// Location448 Cottage Rd.
South Portland, ME 04106
// Hours4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 4 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday
// Contact(207) 619-1948
// Price Range$$
// Cuisine Type Barbecue, Comfort Food,
// Features Kid Friendly, Off-Street parking, Outdoor Dining, Take Out, Wheelchair accessible,
// AT A GLANCE
Since it opened in 2013, South Portland’s Elsmere BBQ and Wood Grill has tried, according to chef/co-owner Adam Powers, “to do a little something for everybody.” You’ll find some Tex-Mex dishes on the menu, as well as competent versions of barbecue classics, like a well-smoked half-rack of short ribs: partly cleaned, St. Louis-style; and a snappy, anise-flavored sausage appetizer reminiscent of a smoky kielbasa. Unfortunately, all three of the restaurant’s signature sauces are too sweet, as is its cake-like northern cornbread. Despite what you may hear from your server, seafood dishes are hit-or-miss, like grilled, locally sourced oysters with a bourbon-infused garlic butter (a qualified hit). Or an overcooked, underseasoned BBQ salmon sandwich (a miss). In keeping with its mission to cater to diners of all types, all of Elsmere’s sides are vegetarian, like its surprisingly complex, savory collards and spicy rice & beans. Both are worth ordering a la carte, or as accompaniments to one of the BBQ plates the kitchen prepares on an enormous smoker that Powers and fellow chef/co-owner Jeremy Rush call “Mama.” At the end of your meal, if you’re feeling like a kid (or have a few in tow), you can’t go wrong with the housemade fudgy brownie sundae ($8), topped with vanilla ice cream; it’s comforting and homey – a lot like Elsmere itself.