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Best BBQ-- Ann Arbor, MI

The Blue Tractor in Ann Arbor beats Slows like it stole something. The sauces are paired with the meat with deadly precision and full of flavor. The mac-n-cheese is leaps and bounds better than Slow's too. Did I mention their in-house micro brews? Along with a full list of favorites their own labels are top notch. No, I don't work or own or have any vested interest, just a love for damn fine bbq!!!
The Blue Tractor is on Washington east of Main St.

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Blue Tractor
205 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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  1. This is the first time I have heard such Blasphemy.

    Now I have to admit after the last few Blue Tractor review's I heard pretty much talked me out of even visiting. These reviews being by people that have posted here OFTEN and are respected!

    I will have to take a visit out to the tractor and I will see how it compares to Lazy Bones and Slows. One of the things that I do love about Slows is the beer selection...being a beer geek this is one subject that I am so glad to hear that the Tractor got right. I will provide this review too. What cuts of meat did you have, did you have any other sides besides M&C?

    Any other ChowHounds wanna go?

    5 Replies
    1. re: JanPrimus

      Never been to Slow's, but the beer thing might be a toss up because Blue Tractor is owned by the Grizzly Peak folks so pretty much most of their beer is their own microbrews. Oh, with some exceptions, like Blatz and Black Label ( no, really)

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      Blue Tractor
      423 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684

      1. re: moose734

        Black Label in a bottle or a can? Can you even get Black Label long necks anymore?

        On topic, I found Blue Tractor's BBQ to be decent, and the sauce was definitely good. I find they overextend themselves on the menu and their execution needs to be stepped up on some of their dishes. Overall, a place I'd go back to, especially since Main Street area (and A2 in general) is definitely lacking in good BBQ. I've never quite gotten over the loss of Mr. Rib.

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        Blue Tractor
        423 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684

        1. re: charlesbois

          Mr. Rib was the best! The one meal I had at Blue Tractor was no good at all (it was a BBQ chicken special with a bizarrely sweet, one-dimensional suace), but I guess I'd try the signature pork dishes if others wanted to go there. My choice in AA/Ypsi: Smoke House Blues on Washtenaw.

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          Smoke House Blues
          4855 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

          1. re: Jim M

            I live just a few minutes from there, and I really like it. Make sure you try the beef ribs whenever they are available.

            1. re: Jim M

              Smoke House Blues is a few blocks from my in-laws' house, and was a regular stop for my wife and I when visiting. Ten years ago I would have said this was hands down the best BBQ in the area, but I really regret that the quality of food doesn't seem to be nearly as high as it used to be. Still decent, but not stunning like it used to be for me.

      2. I have been looking at the menu and a HUGE dig against the Blue Tractor is that they do not seem to have a Sampler.

        Slow's has "The Big Three" and Lazybones has the "Three's Company"....both for less than 20 bucks. I will ask at the Tractor if they can provide a sampler. These generally are what I get when I visit each.

        http://www.lazybonessmokehouse.net/20...

        http://slowsbarbq.com/menu.php?menu=5

        http://www.bluetractor.net/bta/annarb...

        2 Replies
          1. re: boagman

            Not yet...week is ending up to be busier than anticipated. Must prepare for this weekends debauchery.

        1. Blue Tractor is just okay, not great...Zingerman's Roadhouse has the best BBQ in this town, I think.

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          Blue Tractor
          423 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684

          2 Replies
          1. re: momskitchen

            Ditto, and ditto. I will never bother with Blue Tractor again with the Roadhouse in existence.

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            Blue Tractor
            423 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684

            1. re: momskitchen

              I find Blue Tractor to be worse than ok (dry meat, oversauced with boring sauces, with no development of flavor through proper smoking). Zingerman's Roadhouse is much better but still only decent. I was glad to see an attempt at 'Carolina Gold' on the menu for the pulled pork, but there was still a lack of complex flavor in the meat itself. I'd still prefer to save up my BBQ calories for Slows... though I'm always on the lookout for something closer to AA that is even better.

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              Blue Tractor
              423 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684

              Zingerman's Roadhouse
              2501 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

            2. Chef Chris's Boogie Woogie BBQ in Pinckney (on M36).

              2 Replies
              1. re: trapani

                haha yes I love Chef Chris's Boogie Woodie BBQ!! The best is when they are smoking the meat right out in the parking lot!

                1. re: FoodiePastor

                  So that's where he's gone to! I used to go to the Northfield Roadhouse all the time and was so sorry to see it close down.

              2. I have been to a few summer festivals (Ann Arbor African America Festival, Tasted of Ann Arbor) in Ann Arbor the last two years and tasted some barbecue ribs, rib tips and pulled pork from a guy who has this huge wood smoker and a business called Jimmas Real Pit BBQ in Ypsilanti. My understanding is that this guy is a competition barbecuer and works with some of the best old time BBQ guys in Chicago. I am telling you I have never tasted BBQ as good as his in this part of the country. At the festivals, his lines are long as all get up. If you get a chance you got to try him out.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jimmyricardo

                  While I can not review his food with out a real tasting....

                  I can lead you to a website (http://jimmasbbq.com/) and will gladly review his flavors next time I hear of a local event with his pork being slow cooked.