Up in Smoke BBQ [Rockland, ME]

Lured by this review, I had lunch today at Up in Smoke BBQ, now located in Rockland (between Tilson and Winter streets at Park Drive, across from The Landings).

It was amazing. Totally luscious brisket (too good to be obscured with bread, I skipped the roll and will have them hold it next time), really tasty red vinegar BBQ sauce, excellent coleslaw, amazing pinto beans – tender and porky and obviously cooked from scratch, nicely spicy but not overly so. Folks I shared a large table with were enjoying ribs and pulled pork but saw my brisket and said they’ll be back soon for that. Their ribs looked pretty great.

The huge smoker was going and he was shuffling large amounts of meat around while also putting together people’s lunches so it is not fast food. But rarely has anything been so worth 10 or so minutes wait time.

There are several large communal tables shaded by huge umbrellas and a view of the water over the giant wood pile, plus a nice ocean breeze. The surroundings are a bit industrial but a huge improvement over the former site along that ugly part of Route 1.

Go if you are in the area, you will not be sorry!


Did you ask what wood he uses ?
I can’t identify it from your pic unless it is Oak.
Looks like he knows what he’s doing.
Does he ever do seafood?

As a visitor to your shores, I’ve often thought that BBQ does not travel well from the South. But those beans look quality. If the sides are that good, I reckon the meat’s bound to be, as well.

The meat was incredible, the gentleman is an artist (although in general I agree with you about BBQ not traveling well from the South). You might enjoy that review I linked which was written by a chef.

So very cool!

In a perfect world, every town would have a bar-b-que smoker joint.

Nice that you found yours.


I did not ask what wood he uses but will next time and will report back. I have not heard that he does seafood, my guess is that he is still working to perfect his meats, having been open less than a year. Of course from my standpoint he already has, but everything points to a man with an obsession. In the best possible way.


Is this any relation to the pit master who had the BBQ place back around 15 years ago on Rt 1/179 New County Road just south of Rockland, I guess it’s in Thomaston, where the new Wasses Hot Dogs is, between the Toyota dealership and Smoke Shop? (Not the previous location of this place at 212 New Country road before he moved to Rockland.)

I did. Particularly in that, I spotted he added a Carolina style sauce to his pulled pork sandwich. Of the various styles, my longterm favourite has been the mustard based SC one. The mustard cuts the fatty pork wonderfully.

One of these trips, I’m going to do the NC BBQ trail, which works east to west across then state. Well, at least as much of the trail as my waistline can stand.


Don’t know, that was before my time, I have only been visiting this area the past 6-7 years.

I visited and lived there off and on for a long time. Moving back this year.


I drove by today and they had the sign out for pastrami. That is my siren song.

It was absolutely incredible pastrami, I’m fairly sure the best I have ever had. And I have eaten a lot of pastrami in my life, although at this stage I will always try a new one but but it has to be very special for me to go back a second time. This is definitely Very Special Pastrami.

He only serves it on Saturdays because it takes him a full week to make it, so when he sells out on a Saturday he begins the following week’s batch. And @bbqboy, I asked and he uses Maine maple wood which he likes the best for bbq and also luckily finds easy to source.


A good lookin’ rye slice, too.

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It was delicious rye, quite sturdy and yet still barely up to the task of containing all that pastrami deliciousness. Which reminds me, I hadn’t commented on the huge portion size but it was a humongous sandwich, easily shareable. Or you could just eat the whole thing and wander off stuffed and not needing to eat anything else that day, just saying…


Excellent. On the list for our Bar Harbor/Acadia trip at the end of the summer.


Amazing descriptions and pictures, and it sure looks like amazing food. I share your passion for pastrami, and for that alone I must get out there early on a Saturday . Thanks.


Lucky you!

Thanks! I suppose if I had thought about it, Maple would have been obvious, though I’ve not encountered it in a que setting before.

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Does anyone know if the bbq place is still open at the Atlantic brewery in bar harbor? It’s been many years since I’ve been there.

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Looks like it is, have never been. Is it good? http://www.atlanticbrewing.com/mainly-meat-bbq/

I thought their ribs were great. If you’re a rib fan, I’m pretty confident you would like them. I like their beer too. The staff is wonderful and make you feel at home.

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