Friday, April 07, 2006

Don't wake me from this food coma

You know how when you lose a limb, you can still feel it there afterwards because the nerve endings are still alive?

Well, hopefully you don't - and on second thought, that's a terrible analogy. My apologies. But that's kind of how I feel this morning. My lips can still taste yesterday's lunch. My fingers can still feel those ribs and chicken between them. Almost 24 hours later, I miss it and want it back.

I had some extraordinarily inconvenient "bidness" in Detroit yesterday, but it was rendered less disheartening after a trip to the Corktown neighborhood and Slow's Bar-B-Q.

Sweet. Sassy. Molassy. That was some good eatin'.

To me, really good barbecue doesn't even need sauce. The smoked meat alone is enough. I ate half the stuff (a lot of it off my companion's plate - I owe someone a meal) without even a drop of the stuff. But you can't ignore the sauces, since all five of them are on hand in squirt bottles.

I wish I hadn't waited so long to reach for the sauce because the different flavors - ranging from sweet to spicy - were really interesting to try. For instance, I'd never had North Carolina-style sauce - which is thin and vinegary - before. I guess I prefer a thicker sauce that stays on the meat and has some kick, but I'm glad I had to chance to try the other stuff (such as the mustard sauce) and could put it on the meat myself.

You don't even need to like barbecue. The side dishes might be even better than the main entrees. I know I'm guilty of the occasional hyperbolic statement (i.e., "Scrubs is the funniest sitcom ever made!"), but I'm not exaggerating when I say their mac-n-cheese might be the best I've ever had. (Yes, Mis Hooz - even better than this stuff.) I was scraping the crust off the sides of the dish (which, thankfully, came right off), and almost came to tears when I saw no more cheese on my fork. I'd go there just for the mac-n-cheese. (The carrot cake was damn good, too. Oh, so was the catfish that was supposed to be my meal.)

And the place looked incredible, too. Exposed brick walls, glossy hardwood floors and tables, with darker wood along the bar and windoes - I could live in a place like that. It looks even more impressive, I suppose, if you gaze out the window at the deteriorating buildings in that part of Corktown, with the tragically abandoned and decayed train station across the street, and the waiting-for-a-wrecking-ball Tiger Stadium a couple of blocks away. (Now that's what should be sold for scrap, not the whole city of Detroit. That was a painful joke in this week's Onion.)

The real loser today is my turkey sandwich I'm having for lunch. It's a perfectly fine turkey sandwich, with swiss, lettuce, tomato, and mustard on some good rye bread. On most days, I'd love it. But today, it just doesn't measure up. It's like going out on a date with my junior high school crush after I slept with Angelina Jolie.

▪▪ Here are reviews of Slows from the Detroit Free Press and Metro Times.

Hell yeah, I'm going back.