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A Sandwich a Day: Pulled Pork from Slow's Barbecue in Detroit

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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Detroit doesn't exactly have a style of barbecue it can call all its own, which is why Slow's, an institution-in-the-making on the main strip of Michigan Avenue, doesn't really have a style of its own either. Instead, you'll find their own versions of staples from around the country like Texas-style brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork, or St. Louis ribs.

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The Reason ($8.49) is a sandwich of totally unreasonable proportions. Piled with a massive amount of slow-smoked Niman Ranch pork shoulder, it jumps right past snake-jaw territory and goes straight into need-a-surgeon-to-be-able-to-take-a-bite land. It's a good 5 to 6 inches tall, even when you opt for the thinner slices of toast instead of the poppyseed Kaiser roll they recommend.

No complaints here, however. The pork is good stuff. While it doesn't have the overt porkiness of true Carolina-style barbecue joints who tend to be a bit more generous when chopping cracklings back into their pulled pork, it's nonetheless tasty, with a good amount of crusty bark mixed in. Tender, lightly smoky, and seasoned with a hot and vinegary sauce, it's a fine sandwich for a reasonable price. The sweet and tangy slaw and crunchy pickles are good too.

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If you've still got room in your gullet, order a side dish of their signature Macaroni and Cheese. For an incredibly reasonable $3.50, you get an ungodly amount of cheesy bechamel completely un-rife with a few rogue pieces of pasta. It's tasty to be sure, but you've gotta have an stomach of steel. It goes down like concrete. Delicious cheesy concrete.

Slow's Bar BQ

2138 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI (map)
313-962-9828; slowsbarbq.com

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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