By Joe Ricchio
Photographs by Jonathan Laurence
01 Smokin’ Good BBQ
The meaty, falling-off-the-bone ribs are dry-rubbed Memphis-style and served out of a roadside trailer. The dining room consists of picnic tables and Route 2 — the perfect setting to sit down with my full rack and eat myself into piggy oblivion.
U.S. Route 2 | Bethel | 207.824.4744
02 Beale Street Barbeque
A new location hasn’t compromised the quality of this Memphis-style South Portland staple. An improved beer list and the addition of the Big Buck Hunter arcade game add to the appeal—just be courteous and wash the sauce off of your hands before playing.
725 Broadway | South Portland | 207.767.0130
03 Skinny Cart BBQ
Ronnie G is the newest member of the Maine BBQ community, and judging by his BBQ beef, he isn’t playing around. My last journey to his cart was complicated by a minor car accident caused by checking out a girl. But once the other driver and I exchanged info I kept my eyes on the prize and got the sandwich I’d been craving…
Washington Ave. or Monument Sq. | Portland | skinnycartbbq.com
04 Little Dan’s BBQ & Grill
This Lewiston roadhouse doubles as a shrine for pig-worship, serving up St. Louis–style ribs with a sweet BBQ sauce. The combination of savory meat, smoked-chicken soup, and cold Budweiser made me so happy that I was able to (almost) ignore the horrible cover of “Life Is a Highway.”
757 Main St. | Lewiston | 207.333.3227
05 Buck’s Naked BBQ
The name says it all—the meat was delicious despite the absence of sauce, thanks to a highly aromatic dry rub. Also, just when I couldn’t get more concerned about my health, they introduced the concept of “fooze”—alcoholic beverages garnished with ribs (I feel a little dirty even mentioning it).
568 U.S. Route 1 | Freeport | 207.865.0600
06 Shaw’s Ridge Farm BBQ Barn
Because of Shaw’s Ridge, I came to the conclusion that ribs are a great way to fight off the disappointment of rain preventing you from playing on their mini-golf course. They specialize in Carolina-style BBQ here, as well as house-made ice creams.
59 Shaw’s Ridge Rd. | Sanford | 207.324.2533