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Katie Davis

@PopCultureCuisine

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Slow Road Baby-Back

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 @ 08:11 AM

And I’m back…is anyone still reading?  It’s kinda hard to believe how quickly time with our little girl is going already. 8 weeks have flown by and while it hasn’t been all roses and sunshine, I am loving every minute of being a mommy to our little “Betta” as she is affectionately known to us; and although I promise this blog is not going to turn into all about my baby, being a food blog and all, I couldn’t go on without a shameless picture of our adorable little pea pod on Halloween…I mean how cute is she?

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Ok, now back to our scheduled programming…and where we are headed next is a bbq joint in a place where you wouldn’t think would bring good Q. We’re going to the Motor City….D-Town…Detroit.  I know what you might be thinking…, bbq from Detroit, how can that be good?  But what I am quickly learning is that you can find really outstanding bbq just about anywhere so long as those creating it have passion for the meat and approach it with good smoking technique.

So what took us to this unlikely tourist destination? Well, we just so happened to win tickets to a Detroit Tigers game and with being only a few short months away from welcoming that little one above, we thought it might be a fun and easy getaway for just the two of us; and although Detroit isn’t necessarily what you might think of when you think of a romantic weekend getaway, we knew that the time away, a little baseball and a few pop culture worthy hot spots was all we would need for a fun adventure.

As we typically do before any trip, we researched which places we definitely wanted to hit up, and one place kept showing up.  Slow’s  Bar-B-Q, located in a very urban part of downtown Detroit, popped onto our radar when we happened to see it on an episode of Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food.” As you know, we are avid bbq lovers, so the thought of being able to get some possibly decent “Q” since leaving Texas without venturing too far definitely made it a high priority.  So we planned that our first night would be enjoying some food and atmosphere and this local hot spot.

When we ventured out we were quickly taken aback by just how deserted the city of Detroit is. It is definitely not Chicago…or even Dallas for that matter. After 5, it was so quiet…almost like a ghost town right in the heart of the city. Slows is located a bit on the outskirts of downtown in an area that seems to be being renovated….sort of a rebirth section of the city where a lot of up and coming establishment are located. Right now there is not a whole lot that surrounds it as far as other businesses. It’s sort of a unique urban setting; and although it’s not the most upscale area, it does not seem to deter many from venturing out for some great food.

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The first thing we noticed…or didn’t notice that is….when we first walked up is the very cool front façade. You would almost walk right on by the door if you weren’t paying attention.  It blends in so seamlessly we were hard pressed to even figure out where the door was exactly at first.  However…, and I’m not exaggerating at bit, we simply followed our noses to find our way inside.

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(Disclaimer: Looking back I didn’t feel HUGE at this point during my pregnancy, but this picture sure makes me look it haha)

This place is VERY popular, so we had to put our name in a wait a while. However, while the restaurant was very crowded, we were able to squeeze in near the bar and enjoy a drink (non alchy for me) while we waited for a table.

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Once we got seated, we quickly looked over the menu and decided upon “The Big Three” (pulled pork, pulled chicken, and sliced brisket) and a “Baby Back Ribs” platters to share amongst the two of us.  Each of our dishes came with two sides so we went with cornbread, mac and cheese, and green beans.  While we waited for our food, we decided to taste test their 4 sauces, and of course I can’t remember what they were each called, but they had a wide range from sweet, to spicy, tangy, and more classic. There was one that was even apple based…not my favorite.

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It wasn’t long before the heaping plates of meat were placed before us and we were allowed to dig in…this was a meal I certainly relished and hated being 8 months pregnant at the same time.  I was so excited and hungry and ready to enjoy the meal, I just wished that at that point I didn’t fill up after 2 bites, so I tried to keep that in mind and take it slow so I could enjoy trying everything.

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We both really enjoyed the ribs, but agreed it was the pulled pork that was really super duper out of this world!  And unfortunately, although I had heard rave reviews about the mac and cheese, it wasn’t really my favorite.  Now that being said, I am a picky mac and cheese person, and if I don’t like the texture…forget it.  Adam, on the other hand, still enjoyed it, but really…are we surprised?

For me, the corn bread was to die for; and I promptly ate the majority of that right up.  All in all we truly enjoyed every morsel of our food and had a lot leftover we were so full. Still, while my super pregnant belly was too full for dessert, Adam dug into some of their homemade banana pudding (a favorite of his). I tried a bite and both of us agreed that it was not very good.

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Overall, we really had a blast hanging out at this cool spot; and had I not been pregnant, we probably would have hung out in the bar longer. I guess it just makes it a place we are going to have to hit up again sans pregnancy.

SIGNATURE DISH: While they don’t have any particular meat they are more known for than the others, they have done a great job of really honing in on all the regional bbq favorites and how to prepare those in their own unique manner.  If you like fish, chicken, pork, or beef, they have it all for the taking.

TASTE: While we have been hard pressed to find many bbq places that beat some of the wonderful places we had in Texas (boy were we spoiled!), this was a wonderful way for us to enjoy some of those flavors again and in a much closer vicinity.  Lucky for us, Detroit is only a few hours away, so although I can’t see us hopping in the car to make that trip weekly, we at least know that some good Q is a within our reach again.

AMBIANCE: The interior designer in me always has a keen eye for places that clearly take the design into account.  Sure…, I love a good hole in the wall place as much as the next person and many times that adds to the overall feel, but I also love places that truly find an aesthetic that complements their food.  What I thought Slow’s had done so well was with their use of textures and tones they really created the feel of an outdoor barbecue but upscale and without actually being outside.  It felt very clean, modern, and special without being stuffy or over the top fancy.

PRICE: Their entrees ranged in price from$12 – $25 which for barbecue really isn’t unheard of.  On a side note… what is so funny is really for those cuts of meats you are really not talking about pricey…but bbq has become so trendy and special that these places can easily charge more.  But as far as Slow’s was concerned, I was not shocked by their prices one bit and we actually got a fairly decent amount of food considering we had some to take home.

SERVICE: I thought both the bartender we encountered and our waitress were super friendly and helpful.  The bartender was kind enough to make up a fruity non-alcoholic concoction for me while we waited so that I could still enjoy a fun drink.  And our waitress not only helped us with our food decisions, but chatted with us about Detroit itself and some of the things we may want to check out…, overall super friendly.

So although Detroit does not scream “Babymoon” or romantic getaway, we certainly had fun checking out this city and were glad that we ventured out to the Motor City in search of some great barbecue.  While it was not better than my beloved Texas BBQ, I really did love me some Slow’s and I give it 3 ‘Little Piggies.’

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3 Responses to “Slow Road Baby-Back”

  1. you can post all the baby pictures you want! i don’t mind! 🙂

  2. […] the un-trademarked dog, but none seem to be as popular or widely known. So on last summer’s “babymoon” weekend getaway to Detroit for a baseball game, I knew a Coney taste test was in our […]

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