Found in the heart of downtown Ferndale, just across the street from Public House and Rosie O'Grady's, Zeke's Rock and Roll BBQ has quickly found its way into the hearts and minds of locals. The place has been open for less than three months, but it's gotten rave reviews from both the public and the local media.
Zeke's pleases on many fronts with its mix of barbeque, stiff cocktails, and local music. The place is owned and operated by Mike Mouyianis, the same guy who co-owns Small's in Hamtramck. His association with Detroit's music scene and drinking community helped him easily score local celebrity bartenders like Kat Paled, Stevie Michael, and Masha Marjieh. Earlier this year we featured Paled in our Hot Shotz column where she mixed us up a Jalepenofest cocktail, which includes Tito's Handmade Vodka, jalapeno, lime, sugar, and soda water. Other curated cocktails include the Lynchburg Lemonade, a mix of Jack Daniel's, Triple Sec, sour mix, and lemon-lime soda; the Sunshine, made with Tito's, Chambord Black Raspberry, sweet and sour mix, and a splash of grenadine; and the Ginger Jack, a mix of Jack Daniel's, ginger beer, and lime.
Behind the bar Zeke's is stocked with an array of liquor, which makes ordering just about any drink easy, so if you're really needing that gin and tonic, it's yours. They also have a solid selection of beers, including Stroh's, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Newcastle, and Tecate. Craft options aren't overwhelming, but left to staples like Atwater Grand Circus IPA, and Short's Soft Parade. On draft are brews like Dirty Blonde, Blake's Flannel Mouth, and Rochester Mills' Milkshake Stout.
Wine might not seem all that rock 'n' roll, but Zeke's does not forsake those who love a good riesling or merlot. Much like the beer list, there aren't hundreds of vintages available, but there is more than enough to choose from on their wine menu, from sweet whites to savory reds. They're available by the glass or the bottle and at reasonable prices. Glasses start at $7, bottles at $26.
While the barbecue does not disappoint (we particularly like the brisket sandwich and would fully recommend the roasted jalapeno mac and cheese), we'll leave a review of the food to a food review. But the music (the "rock 'n' roll" in Zeke's Rock and Roll BBQ, if you will) can't be left out. Zeke's regularly features local bands (recently Bars of Gold, Skeemin' No Goods, and Tim Barry) and this week they're one of many local venues to be featured in Metro Times Blowout. Thursday, April 30 through Saturday May 2, they'll be hosting bands like the Sunburns, Woven Tangles, and even Marjieh's the Octopus.