Even folks who don’t like barbecue love Slows. Owned by Phil Cooley, Slows is the crown jewel in an emerging block that’s also home to Astro Coffee, Sugar House, and Honor and Folly. Phil isn’t just a restaurateur; he’s an entrepreneur who advises and supports others, paving the way for a downtown Detroit revival.
Inside, Slows is all exposed brick and natural wood. The effect is earthy and classy, refreshing for a barbecue joint. Chalkboards tout an extensive beer and wine selection, and the horseshoe-shape zinc bar is an excellent spot to while away the almost certain lengthy waits (Slows only takes reservations for groups of six or more).
The menu overwhelms with tempting sandwich options like the Yardbird, pulled smoked Amish chicken in a mustard sauce ($8.49); the Reason, a pile of slow-smoked pork with pickles and coleslaw ($8.49); and the Longhorn, thin-sliced beef brisket with onion marmalade ($8.49). Pleasantly, vegetarians aren’t neglected with salads like the Charles Bronson, a mountain of locally sourced spinach and cheese ($5.95), and succulent green beans in smoky tomato vinaigrette ($2.25). Diners can also choose from baby-back or St. Louis-style ribs, and five different sauces to top them. Serving sizes are massive—under-order or plan to share.