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One Star for Reverend's; Newberg's Storrs Smokehouse

Photo of Reverend's BBQ courtesy Avila/EPDX

The Oregonian's Michael Russell is the latest critic to visit Sellwood's Reverend's BBQ, tentatively bestowing one star upon the barbecue restaurant by the Laurelhurst Market team. The lengthy review is divided into three parts: The first, devoted solely to brisket, describes the meat as "still a work in progress, a nice way of saying their brisket has yet to come close to barbecue bliss." Though the brisket improved on subsequent visits, Russell's first introduction to Reverend's version featured "a crust as tough as cowhide... it was a jaw workout."

The second section, titled "Reasons for optimism," argues that "so-so barbecue is a fact of life in Oregon," and recommends diners "ignore the barbecue" for more satisfying menu items: a "supremely beefy" hamburger, plus "good" sausages, oyster shooters, and deviled eggs. Sides are deemed "mostly solid," particularly the mac and cheese. Ultimately, Russell recommends Reverend's scrap its current "something for everyone" approach in favor of developing "more of an identity." For now, consider the spot a work in progress. [OregonLive]

Meanwhile, WWeek heads out to Newberg's Storrs Smokehouse (which Russell, in his Reverend's review, calls "the best new barbecue spot to open in Oregon in at least a year.") Martin Cizmar finds much to like: The mega-portioned Gran' Daddy plate can "easily serve two" and features "tender but pleasantly ropey" ribs and a "firm" brisket; baked beans and pickled green tomatoes are deemed "delicious."

But a few details need to be worked out: Pulled pork served on a platter "wasn't properly shredded" (although its sandwich counterpart fared much better), and a pasta salad side dish arrived "watery rather than creamy." But ultimately: "If you're headed down to wine country this summer, Storrs is one of your better options for a low-key post-pinot meal." [WW]
· All Previous Weeks in Review [Eater PDX]

Reverend's BBQ

7712 SE 13th Ave., Portland, OR