Terlingua is a boutique BBQ restaurant in Portland, Maine combining house-smoked meats with interior Mexican fare. Terlingua opened during the summer of 2015
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Located on the booming Washington Avenue, this West Texas BBQ joint does a near-perfect margarita. With a variety of base spirits and flavors available, you get to decide if you’re sticking with the classic or trying something new. Terlingua also has one of the most enviable outdoor spaces in the city, and it’s open year-round to diners and drinkers alike. Before you head out, pop in next door to the restaurant’s market and grab a few local beers to-go with some of their house-made chips. You’ll thank me later.
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The gist: Owners Pliny Reynolds and his wife, Melanie Kratovil, along with chef Wilson Rothschild brought Austin-style Tex-Mex barbecue to Portland’s Washington Avenue in 2015. After a short COVID closure, they’ve reopened in a larger space complete with a two-tiered outdoor deck and festive margarita garden.
The food: From tortillas, hot sauces, and chile-laced vinegars to house-smoked meats cooked in a custom-built, wood-fired smoker, just about everything on chef Rothchild’s menu is made from scratch. Start with a plate of smoked pork ribs with fresno-lime hot honey and scallions, or a cooling ceviche of local seafood, citrus, ginger and hibiscus. Soft tacos include smoked brisket with avocado salsa and queso chihuahua and a daily barbecue board features smoked meats, greens and beans, cornbread with honey butter and pickles. Terlingua’s bracing margaritas are offered with a salt or chili rim. Go traditional, or swap tequila for mezcal or sotol, a spirit distilled from the desert sotol plant in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
The cost: Small plates run $8-13, salads, chilis, tacos and sides are $2-16, BBQ boards are $34-62, cocktails range $9-16, and tequilas and other spirits go for $4-22. An adjacent market offers house-smoked large cut meats, house-made cocktails to go, bottled beer and wine, Mexican blankets and other fun dry goods, grab-and-go meals.
How to order: Reserve a table for limited indoor and outdoor seating at Terlingua, or order takeout at Toast.