Alllllright. Union Woodshop has a million reviews and has had a lot of media hype, but I'm going to review it anyway. It's definitely worth a stop in, (I'm probably going to get stoned for this), but in comparison to Slows BBQ I would say it's still second best. There! I said it! Phew. It's really just a preference of how one likes BBQ. Their meats are smoky and they linger with you. If you are really looking for that deep smoky flavor and quality meat then you'll love Union Wood Shop. So your thinking, "uhhhhh, yeah...why wouldn't I love smoky delicious quality BBQ?" Well... You make a good point. Since I'm only evaluating the pork I can only talk about the pork.
First, I'm a texture and consistency person. I just don't like the finely shredded pork. I like taking a huge bite of chunky bits of delicious goodness. True, the smokiness at Union Woodshop sticks with you a tad longer, but I'm an in the moment person. I want the flavor now and in the moment. Swish those thick chunks of deliciousness in that Apple BBQ and I'm in foodie BBQ heaven! Ok back to Union...
What can I say that isn’t in a million other reviews? So I’ll probably just repeat it. Best quality smoked and grilled meat I’ve ever had at any other BBQ establishment- it restored my faith and craving in BBQ and is still at the top of the list for me. The variety of sauces just give fuel to the fire that is my fantasy when I haven’t been there in a while. Two sandwiches get mention: The reason for bacon on slow-roasted pork (not shredded- big chunks of moist delicious smoked pork all up in your mouth!) You drizzle some apple BBQ on top, and the flavors swish in your palette. The other favorite is the yardbird. I don’t know why I ordered the chicken BBQ sandwich because it sounds boring- but I can tell you that now it’s hard to order anything else! It comes mixed in a sweet BBQ mustard sauce with cheese, bacon, and sauteed mushrooms and these flavors meld perfectly. On the side: Share both waffle fries and mac and cheese with a friend (the mac and cheese to rule all others with a peppery kick, crusty cheese top and gooey goodness within). Shockingly, the side salad is worth getting- fresh veggies and interesting flavors come from fresh fennel and their noteworthy tomato vinaigrette. I’ve met a couple of people who don’t like Slows BBQ, and it only proved that they weren’t ‘friend’ material. If you love meat and BBQ then Slows IS your thing.
Way back in the day (like five years ago) they used to give you two bread options. One being the kaiser roll and the other being texas toast. They cut some corners and made their texas toast out of regular bread. We miss their actual thick, garlic-butter texas toast. Bring it back and I'll be a born again gluten eater.
*There will be more photos posted once I filter through my photo library. Slows deserves more photos.
There is always a diamond in the rough. A local gem, Ham-Bonz is economical and delicious. You can miss it since it's situated in front of a convenient store. I again read some reviews online and thought, "yep, this is my kind of place."
The first time I went I had the split pea soup and ham sandwich. I just love split pea soup. This one had huge chunks of ham in every bite. The only thing I would have liked would have been more pickles and a homemade honey mustard or a Sweet Lorraine's honey mustard type of mustard. Thick and honey-filled! I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. Next up, breakfast. They had specials on the board and the potato hash, ham and eggs were the way to go. It was huge and just what I needed. Then I had pulled pork sandwich. They boast about their BBQ, but I have had really good BBQ, especially pork, so I'm kind of picky. I don't think I'll order the pork again, BUT I absolutely will get breakfast and the ham sandwich. Come on in! It's really casual. Just an up north Michigan local restaurant.
So I read the Yelp reviews on this place and everyone raved about the prime rib. Literally all of the reviews talk about how amazing the prime rib is. Ok, so when your friends jump off the bridge what do you do? You jump too I guess. I went to Parrot Cove to try out the prime rib. I didn't actually think it was that good. For the amount of people who reviewed it I imagined it to be better. It may just be because I had expectations for it's greatness.
I tried the burgers here too and they are solid. But the real winner is the ribs. They are some of the best ribs I have ever had. They are fall off the bone good. I normally get a plate and share with someone. It's a lot of food. You get a garlic bread basket and fries with it. Also, since you're there you might as well get the potato soup pictured below. It's just really good soup. Look at that crisp crusted top!
Since I split a full rack of ribs you normally have leftovers. So, what do you do with leftovers? Eat them later? Yes, that was a trick question. Of course you eat them. I repurpose them a make rib tacos! Take the leftover rib meat off the bone and put it in a skillet and reheat it up. It gets crispy and then you can make some tacos. It's prrreeetttttyyyyy good. Parrot Cove does all the work, I just heat them up fancy.
Stop on in. If you like Jimmy Buffet, you'll love this place.
Parrot Cove's Website
When Lockharts BBQ first opened up I kept saying, "it's no Slows." You kind of fall in love with Slow's wooden decor, basin bathroom sinks, tattooed bar friends, and overall hip feel…or that's just me. What ends up happening is you start getting really tired of waiting an hour or so for a table and driving to Detroit to have some barbecue. Ain't nobody got time for that!
So, in came Lockharts, a young restaurant with a lot of potential. One may think, "How can you eff up barbecue?" You totes can. Lots of people do. There are many O'shite BBQ places out there. However, this is NOT one of them. Don't let the early evening emptiness fool you. In fact, love it while you can, because around 6:30pm on a Friday you'll see a whole crowd of people standing around your seat like vultures waiting. Reminds me trying to find parking at Eastern Michigan University. You always felt bad that you were stalking someone, but you wanted not to walk 5 miles, so you did it anyway. Ok, tangent over.
Giving you a taste of what I taste. From gourmet to everyday. No pretentious bull - just good food.