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Samantha Schnare

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Posted: May 9, 2017

Like a cocktail with your barbecue? At Buck’s, you can put a rib on it

Written by: Samantha Schnare
The interior of Buck's Naked BBQ. Photos by Samantha Schnare

The interior of Buck’s Naked BBQ.
Photos by Samantha Schnare

It’s an absolute truth that beer goes well with barbecue, which is why places like Buck’s Naked BBQ exist in this world.

My first experience at Buck’s was at its Old Port location, which the owners closed last summer in order to focus on their other, busier locations in Freeport and Windham. Always looking for excuses to get off the peninsula for an evening, I grabbed a couple of friends and set the course for the beautiful and (relatively) exotic Freeport.

Like most barbecue restaurants, Buck’s is family-friendly. Bench seating, plenty of booths, the expectation of eating with your hands and an entire kiddo play area make up what I assume would be a great night out for adults and kids alike. However, because it was after 9 p.m. on a weeknight, there were no families (or any other people) to be seen. So, we sequestered ourselves at the bar directly to the left of the main entrance.

Drinks included a Lime in the Coconut, a Moscow mule and a dirty vodka martini.

Drinks included a Lime in the Coconut, a Moscow mule and a dirty vodka martini.

After ordering a round of cocktails, which included a Lime in the Coconut (tequila, cream of coconut, sweet and sour mix and triple sec), a Moscow mule (served in the appropriate copper mug) and a dirty vodka martini, all for $6, we acquainted ourselves with the happy hour specials that we’d missed by a few hours.

Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. and features $3 well drinks and wine, drafts between $2.75 and $3.50, and $6 “fooze” drinks (booze with a side of food). Just look at those deals! The food specials are nothing to sneeze at either, with wings, taquitos and brisket tacos all between $5 and $6. I was particularly intrigued by the poutine du jour ($5), served with chef’s choice of meat. Oh, the possibilities.

Speaking of meats in unexpected places, Buck’s is also the home of the Bloody Buck ($9), a Bloody Mary served with a garnish of olives, veggies and a single, elegant baby back rib to top it all off. Order this if you feel like causing a scene the next time you’re at brunch.

There is a certain kind of beauty in convincing your vegetarian friends to join you for a drink at a barbecue restaurant. Buck’s does offer some vegetarian options (deep fried buffalo Brussels sprouts and sweet potato fries, for two), but I saw no sense in beating around the bush, so I went right for the brisket.

If you happen to swing by Buck’s on an evening between Thursday and Sunday, don’t miss out on the Juke Joint downstairs. An entirely separate bar area, the Juke Joint appears to be where the party happens: high-top tables, free billiards, live music on Fridays and Saturdays and all the drinks you can get upstairs and then some.

Overall, the Buck’s Naked BBQ in Freeport is a good option if you’re looking for something off the beaten path and even a little bit anonymous. The vibe is good, the drinks are cheap and several of them come with baby back ribs. Case closed.

Buck’s Naked BBQ

WHERE: 586 Route 1, Freeport
PHONE: 865-0600
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday
AMENITIES: Two bars, one in the dining area, one downstairs; billiards (always free), consistent happy hour, daily drink specials, children’s play area, friendly staff, merch section
BOTTOM LINE: Buck’s Naked BBQ in Freeport’s got options. Monday through Wednesday, hit up the dining room bar for chill drinks and casual conversation. Head downstairs to the Juke Joint Thursday through Sunday for pool, live music, sporting events on multiple TVs and general weekend shenanigans.

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