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BBQ around Ann Arbor?

  • s

So i recently moved to Ann Arbor from Grand Rapids and I soon realized that there is not one decent BBQ joint anywhere near this town. Any thoughts from my Detroit neighbors on where to get some good BBQ? And I'm talkin the kind of BBQ that is one step removed from the big ole smokers in the church parking lot on summer Sundays served up with beans, slaw, and corn on the cob. I want to see someones Grandma in the back with a giant meat cleaver choppin up shortribs.

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  1. Hmm. Not exactly sure what you mean by the "grandma" thing, but I can heartily recommend Slows BBQ in Detroit's Corktown area.

    Here's their website: slowsbarbq.com

    Note that there isn't the triple "w" in front of that address.

    My friends and I absolutely loved it when we went there, and I've been back multiple times since. In fact, I was just talking to one of those same friends earlier tonight about a return visit, which is *going* to happen.

    You can choose from one of several different sauces, from vinegar-based Carolina BBQ sauce, to sweet Apple BBQ sauce, to several others. Quality of the food is *very* good, and I've found the service to be adequate-to-downright-good. Don't forget the split-pea and okra fritter for an appetizer! Fantastic!

    Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

    3 Replies
    1. re: boagman

      Thanks!
      The Grandma bit is related to a rib joint in GR called Sandeman's that was in an old gas station at the time and they had someone's Grandma choppin' away at the shortribs. They have since moved across the street and spiffed things up a bit - still the best ribs in town.

      1. re: Stek

        Ew! GR! Hate that place. Went to school there for a year, couldn't get out fast enough. Never heard of the particular place that you're referring to, though. Would have been nice to have had some decent BBQ while I was out there to ease the suffering of having to be in that cursed area for even that short period of time.

        1. re: boagman

          Corner of Fuller and Wealthy, they've been around for about five years or so.

    2. Shortribs? Surely you mean spareribs?

      1 Reply
      1. re: k_d

        Could be spareribs, could be just tips...

      2. Ann Arbor used to have great BBQ called Delong's BBQ pit, but it has now tuned into Mysore Woodlands, a vegetarian Indian place. Talk about a change! It was inan old gas station by Zingerman's. Speaking of Zingerman's, if you want to spend big money on BBQ, you should try Zingerman's Roadhouse's BBQ Beef Brisket. It is very good, albeit very expensive. They have giant charcoal grills going all the time out there.

        1. Check out Bert's in the Detroit Farmers Market...they used to cook 'em on one of those big 55 gallon drums in the parking lot.

          1. I second the recommendation for Slows. It also has a terrific beer selection. As noted, Zingerman's Roadhouse has great BBQ, and I find their food (BBQ included) worth the extra $$. Roy's Squeeze In (home of the squeezeburger) in Ypsilanti (on Michigan Ave a mile or so east of town) is another option--limited menu but good BBQ. Roy (who died a while ago but whose legacy continues) also had a place in Milan (15 minutes south of Ann Arbor) that served the same fare and I think it's still in business.

            1. check out an old post of mine about lazy-bones. it's in roseville which is a bit of hike from ann arbor (about an hour) but it would be worth the trip.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/327819

              1 Reply
              1. re: xman887

                We love Lazy - Bones!
                We have not ventured beyond their sandwiches - which are not only huge (I cannot finish a whole sandwich) but the meat is full of incredible flavor! Included with every sandwich
                are ranch fries - which are basically a potato or 2 cut in 1/4 - seasoned and fried.
                It is carryout only - so we usually get our glorious sandwiches and go straight to Dragonmead to wash them down with Michigan microbrew. Next visit we're going
                for the ribs!

                We have been to Slows a couple of times - and everything on their menu is outstanding.
                Arrive early and allow extra time if you are attending an event afterwards because they are usually swamped.

                No waiting at Lazy - Bones!

              2. I enjoy Smoke House Blues on Washtenaw from time to time. It isn't the kind of slap-your-grandma great taste you're talking about, but the brisket is really tasty.

                Another level down in both price and quality is the new barbecue at Whole Foods, but it's still not bad. Sandwich + 1 side for $5.99.

                This said, I agree with above posters that Slows is worth the trip.

                And thanks to John C.--I never realized that Roy's Squeeze Inn (home of the squeezeburger) and the Milan Roy's were the same Roy.