In the mood for barbeque? Follow the glowing pig down Russell Street in Portland to the obviously named Russell Street Bar-B-Que. RSQ, as they’ve dubbed themselves, dishes up a menu of familiar flame grilled favourites including pulled pork, grilled chicken and smoked sausages.
Inside, the whimsical humour and light-hearted nature of the restaurant radiates through the family friendly decor, snappy coloured uniforms and comically written signage.
(Above: Full rack of baby back ribs with a side of slaw, mac and cheese, and cornbread.)
The menu is pretty straight forward — grilled this and smoked that. Case and I split a platter of baby back ribs with two sides. On the table, ready to go, was a wet nap signalling to us it was time to get down and dirty.
The ribs were indeed fall-off-the-bone tender, with a distinct smokiness, but we would have been just fine without the sauce which drowned out all that natural barbeque goodness of the pork. Served on the side was a fluffy cornbread, and some so-so slaw. The mac and cheese was quite flavourful despite looking visibly bland.
(Clockwise: 1. Pint of beer. 2. Wet nap. So Necessary. 3. Don’t lose your children in this restaurant.)
Our meal came to $30 including tips and a pint of beer. The service was friendly, albeit sluggish all evening. Overall the food was decent, but there was nothing surprising or outstanding about the menu — none of that special something we’ve come to expect from Portland eateries.
Perfect for: some simple, straight forward barbeque.