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GREGG'S & UPTOWN

Two go-to restaurants near campus have their fans

On February 12, 2019

By Tiffeny Gripper / VN STAFF WRITER

Today when people hear the phrase “Detroit Barbeque,” they automatically think of Slow’s Bar BQ, the nationally known restaurant in Corktown.

But Detroit has many neighborhood places. And 16 years before Slow’s even existed, locals near campus had Uptown BBQ & Soul food – and they still do.

Since 1989, Uptown has shared the love of food with the community.

Decades later, it is now deemed a legend among Detroit barbeque restaurants.

The idea for a carry-out restaurant came to the owner when he was child.

He would watch his mom and grandma go to work in the kitchen, making all the soul food staples – from fried chicken, candied yams and collard greens.

When the owner decided to open his own restaurant, he wanted to add his own flavor to it and he did quite literally.

The Uptown BBQ “famous sauce” comes from a secret recipe that is a balance of sweet and spicy. It is a fan favorite because the tanginess is just right.

Ferndale resident Justin Morton always get the ribs at Uptown.

He said the sauce “is perfectly salty, sweet and smoky. Paired with some greens, mac and cheese and cornbread and I’m good to go.”

Of all the items on the menu, the sides and peach cobbler stand out.

The mac and cheese has a nice creamy consistency and the black-eyed peas have a gumbo-like flavor to them.

Southfield resident Eutivia Johnson comes to Uptown occasionally for lunch and dinner.

Her favorite sides are the green beans and the mac and cheese.

The mac and cheese melts in her mouth. She likes the green beans because the pork they cook it with creates an amazing taste, she said.

Gregory Damon enjoys the peach cobbler because it is juicy on the inside and the crust is flaky.

“This is how all cobbler should be,” he said.

From the moment the weekend starts, Uptown is a crowded with customers waiting for their meals.

Despite waiting longer than usual at times, Uptown has a special place in customers’ hearts.

To an unaware tourist it may seem like Uptown is just another corner carryout restaurant in Detroit.

Another loyal customer, TJ Hollins drives from Ann Arbor once month to get a slab of ribs and a meal.

His grandma lives in a nearby neighborhood. He stopped there once on the way over to her house and has loved it ever since.

“The food here is amazing, affordable and tastes homemade,” said Hollins. “I also love that is open late.”

Many others are like Hollins. They continue to come back because it gives them a feeling of nostalgia.

It reminds people of their childhood and the food they had at home.

Uptown is working on opening more locations in the Detroit area.

The current one is located at 15700 Livernois, between the McNichols Campus and the Lodge Freeway.

 

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