Beal is a pretty popular name here in Maine. There is a Beal town, Beale streets, Beal people, even a Beale Island! So when I came across Beale Street Barbque, I wasn’t very surprised. (I still haven’t quite figured out when the e is supposed to be there and when it is absent… but I’m sure a Mainer will correct me soon enough.)
Situated within the Kennebec River estuary, Bath is port of entry and known for its long history of shipbuilding that goes back as far as 1743. Bath is home to the Maine Maritime Museum and popular among tourist for its history and architecture. I recommend entering town from the east across the Sagadahoc Bridge just after sunset so that you will receive a full view of the waterfront and lights from downtown as you cross the river.
But what about the FOOD?! Beale Street Barbeque is worth every penny! Definitely take the time to stop by for a fresh take on old school style.
Here’s the details: As soon as I walked in the door I was greater by the manager (owner?) who promptly seated me. The waitress to come over and greet me. Unfortunately, they do not offer sweet tea but have unsweet available. After she brought me water instead, she told me that they serve a fresh-made Arnold Palmer with home-made lemonade. How could I resist that? Although I do not often order Arnold Palmers, this was a great find. The lemonade was a good mix of sweet and tart, complemented by the brew of the tea.
I was a little off-put by the pricing on the menu since I’m accustomed to finding a sandwich for $6 or $7 and these were all at least $10. But I didn’t let it deter me and you shouldn’t either! By the time she came back with my drink I had settled on the Sliced Brisket Sandwich on Jalapeño Corn Bread with a side of Sweet Potato Mash. The notation that the sandwiches could be served on corn bread instead of a regular bun piqued my interest. The “jalapeño” was what sealed the deal. My good choice was reinforced when the waitress mentioned she had made the same selection earlier for herself (always a great sign).
I was surprised by how quickly they brought my plate out to me and eagerly started to dig into the mound of meat. And it was delicious!! I had never before considered serving BBQ on TOP of my corn bread before but this made perfect culinary sense! The sweetness of the corn bread accented the savory meat and resulted in a lovely blend of flavors. I’m starting to think that I might never go back to ordinary bread.
The sweet potato mash was also excellent; it tasted very fresh and simple. No butter or salt/pepper was needed as the sweet potatoes had enough flavor in them to make a great side. I had to add quite a bit more sauce to my plate, but it was readily available on the table and the waitress had even pointed it out when she set the plate down.
The fact that they didn’t even have potato salad on the menu was a bit surprising for me. But they offered quite a number of other sides that seemed to reflect the unique culture of the area and the owners.
My favorite aspect of Beale Street Barbeque is how they seem to put their own special spin on the classic barbeque restaurant. Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and co. kept the rhythm from above, while the restaurant itself was comfortable and clean enough to bring your whole family. The flavors were new and unexpected but still based on well known favorite foods.
Take away thoughts: I will certainly look forward to when friends or family come to visit me and I can bring them to Bath and enjoy some wonderful meat courtesy of Beale Street Barbeque!