The Detroit-area barbecue scene has gotten more competitive recently. My favorite barbecue place, Slows Bar BQ, in downtown Detroit (near the old Tiger’s Stadium) has been given a run for its money by Lochart’s BBQ .
Josh and I recently made a visit to this relative newcomer that opened last year in the hip, artsy town of Royal Oak, Michigan. It’s about a 45 minute trip from our home in Ypsilanti, but they did not disappoint. I would classify the interior of this restaurant as casual, modern industrial. With thick wood tables with natural splits to the exposed brick walls and stainless steel counters, open kitchen and large windows allowing light to pour inside.
The server was well versed on the menu and ready to help with any questions. He also brought out a nice complimentary jar of sweet and fiery pickle chips in a glass jar to start off our meals.
I ordered the Carolina Pulled Pork sandwich which came on a Kaiser roll with the signature Lochart’s signature barbecue sauce which was smokey sweet with a hint of spicy and topped with coleslaw. The meat was very tender and juicy and I loved the creaminess of the coleslaw as a compliment to the pork. I had my choice of a side and went for their classic mac and cheese which was creamy and had a nice cheesy quality, but still fell a bit short of Slows fantastically gooey, rich version. Josh also loved his go-to choice of a beef brisket sandwich as well.
We had really wanted to try dessert but couldn’t get past the fact that we were filled to the brim with barbecue goodness on this particular day. Sweet endings will have to wait until our next visit. The trick will be to decide on one amongst a lot of great choices, including: Pecan Pie, Berry Cobbler and Chocolate Dr. Pepper Cake.
My second attempt was the Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry ice cream; a sweet corn ice cream base with black raspberry sauce swirled through. I’ve had this seasonal summer version in the Jeni’s shops before as well. It may sound odd to some, but trust me when I say that the sweet corn makes for great ice cream and you can really taste the milky sweetness of the corn.
I used fresh Michigan sweet corn, but was having trouble finding black raspberries so I opted to go with the traditional red raspberries. I knew that my version would lack the deep purple color, but the red raspberries would still give it a nice flavor.
The contrast of the slightly gooey, tart-sweet red raspberry sauce (it doesn’t fully freeze) with the creaminess and soft yellow color of the corn base is delicious. Even my husband, Josh, who rarely steers away from traditional flavors like chocolate, couldn’t get enough of this treat.
Make the sauce: Combine black raspberries and 1/2 cup sugar in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring, until thick, about 8 minutes; strain and chill.
Make the ice cream:
Prep: In a bowl, stir together 2 tbsp. of milk and the cornstarch and set aside. Slice kernels off cob of corn then ‘milk’ the cob by scraping it with the back of your knife to push the liquid into the bowl; reserve kernels and juice. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
In a 4-qt saucepan combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn and juices and corn syrup, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl to remove the solids. Return the mixture to the saucepan and slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, stirring with a heat-proof spatula, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Chill: Slowly whisk the hot mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon freezer bag, seal the bag and submerge in the ice water for 30 minutes or until mixture is cold, adding more ice as needed.
Freeze: Pour the ice cream base into the frozen ice cream maker and freeze following manufacturer’s instructions. Alternate layers of raspberry sauce and ice cream into an air-tight storage container, beginning and ending with the sauce; don’t mix. Press a sheet of parchment paper against the ice cream surface and seal. Freeze at least 4 hours.