Where to Eat in Portland, Maine Right Now
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.