Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Slows To Go
Slows Bar-B-Q is so many, many things to Detroit. It's a place to eat. It's a destination for tourists and suburbanites who might not otherwise go into the city. It's a place that Detroiters take enormous pride in. It's a part of the city's renaissance.
As an article in The New York Times explains it:
"In this city, a much-heralded emblem of industrial-age decline, and home to a cripplingly bad economy, a troubled school system, racial segregation and sometimes unheeded crime, there is one place where most everyone — black, white, poor, rich, urban, not — will invariably recommend you eat: Slows Bar B Q.
Slows opened in 2005 at the edge of downtown Detroit, in Corktown, across from the long-abandoned central train station, itself a symbol of widespread blight. Hidden behind a stylish wooden door with no discernible handle, it has become a beacon, drawing longtime Detroiters, newly arrived young people and scores of suburbanites, who wait for hours to sample the pulled pork and dry-smoked ribs and coo over the upcycled design. The restaurant and its sleek décor were dreamed up by one of Slows’ owners, Phillip Cooley, who has emerged as a de facto spokesman for the now-hip revitalization of this city."
It's proven to be so popular that Slows To Go was opened as a means to deal with the crowds at the original site, such that hungry folks could simply run in, pick their options, and then take their food elsewhere in order to let the next set of hungry folks satisfy their appetites. If you've got a couple of hours to spend waiting for a table at the original, eating, luxuriating and loitering ... by all means, you absolutely want to visit the mainstay.
But if you're in a hurry or if you're just too hungry to wait, Slows To Go is your option. So that's where Jeremy, Stuart and I ended up one recent Saturday, because neither of my companions particularly excels in the patience department. And there are a few stools available at counters that line the walls; so rather than taking our food with us, we merely perched and ate with giddy, gluttonous abandon.
And then there are sandwiches, served on Zingerman's rolls, which are the most economical way to get your carnivorous fix. Jeremy and Stuart each ordered the Triple Threat Pork Sandwich pictured above: "Applewood bacon, pulled pork and ham stacked high and mighty. Heeyah! Git some!" Oh, man, this was an unbelievable feast of smoky, tender, pork heaven! The boys devoured these.
I chose The Reason: "Naturally-Raised Pork butt, smoked slow and pulled, bathed in our NC Sauce and topped with our signature coleslaw and dill pickle strips." That I love North Carolina vinegary barbecue, that Slows serves Michigan's own McClure's pickles, and that if I ate some cole slaw I could delude myself into thinking there were some health benefits to my lunch ... well, all of these led to my astoundingly flavorful and fabulous meal. Because we ordered three sandwiches, we were able to choose three different sauces to go with them: Sweet, Mustard Creole (the unanimous favorite), and Apple (even sweeter than Sweet).
Slows is also justifiably noted for its macaroni and cheese, which is utter decadence. It has absolutely no redeeming nutritional value, but oh, was it good for our souls! Each of us was sorely tempted to just inhale this greedily, but knew we needed to share. We did so reluctantly, in that we wanted to selfishly keep it all to ourselves; but we did so generously, as well, because it was just so, so good that we wanted our loved ones to share in the joy.
So come to Detroit! Eat at Slows! And if you're in the area, let me know - I'll happily join you ... :)
For today's recipe - Gingered Mango Soup - go to the Food and Grocery page of AnnArbor.com ....
2138 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI 48216
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Slows To Go
4107 Cass Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
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