Sunday, May 8, 2011

maine's beale street has set a high standard (bbq#5)

I was so excited to tell H that I'd found a new BBQ joint: Terrapin Station BBQ, on 3300 South. We all piled into the car, swung by REI to pick up some special waterproofing detergent for our ski stuff, and then went to Terrapin Station, hopes all ablaze.

Run by a fellow who's been in the catering business for 30 years, the new restaurant is housed in a big, rustic space in the Ivy Place shopping center.  The space feels pretty spartan, simply because there aren't that many tables in there at this point.  It sure smells delicious, though, and you can watch the giant smoker through the north-side windows.  The menu has standard BBQ fare: ribs, 2- and 3-meat combos, shredded meat sandwiches, as well as burgers and some regular (non-BBQ) sandwiches; sides include coleslaw, cucumber salad, fries, BBQ beans, BBQ red potatoes and corn bread.  This is a non-alcoholic establishment, either by choice or by current unavailability of liquor licenses, and we don't know if BYO is allowed: they've got iced tea, lemonade and sodas, and iced lemon water available.

I went with the half-slab of baby back ribs, 'slaw and cucumber salad; H had the 3-meat combo (pulled pork, brisket and sausage) with fries and beans.  And here may I harken back to the title of this post: Terrapin Station's BBQ is just not great.  H said the sausage was really good and the brisket (again, sliced and not chopped) was okay, but the pulled pork was rather fatty.  My ribs were awfully fatty for baby backs, which makes me think that someone needs to trim the pork products a little better before sticking them in the smoker.  And maybe smoke 'em a little longer - the flavor was a tab light.  The sides were solid, however: the coleslaw was pretty good (hearty chunks of cabbage with a medium-weight mayo-based dressing); the cuke salad had nice rounds of cucumbers in a sweet vinegar dressing; H's fries were from fresh potatoes; and the BBQ beans were fantastic, with quite a kick to them.  Each entree also came with a solid little jalapeno cornbread muffin: nicely flavored but too dense and dry.

Who would ever think that a Maine BBQ restaurant would serve such amazing BBQ that all others, at least all others found thus far in Utah, would fall short?  We still have Q4U to try, but at this point, I'm not getting my hopes up.

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