Review of Elsmere

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of Elsmere BBQ.

The results are quite good. The pulled pork has a touch of maple sweetness over a rich just-smoky flavor. The brisket has a peppery rub and earthy flavor that works especially well with the mustard-based barbecue sauce. The chicken was, unusually, the smokiest of the meats — utterly infused with the flavor of the wood. The danger of a long smoke without sauce is that things get a bit dry, and the chicken at Elsmere did lean a bit in that direction.

4 comments on “Review of Elsmere

  1. “indirect heat (which prevents bitterness and over-smokiness)”

    “The danger of a long smoke without sauce is that things get a bit dry”

    This person has no idea what he’s talking about.

  2. To clarify…

    Bitterness and over-smokiness are, for the most part, a product of an unclean fire. Choice of wood, how seasoned your wood is, and the amount of time the meat is exposed to smoke can also be factors, but the directness of the heat has no relationship whatsoever. Your heat source could be in Texas and your meat in Maine, connected by a pipeline; it makes no difference. If you have a poorly-ventillated fire, things are going to taste funky.

    And the sauce comment is just completely outrageous. The only relationship sauce has to dryness is that sauce is what’s often used to mask dry meat after it’s cooked. 3 of the 4 major BBQ regions in the country are defined, in part, by an absence of sauce in the cooking process, and BBQ that’s “a bit dry” isn’t an issue.

    Nothing personal against the writer of that review, but I read outright fabrications like this from a writer once, and then I discredit everything else that person has written.

  3. Went there for the first time with another couple this past weekend. That was the last time also. None of us had any interesting in returning. All four of us found the food relatively tasteless. Pales compared to what Beales’ BBQ offered here.

  4. Ate there in August and I also thought the smoke lent an unpleasant flavor to the ribs. I described it at the time as slightly rancid and perhaps bitter. Difficult to describe but was def. unappetizing.

Leave a Reply