Friday, March 29, 2013

Another New 'Cue Review (Part 2): Slow and Low BBQ Bistro

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 6:50 AM

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I first encountered the smoky goodness of Slow and Low BBQ Bistro last summer when I wrote about their quasi-permanent location near LP Field. Back then, I marveled at their excellent pulled pork and smoked chicken coming out of a trailer, and wished that they had a permanent location so that I wouldn't have to eat in my car.

My prayers have been answered since they took over the previous location of Stone House Q at the corner of Charlotte and 54th. When I first visited Stone House Q, I was definitely impressed by the equipment that they had purchased and installed in the kitchen. This was clearly a first-class operation from a team of longtime Nashville restaurant veterans. But subsequent visits indicated that perhaps a little more pit experience and some funky soul would have produced better barbecue. I had hoped that a little more time working with their impressive equipment would begin to pay off, and I certainly wasn't happy to hear about their closing.

On the flip side, I was excited to hear that Herman and Trey Sutherland and Burke Mahling were going to have a chance to expand their operation and offer a bricks-and-mortar location to enjoy their 'cue. While they still intend to keep their original location and catering business going, the vast majority of their production will now come from the 54th Avenue kitchen.

They are still in a soft opening phase since taking over the building in February. They haven't done much to change the interior of the previous establishment, but it is still bright and cheery. On my first visit I ordered my default, a pulled shoulder sandwich.

The pork had a very nice bark on it and was smoky and sweet, the sign of a good application of hickory. Slow and Low offers two sauces, a tangy Carolina vinegar and red pepper variety and a spicier tomato-based hot sauce that had a pleasant black pepper burn.

Sticking with the basics, I ordered a side of mac-and-cheese, which had a bechamel that was a little bit thin, but still acceptably cheesy. A combo of a regular sandwich, one side and a drink will run you $7.99 with an upgrade to "The Big Pig" available for a buck more. I didn't get to try the smoked chicken on the First Bite visit, but if they're like the yard bird I enjoyed at the original location, I look forward to a timely return visit for some wings.

Other specialty items on the menu include BBQ Nachos, fried pickles and jalapenos. The standard ribs and brisket are also available, and you can enjoy a four meat feast for $16.29. (Angioplasty not included.) When the weather improves, I imagine that the large patio at Slow and Low will be the place to be in the neighborhood for those seeking some good barbecue. Even though I don't live on the West Side anymore, I'll make the sojourn. As always, let us know what you think of Slow and Low in the comments.

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