Chad and I ran some errands yesterday. Feeling hungry I asked him what he had in mind for lunch. He replied, how about BBQ! How could I say no? We have been wanting to try Elsmere BBQ & Wood Grill located on Cottage Street in South Portland for awhile now. They are only open for lunch on Saturday and Sunday, while the rest of the week they are only open for supper.
Upon arrivial we were directed to the back for the building to park where we found a sufficient amount of parking spots. Walking into the establishment we noticed the retro shabby chic atmosphere. We couldn't help but gravitate to the bar. They had a fair beer selection. We opted for a local craft from Bissel Brothers, which was served ice cold.
In addition to the beer selection, they offer a wide variety of special cocktails featuring the Elsmere Lemonade made with peach infused brandy, and prickly pear margarita. Something I will try next time!
Cruising thru the menu we drooled over the idea of having the burnt end outlaw nachos and the BBQ oysters. We skipped the appetizers this trip and went right for what they are known for. The Elsmere Tornado! Chopped brisket, pulled pork, and sliced sausage filled this sandwich. It was served on a grilled pretzel roll topped with slaw and pickled onions. The slaw was chopped offering a great crunch as it wasn't over laced with dressing. The sandwich comes with chips, but we opted to upgrade to the Mac n Cheese!
Our lunch arrived to us in a very short time. We were very pleased with the potion as the meat was billowing over the sides of the rolls and we couldn't wait to dig in. BUT....first we needed to sample the three sauces they put on the tables. The first one was call Texas Red which was a smokey sweet traditional sauce. Then we tried their version of a hot sauce which I though was tasty, but knew it would be too much for Chad after the hot wings he had last night. The third and last sauce we tried was a mustard BBQ sauce which we thought was mellow for a mustard sauce. It didn't hit you in the face like other mustard sauces we have had at other establishments. He chose the mustard sauce and I chose Texas red for our sandwiches.
Upon the first bite, we looked at each other with a nod of approval and knew immediately that we would be back to try those burnt end outlaw nachos! The meat was succulent, offering a moist texture. The flavor was right on mark. The flavor of the rub came though and the sweet smokey sauce added just the right amount flavor that is still leaving my mouth watering.
We rated the sandwich a 7.8 which had 50% pulled pork, 25% sliced sausage, and 25% chopped brisket
The Mac n Cheese we gave a rating of 5. It just needed a bit more pizazz. We did however think the 3.00 they charge for a portion or 1.00 to substitue was very fair.
The atmosphere received a 7.2, however I gave the comfortability of the bar stools a 1. Definitely won't be sitting at the bar too long on those stools.
The service was great, checking on us frequently and even took me into the kitchen to grab some pics. We gave service an 8.5
Overall, we highly recommend Elsmere BBQ as a traditional BBQ restaurant to everyone and have definaelty found our new go-to place for a bbq fix!
Photo credits: Elsmere's Facebook page