Celebrate National Barbecue Month at Zeke’s

By: Amber Ogden | May 22, 2015

May is a glorious month for many reasons. We’re approaching the time of the month that serves as the unofficial kickoff of summer, which is beloved by all. But another reason why the fifth month of the year is such a rockin’ one? May is National Barbecue Month!

I’m sure many of you are celebrating by dusting off the ol’ barbecue grill at home after a long winter of it being buried under a snow pile. If you’re not much of a cook yourself, never fear: there are countless barbecue joints in southeast Michigan, and the most recent one on the scene is Zeke’s Rock and Roll BBQ.

After much anticipation, Zeke’s, located at 240 W. 9 Mile Rd. in Ferndale, debuted with a soft opening at the end of January. Business has been great ever since, according to Mike Mouyianis, one of Zeke’s owners.

“We opened at a time of year that is historically slow, but being the new guy helped and I think people genuinely liked it,” Mouyianis said.

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The menu is full of smoked favorites like brisket, pulled pork, burnt ends and ribs, which are all top sellers. Smoked salmon, turkey and chicken are also on the menu. All entrees are served with cornbread and your choice of two sides, including Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts, Zeke’s Homemade Potato Salad, BBQ Pasta, Roasted Jalapeno Mac n Cheese and more. Speaking of the mac and cheese, it’s not to be overlooked as an entrée in and of itself: try the Loaded Mac n Cheese topped with your choice of house veggies, pork or any other meat.

The Smoked Cuban sandwich (ham, pork, pickles, mustard, Zeke’s sauce and Swiss cheese on a bun) and The Four Horsemen sandwich (smoked brisket, burnt ends, pulled pork and bacon topped with Jack cheese and Sriracha aioli on a bun) are two of the menu’s most popular sandwiches, according to Mouyianis.

“We don’t follow any traditional ways of barbecue, like Memphis or Texas,” he said. “We have our own unique twist combining everything we have learned over the years. And we have some unique sides, as well.”

In addition to mouthwatering barbecue on the daily menu, Zeke’s serves a late night menu every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from just after 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. (or whenever there is a live show). On it, you’ll find Buffalo Chicken Tenders, Pork Taquitos, Zekewurst Corn Dog, Pork Belly BLT Sliders and more. Reason enough to stay up past your bedtime this week, right?

Zeke’s recently rolled out a Sunday and Monday brunch, which has been well received thus far, according to Mouyianis. Brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when you’ll find a special menu with items like Chicken Tenders in Waffle Batter with Maple Sriracha Glaze, Breakfast Scramblers and Corn Bread Biscuits and Zekewurst Sausage Gravy.

“We hope all the people that are stuck serving brunch on Sunday will come and let us take care of them on Monday,” Mouyianis said of the two day a week brunch.

Besides the out-of-this-world barbecue, another aspect that makes Zeke’s unique is the atmosphere. With Zeke’s, Mouyianis and business partner Dan Kelley set out to bring the marriage of music and barbecue together, and on any given night, you might catch a live band performing.

One such upcoming music event is Thirst Wave: Ferndale Pride Edition on Saturday, May 30. The dance night starts at 10 p.m. and will feature 80s and 90s new wave tunes. For other upcoming events, stay tuned to the events calendar here.

As for celebrating National Barbecue Month, Mouyianis said Zeke’s is going to smoke as much meat as possible. That means it’s up to you to bring your appetite!

“The (Detroit) area is filled with a lot of very creative people, in food, music, art, you name it… It keeps challenging the next place to open to take food a step farther,” Mouyianis said.

There are still plenty of days left in the month of May to celebrate National Barbecue Month, and I certainly won’t stop you from celebrating the occasion year-round. Grab a friend, get to Zeke’s and get ready to chow down on some seriously killer barbecue.

For more information on Zeke’s Rock and Roll BBQ, visit the official website or Facebook page.