Celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, made famous as the host of the globe-trotting Travel Channel show “Bizarre Foods,” was asked this month by the website Made Man to list his favorite 11 barbecue restaurants.
Zimmern’s been all over the world testing great — and sometimes not-so-great — food, so his recommendations carry some weight.
And among Zimmern’s choices of go-to joints was Portland’s Salvage BBQ. As he told Made Man:
“I ate here a few months ago and demolished a platter of pork ribs and a pile of some of the best sliced brisket in recent memory, and I still managed to roll over to the counter and eat a quarter chicken because I couldn’t leave without ingesting more smoke and sauce. Food geeks will be inspired and — dare I say it? — barbecue freaks will travel here and be made happy, despite their contrarian, contemptuous hang-ups about geographic authenticity.”
Other barbecue spots on Zimmern’s list included Peg Leg Porker in Nashville, Tennessee, Jim N’ Nick’s in Birmingham, Alabama, and Smoki O’s in St. Louis.
Salvage BBQ, nestled in Portland’s St. John Valley neighborhood not far from Hadlock Field, was restaurateur Jay Villani’s third local venture when he opened it two years ago, after the popular Local 188 and Sonny’s Restaurant.
“We are getting the basics down and then will add a Maine touch. That’s what we are excited about,” Chef Josh Craigue told the BDN at the time. “We have the opportunity to put Maine on the map as a barbecue destination.”