Foster’s Smokehouse BBQ Fraser, located on Utica north of 14 Mile Rd in Fraser, has closed amidst slow crowds, service issues, and poor reviews. I reviewed Foster’s Smokehouse BBQ when it opened and had high hopes for the place despite some obvious grand opening glitches. Below is our original review of Foster’s Smokehouse BBQ Fraser.
Terry Foster of 97.1 The Ticket’s Valenti & Foster show and The Detroit News recently opened a BBQ restaurant at the old HuHot location in Fraser on Utica Rd just north of 14 Mile Rd. Terry is an old friend and former co-worker of my husband and we decided to take the family to Foster’s to review the new restaurant and enjoy some old-style barbecue.
Foster’s Smokehouse barbecue restaurant borrows elements from Metro Detroit, Michigan’s best and most popular BBQ restaurants like Slows (in Detroit), Lockhart’s BBQ (in Royal Oak), Union Woodshop (in Clarkston), Billy Sims Barbecue (in Troy, Southfield, Lincoln Park).
Foster’s Smokehouse has the same modern, family-friendly layout from the previous restaurant at the location (HuHot) but added a huge, modern bar. The walls are decorated with man-cave style Detroit sports memorbilia and the overall ambience is very clean and refined. The food is served “BBQ roadhouse-style” on trays and paper plates but the restaurant itself is traditional and not necessarily “BBQ roadhouse-style” of picnic tables and red and white checkered tablecloths.
For the restaurant review, we went to Foster’s Smokehouse before the grand opening and it was slightly apparant they needed to work out some bugs in terms of service. The menu is fairly simple for a BBQ place – appetizers, salads, plenty of sides, choose-your-own BBQ entrees (ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork, rib tips, etc…), and a variety of sandwiches and pizzas. The bugs and new restaurant service bugs had us a bit nervous about the food.
The sauces were all unique and fun to sample with our meal. The sauce selection included Apple Pie – flavored with cinnamon, Fruity Bang – made with pineapple and spicy habaneras, Soda Pop – made with Faygo rock & rye, Short & Stout – flavored with a locally brewed stout… and many more! Each table features 2 or 3 different BBQ sauces and you have to ask for any of the additional ones. It would be nice if each table featured the full compliment of 10 sauces on the table so you don’t have to ask for them. Also, I think Foster’s would benefit from serving the food on traditional food trays and not cafeteria/paper plate style. Paper plate BBQ-style works well in BBQ “joint” type places and the great food at Foster’s I think would reflect better on something trendier like the cool trays at Vinsetta Garage – something hipper to match the stylish, family-friendly restaurant.
The food at Foster’s Smokehouse Barbecue is fantastic – among the best in Metro Detroit that I’ve tried in terms of BBQ. I really enjoyed the pulled chicken and the burnt ends were fantastic. I would love to try the pizza, but it’s a tough call to have it be at the expense of missing out on those burnt ends! The food made the hiccups in the service well worth it. It’s quality BBQ.
Foster’s Smokehouse and Toarminas Pizza, a local pizza chain, teamed up to serve pizza at the smokehouse. There are deep dish and round pizzas, and a monstrous 24″ pie that serves eight!
The restaurant also serves home made side dishes including macaroni and cheese and greens. The quality of the sides is tremendous. I highly recommend the Nana’s Mac N Cheese and the Pit Baked Beans.
Foster’s Smokehouse BBQ is also a sports bar. The bar is center stage and great if you want to grab a burger and brew and watch the game. It’s also very family friendly so you can bring the kids and be casual and loud.
Foster’s Smokehouse BBQ Pizza and Brew is co-owned by Terry Foster, Detroit News sports columnist and radio personality in on 97.1 The Ticket. He co-hosts Valenti & Foster on WXYT-FM with Mike Valenti.
A second restaurant Foster’s on the Bay is scheduled to open later this year in Algonac.
Foster’s Smokehouse BBQ also caters parties big and small.
Foster’s Smokehouse BBQ Fraser
33050 Utica Rd.
Fraser, MI 48026
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