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Slim’s BBQ

Food options and alternatives have become more of a topic of conversation as of late. Consumers are questioning what goes into their food and doing the research to find what suits them in their dining needs. There are more 100% vegan restaurants opening and even expos dedicated to a plant based lifestyle. And with Vancouver’s food landscape forever evolving, we are starting to see more and more restaurants tend to such needs. Said businesses are creating menus to cater to those with dietary preferences and restrictions; and Slim’s BBQ is the latest to talk inclusion.

Known for their slow cooked and smoked meats, Slim’s recognizes the need to provide their barbecue seasonings and stylings to a broader audience. Not only will they continue to offer their loyal customers Southern style barbecue with beef, pork, and poultry from local farms including 63 Acres and Rossdown Farms; but now have substitutes for everyone else. Their recently launched menus now feature tasty options for vegans, vegetarians, and individuals with gluten-intolerances. And I made my way to their location on Main Street to discover this first hand.

They have taken up residence in the old home of Rumpus Room 2.0, during the pandemic years. And if the interior seem familiar that is because they have inducted elements of the now shuttered Dixie’s on East Hastings for that rustic Southern draw. The back of a Ford tailgate, an old timey cinema billboard, and rusted siding.

We would start with a 1lb of their popular Rossdown Farms Chicken Wings available in your choice of Kosher Salt n Pepper, Valentina & Butter Sauce with Lime, or Tajin & Lime. This is their Alabama seasoning, which is a mayonnaise based barbecue sauce. The whole chicken is smoked and dragged in this said sauce. It doing so it gives time for the hot mayo to stick to the meat, leaving diners with a creamy spice on the lips. And I was told by the kitchen that there is nothing else like it in Vancouver. Smoked for 2.5 hours without a brine, chilled, then brought to life with a fry; this is a wing worth craving for, and worth trying in their other flavours, if it is as good as this.

Just as good, and too worth craving for is their plant-based alternative: a crispy buttermilk fried cauliflower, available in the same sauces above. This time we went with the Valentina & Butter Sauce with Lime flavour for a lighter nibble. Best paired with a side of ranch for dipping and to contrast the spicy citrus. Worth noting that this vegetarian option came be made vegan and that the creamy ranch already is.

Slim’s Nashville Hot chicken sandwich is now available with a plant based Chik’n patty instead. The latter is topped with the exact same Nashville butter, pickles, and red onion as a regular burger. Here, they nailed the sensation of chicken with this burger patty. The texture was as fibrous and firm as cooked chicken, and the flavour as tasty.

But for a little more umph get your chicken sandwich loaded with their house made mac and cheese. The Big Bad Mac N Chicken is chewy spirals piled high on a buttermilk fried Rossdown Farms chicken breast with jalapeños, red onion, and Texas mayonnaise. Great flavours, but for personal preference, I would have liked the pasta more gooey with threads of cheese or another slice of melty cheddar on top. The former would have made a great contrast to the crispy chicken.

But the best way to experience their food is by way of one of their platters, where you get a little bit of everything. This is their Bubba, a medium sized platter great for 2-3 people to eat generously for. Smoked Port Butt, Pork Ribs, Barbacoa Beef, and Fried Chicken. With Texas dipping sauce, coleslaw, roasted jalapeños & cheese spinach, plus two pieces of cornbread. The plant based option features a BBQ pulled jackfruit instead.

There are lots of authentic southern flavours in this gathering. All their smoking is done out of Slim’s new smokers, leaving meats super soft and super tender. And on Saturdays only they do a brisket, that I am told is worth trying. The softened pulled pork was seasoned in a tomato based sauce, making it a great accompaniment to the side of salsa. The fried chicken was great in a burger, but it really shines as is, with its potato and corn meal mix crust and juicy white meat centre. The ribs were a little on the dry side, but nothing a thorough dip in their tangy barbecue sauce couldn’t fix.

For personal preference when it comes or textures, I was not a fan of the queso spinach. I do not like the feel of wilted greens and their mushy texture. However, my guest really liked this side, stating that it reminded him of fresh corn. I will have to take his word for it. We both liked the corn bread with its crispy edges, moist centre, and caramelized coating. It ate sweet and salty with the maple butter finish. Then all of a sudden you get pops of heat from the jalapeños embedded within. And let’s not forget the coleslaw, which we enjoyed as an after bite, helping to inject some freshness into the mix. The Mac and cheese is an add on with an additional fee, and always welcomed. All in all this was a very fulsome, and well balanced barbecue platter.

But save room for dessert as they have some home-cooking favourites. When was the last time you had Banana cream pudding or saw one on any menu? House made with “nilla” wafers, banana, Oreo ice cream, and classic whipped cream. This gave us the feeling of nostalgia. The comforting flavour of bananas and antibiotics given to you by a parent or guardian. It at soft and supple like baby food. You definitely get a full eating experience with this one. Recommend.

Similarly, when was the last time you were served a Pineapple upside down cake? A classic that delivered fragrant sponge and sweet fruit, topped with a classic milky vanilla whipped cream, and finished with a maraschino cherry. I was like eating a hug.

In conclusion, if looking for delicious barbecue and Southern fare that both comforts and satisfies, look to Slim’s. Now offering much more, to many more with their new inclusive, vegan friendly, gluten-free conscious, plant based alternative menu. So now everyone can get a piece of them.

Slim’s BBQ
2301 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 1M6
(604) 708-0881

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