Port Adelaide’s destination diner Low & Slow American BBQ has set up shop in the city, opening a lunchtime joint in the former Pink Moon Deli site.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for the team that launched the Low & Slow brand seven years ago as a food truck in the CBD. “It’s been in the back of our minds – having a city daytime location – because that’s how we started,” co-owner Angus Kiley told Broadsheet last year. “We got a pretty loyal customer base back in the day, so we always knew the audience was there. But we’re not interested in replicating exactly what we’ve got at Port Adelaide – we know it’s one of a kind.”

Instead, Leigh Street’s hole-in-the-wall joint will turn out fast lunches to go, such as burgers, sandwiches, and plates of barbequed meats and vegetables. Things between bread include smoked brisket with apple slaw and barbeque sauce; pulled pork with apple slaw and mustard sauce; and wood-grilled chicken with pickled green tomatoes, cos lettuce and a mayo-like “white sauce”. The chook is smothered in Low & Slow’s “sweet and salty” pork rub before it’s roasted on Pink Moon Saloon’s wood-grill a couple doors down. It’s been the big seller during the shop’s soft launch this week.

Given the site’s tiny footprint, the brisket and pork (sourced from Marino Meat and Food Store) is smoked at the Port Adelaide site and brought over each day.

Those who don’t want meat can opt for charred leek with smoked garlic, pickled cauliflower, cos lettuce and that white sauce. The team plan to work a vegan option into the menu, too. “We’ve been trialling jackfruit,” says co-owner Angus Henderson. “But we want to make sure it’s delicious, we don’t want to do a half-arsed vegan option.”

The fillings are stuffed into fluffy brioche buns or slices of Soiboii sourdough. All the sandwiches are priced between $10 and $13.

Those who don’t want carbs can opt for 100 grams of protein (or leek) and add sides of their choosing (just $3.50 each). Apple slaw, potato salad and mac’n’cheese will always be on the menu alongside a changing weekly salad. First up: shaved fennel and kohlrabi with watercress dressing. “It’s fresh and bright,” says Henderson. “We’re trying not to just do the staples, we’re trying to branch out a little bit. We want to offer something lighter and fresher for people who don’t necessarily want a protein-heavy meal.”

“But if you want … come and get a brisket sandwich with extra brisket and add a slice of cheese,” adds co-owner and operator Keven Stockmann. He’ll be running the deli day-to-day, and he’s encouraging add-ons. “Someone added jalapenos today and I thought, ‘What a great idea’.”

There’s also a dessert option (currently Oreo cheesecake) and a tight edit of American soft drinks. When Broadsheet spoke to Stockmann last year, he hinted at house-made iced teas. They’re still on the cards, pending some logistical changes. (“We don’t have any ice [yet], or anywhere to put it.”) There’s also talk of stocking brews by Squatters Collective.

With no sitting room save for a single bench and a couple of chairs, Low & Slow Leigh Street is designed to keep people moving (“order turnover is less than five minutes,” says Henderson). But those looking to linger can get excited about the soon-to-launch Friday night hours, where customers can stretch out to Pink Moon Saloon – and order a boozy drink if so inclined.

Low & Slow Leigh Street officially opens on Monday March 16.

Low & Slow Leigh Street
17a Leigh Street, Adelaide
Mon to Fri 12pm to 3.30pm