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The Early Word on Zeke’s Rock & Roll BBQ

A roundup of the early reviews on this new Ferndale dining spot.

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Zeke's Rock & Roll BBQ.
Zeke's Rock & Roll BBQ.
Brenna Houck
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Ferndale's newest barbecue spot, Zeke's Rock ‘n' Roll BBQopened last week. As with any new dining spot, the restaurant is still gaining its footing. Early visitors seem mostly pleased with the food and atmosphere, although a few experienced the typical restaurant opening blunders from slow service to cold food. Here's what some pioneering diners on Yelp, Facebook, and elsewhere have to say about this new barbecue option.

Smoky: The Detroit Free Press's Sylvia Rector was pleased with the atmosphere and the menu at Zeke's. "The smoky, meaty ribs are a real standout, with just the right amount of chew, and the brisket is ideal, rimmed in a thin layer of delicious fat covered with dark, flavorful bark," she says. "The pulled pork is lean with clean, mild flavors and a pleasant level of smokiness."

Undercooked: Yelper Lily G. didn't love her experience but gives the restaurant the benefit of the doubt considering it's new. "Chicken, burnt ends, and sausage were great," she says, adding that "the pulled pork and ribs needed more cooking time, but considering they just opened and the flavor was there, I can overlook it this time."

Try the Sides: Hip In Detroit tested out multiple sides and discovered some highlights. "Brussels sprouts, the pasta, mac n cheese, potato salad, smashed potatoes and veggies, and the Sriracha coleslaw. All of them were delicious, but I think my favorites were a tie between the potato salad and the slaw, with everything else coming in at a close tie for second."

Stand-out Items: Melody Baetens of The Detroit News got a sneak peek of the menu prior to opening. "Look for a remarkable Cuban sandwich with thick cuts of ham, pork, swiss, pickle and mustard. The pineapple jalapeno barbecue sauce and fried cheese curds are two other stand-out items."

Vegetarian Options: The restaurant has already received more than 80 Facebook reviews. "My belly was very happy," remarks one diner, Cha Cha Pistolero. "As a vegetarian, I am giving a thumbs up! Plenty of options to choose from! I'll definitely be back."

Cold and Mushy: One early diner, Jason Giarmo, found that the smoked ribs "cold" and "on the dry side," and was unimpressed by his burnt ends, which he describes as "pieces of fat put on the platter." As far as the Brussels sprouts were concerned, Giarmo says they "came out mashed up in a pile of grease." The cornbread didn't fare much better, but the experience wasn't a complete loss. "The sauces they do have are not too bad."

Tender but Lacking Crust: Reviewer Sean Colburn visited Zeke's during a soft opening and ordered the brisket. Colburn acknowledges the meat was satisfactorily tender, however "the slabs lacked that outer crust of charred seasoning I crave." Still the reviewer gave the restaurant a solid four out of five stars, noting that he experienced excellent service.

Have you tried Zeke's yet? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Zeke's R&R BBQ

240 W 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220 (248) 206-7130