best if not the best barbecue in the city of Detroit.
Due to the restaurant’s popularity (I was also recommended the restaurant by one of my regular followers) and the fact that I have eaten great barbecue in many barbecue hotspots such as Austin, Houston, and Memphis along with some great restaurants in southeast Michigan, I was really excited to eat there. When I read the reviews online, I was warned that there could be a wait to get into the restaurant, so I decided to go just before lunchtime. I made the right decision as I was seated immediately, and a lot more people entered the restaurant after I sat down.
The restaurant has a lot of great barbecue classics from pulled pork, beef brisket, apple BBQ chicken, and baby back ribs to delicious barbecue sandwiches such as the Yardbird and the Triple Threat Pork. The menu stated that the Yardbird was “one of the top 3 best sandwiches in America”. I decided to order that as that fact caught my attention. I also ordered two sides: mac & cheese and coleslaw. If you have watched my “Scottman895 Travel Delights” videos on my YouTube channel, you know how much I enjoy coleslaw! Within 5-10 minutes after ordering, my lunch was ready, and it sure smelled delicious!
I was eager to try the sandwich, but I wanted it to cool down a little bit first. Therefore, I started out by eating some of the coleslaw, and as a coleslaw junkie, it was superb! It had just the right amount of dressing, and it had quite a good taste to it. Next, I began to dig into the macaroni and cheese. The mac & cheese was thick and creamy with a delicious cheese sauce topped with another layer of melted cheese. It was seriously the best mac & cheese I had ever eaten! I would go back to Slows Bar BQ just for the mac & cheese! Best of all, it was cooked perfectly.
Now the time had come for me to grasp my hands onto the Yardbird sandwich. The sandwich had smoked chicken smothered with mushrooms, applewood smoked bacon, and cheddar cheese coated in honey mustard sauce. Although each table had five different barbecue sauces staring at me as I ate, the sandwich had plenty of sauce on it. The sandwich looked so messy that I had to cut it in half. Nevertheless, I took a bite, and I could now see why everyone loves going to Slows so much. The sandwich was full of flavor with chicken, cheese, bacon, and the special honey mustard sauce. The sandwich was messy and delicious, but I did not care! After finishing my meal, I could easily say it was the best barbecue I had eaten in the state of Michigan. I had so much food that I had to walk around Corktown for a little bit after lunch to walk off the feast I enjoyed.
Overall, the restaurant is worth checking out when visiting Detroit. It is not far from Downtown Detroit, but you still need to either drive your car or take an Uber/Lyft to get to Slows Bar BQ. There is metered parking located along Michigan Avenue as well as a secure parking lot located south of the restaurant along 14th Street behind the Mercury Burger & Bar. The service was quite good, and my server did a great job explaining the different items on the menu not only to me but also to another group of people near me. My only criticism is the fact that none of the entrees or sandwiches come with any of the sides for free – they are a la carte only. As a result, if you order a couple of sides with your meal, it can get somewhat expensive. Fortunately, the food is certainly worth the cost, and I would definitely go there again. I will admit that I was somewhat critical when I first went into the restaurant due to all the hype, but I soon got to experience what the hype was all about. Make sure to check out Slows Bar BQ on your next visit to Detroit!
Check out my video review on Slows Bar BQ on my YouTube channel!