Beale Street Barbeque lies just under the Casco Bay Bridge in South Portland, past a row of fast food shops and strip malls. From the outside, it looks like a converted Arby’s, but inside it’s pretty respectable, with a small bar, jazz-themed décor, and table service. As you might expect from the name, there are Cajun influences on the menu.
As you walk in, you are greeted by a wall of hot sauces that you can bring to the table and use on your food. On every table are bottles of the homemade barbecue sauce (chunky, tangy, sweet and slightly spicy) and habañero hot sauce (spicy with a hint of fruit).
My wife and I shared the jalapeño poppers and a bowl of chili to start. The poppers had large half peppers with cream cheese and a crisp, well seasoned coating that I liked a lot. The mild chili had very tender brisket, lots of cheese, no beans, and a thin broth with lot of oil.
All of the usual barbecue meats are available here, with just one rib ( St Louis). The barbecue combo comes with ribs, chicken, sausage and one pulled meat (brisket or pork), but I worked a trade to get pork and brisket instead of the chicken and sausage.
The ribs were served unsauced. They had a lot of dark bark on the outside and were slightly pink and slightly moist inside. Not dry, but not as juicy as I like. Decent flavor, especially with the sauce, but nothing to write home about. The pulled meats also had a lot of dark bark and were also just slightly moist, definitely needing the sauce. Again, decent flavor.
All platters come with beans and cole slaw, which were competently done, but nothing special. I liked the very thin cut of the cabbage, but there wasn’t a lot of flavor. The pulled meats came atop a thick grilled slice of interesting jalapeño cornbread.
The bottom line: Competent barbecue, with no real highs or lows.
Yelp reviews of Beale Street Barbeque
Urban Spoon reviews of Beale Street Barbeque