From the menu at Slim’s BBQ in Vancouver are items like smoked and glazed pork ribs, cornmeal crusted boneless fried chicken and country gravy, loaded Tot-chos, and sides like mac and cheese and coleslaw | Photo: Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome
The smokers are fired up and things are getting spicy now that the doors are open at Slim’s BBQ, Vancouver’s newest destination for Texas-style eats.
Slim’s is the dine-in second generation of Dixie’s BBQ, which began as a sit-down spot on Hastings near Main in 2016 that ultimately evolved to be a catering and delivery operation in 2019.
The new Slim’s, which has set up in the quickly-transformed ex-Rumpus Room reboot space at 2301 Main St, still has significant ties to that space on Hastings; as co-owner Christina Cottrell explains, Slim’s is using the space as a commissary kitchen, as the new restaurant’s kitchen is quite small. To boot, that commissary kitchen is where Slim’s smokers are – absolutely key to this Austin, Texas-inspired operation.
But there’s another link to that old Dixie’s space: The decor, most of which has found a new lease on life inside Slim’s. That includes the corrugated siding that was once part of a barn in Surrey that the Dixie’s crew roughed up with buckshot, the illuminated marquee, and a reclaimed Ford truck bed with Texas plates that juts out from the wall. Even the blue former library chairs made it over.
Cottrell admits that amidst the excitement of launching Slim’s in the new space, she and longtime business partner Shoel Davidson were both feeling sentimental seeing those items come down at the old Dixie’s to make the trip up Main to Slim’s.
To make Slim’s happen, Cottrell and Davidson joined forces with David Duprey of Vancouver’s Narrow Group – the collective of popular cocktail-centric spots like The Narrow and The Emerald. Duprey’s passion is the bar side of the biz, which makes Cottrell and Davidson’s restaurant savvy a perfect pairing. Naturally, you can expect to find lots of cheeky fun at Slim’s – just check out the fun graphics on the menu, for starters.
What are they cookin’ up at Slim’s BBQ?
Slim’s menu – which is very similar to Dixie’s – is inspired by Cottrell’s childhood years living in Central Texas, as well as taste-testing treks through Austin in the pre-Dixie’s days. Texas BBQ is all about smoking meat and not about gobs of sauce. After 5 p.m. daily you can get their tender, juicy, smoky brisket, and all day long they’re dishing up their peach chipotle glazed smoked pork ribs, smoked pork butt, and hot links made from the brisket and pork butt.
Order up the meats for a build-your-own BBQ platter combo and add sides like Slim’s slaw, smoked brisket beans, or cornbread. Slim’s is also serving tots as a side or as a fork-able appy as “Tot-chos,” dressed up with queso, chili, salsa, sour cream and jalapeños – this is the ideal hangover or munchies item, for sure. The mac and cheese can be tricked out to your taste as well, with your choice of toppings like serrano cheese spinach, meat or veggie chili, or smoked brisket beans joining the party with Slim’s jalapeno-studded super gooey mac and cheese base.
The Slim’s Caesar features a smoky kick, garnished with a pickle spear and pepperoni stick. Photo by Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome
You’ll also find boneless cornmeal-crusted fried chicken, which you can enjoy by the piece or in a fried chicken sandwich, straight up or fiery hot. Other sandwich options include a beef burger, a black bean-based veggie burger, and a shrimp Po’Boy. Load up an epic baked potato, or tuck into some fried chicken and waffles.
In addition to the BBQ mix-and-match platter option, Slim’s is doing several family-style meals, priced per person. Choose from meals like the “Texas-sized” Bubba, which includes all smoked meats, fried chicken, country gravy, coleslaw and potato salad, with your choice of biscuits or cornbread, or something a little more restrained, like the Pork & Beans, with smoked pork butt, smoked brisket beans, and southern-style slaw.
From the bar, expect some big bangs with flavours, like their house Caesar, which has a big spicy, smoky kick and other custom cocktails, alongside big sips available in singles or pitchers, like some Mount Pleasant Lemonade (with Jack Daniel’s) or a Bulldog (margarita with a bottle of Corona tipped in). They’re also pouring plenty of local craft beers, or you can get that Texas dive bar vibe courtesy the Two Step: a pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Jameson. Enjoy a whiskey flight, glasses of wine, or canned ciders, too. Yee haw!
Slim’s BBQ is open noon to 10 p.m. daily.