Saturday, 25 May 2013

Cheap Eats - Carolina Kitchen (A bloggers night off, sort of)

The American revolution is here!  You might say that I'm quite a bit behind the times by that statement and you may be right.  What I mean is that Southern American food is hot right now and there is a joint just like Carolina Kitchen in a suburb near you!

How did I end up in Carolina Kitchen with a couple of other food bloggers on a Friday night?  Great question.  The trick is to try and find an eating spot where none of us had previously eaten, was pretty casual and one where we all wanted to try out.  My new buddies ML and JC and I were pretty excited to all meet up and chill out and just talk a lot of crap.

Carolina Kitchen is in the most unlikely of spots, a side street in Coorparoo and if it wasn't for my trusty sat nav, I think I would have driven around for ages looking for it.  After parking my car and walking up to the front door, I was surprised by how small Carolina Kitchen was inside, just room for a couple of tables.  Taking a seat and waiting for ML and JC to arrive I thought that the place was the quintessential local hang out.

ML was the next to arrive and we set about casting our eye over the menu and just generally catching up while we waited for JC to join us.  Not too long after JC arrived we started to plot and plan our attack on the menu.  The menu at Carolina Kitchen is pure Southern American with such 'classics' as 'Hoagies' (sub sandwiches), Burgers & Hot Dog (including the famous chilli dog), Buffalo Wings and of course no trip to the South would be complete without BBQ Ribs.

We decided to grab a good cross selection of Southern food and chose the Carolina Pack (which contained Ribs, Wings and New York Fries) and a Chilli Dog, with a plan to dig in and share.  The whole lot pretty much got delivered to us at the same time, so after the obligatory photos it was time to dig in.

The first thing we tried was the chilli dog, which was cut up into three (roughly) equal parts to be devoured.  I've never been a fan of chilli dogs, mainly because I don't like the idea of soggy bread that comes along with it.  I was pleasantly surprised when I dug into the dog, there was no soggy bread and the minced chilli was really quite yummy when combined with the pork dog.  There was a little bit of mustard under the whole concoction which provided a subtle twang.  If all chilli dogs are this good, then look out NYC, I will be dogging down!

As part of the Carolina pack we had a selection of buffalo wings, which are essentially chicken bits deep fried and then coated in a hot sauce.  They're actually called buffalo wings because they were originally created in Buffalo New York.  My first 'wing' was a drumstick and while nice, didn't have much punch to it. I thought if thats all ya got, then pffft.  When I went back for my second piece, all thoughts of pffft went out the window, it was hot and spicy.  I actually broke out into a little sweat on my forehead!

Next up was the pork ribs in the special Carolina Kitchen sauce.  The ribs were slathered and perhaps even a little drowned in the BBQ sauce, which had some authentic Southern flavour going on.  The ribs were incredibly tender and when JC tried to pick up a couple of the ribs to put on her plate they just fell apart.  The only way to eat these bad boys was to get messy and that's just what we did.  I liked the ribs most of all on the night, but I don't think they needed quite so much sauce.

The last of the dishes was the New York fries, which we just nibbled on throughout the whole night.  They were covered in the same chilli concoction that was in the chilli dogs and coated in what appeared to be a cheese sauce, but could have been mayo.  I prefer my fries chunky but they were pretty nice when you got a mouthful of chilli and cheese.

By the end of the night the table was a mess and so were our faces and fingers (well, mine were pretty messy, the girls were a little neater than I was).  There was pretty much nothing left on any of the plates, which is the way a good Southern dining experience should be.

We contemplated one of the many home made pies on offer at Carolina Kitchen for dessert but decided that chocolate would be a better way to finish off the meal.  We all took out our phones and started to look for a place to have dessert.......  We decided on Bulimba, drove over, but things didn't go according to plan.  But that's a story for another time!

Carolina Kitchen is exactly as you would expect a little corner favourite to be.  There is a no booking policy on Friday and Saturday nights because they get too busy.  We were luck to jag a good table but by the steady procession of people coming in, lining up and taking away the fine Southern fare, I can see why this place is one of the more popular American cuisine joints in town.

Special thanks to Melissa Loh and Feed Me Now, Brisbane for arranging the night!  Can't wait for the next one.


Napkins and lots of them. You will really ned them if you get the Ribs
For those who like things a little hotter, extra hot sauce.
Carolina Kitchen on UrbanspoonCarolina Kitchen


  1. I saw Melissa's pics of those chilli fries in instagram and started salivating almost immediately. I have wanted to go to Carolina's Kitchen for ages - will have to get there soon. thanks!

  2. A Rib place literally down the road, Im THERE !!!

  3. Nice one Mel, the highlight was the chilli dog as it was not normally something I would eat, but the Ribs were good. Crazy little spot :)

  4. Haha Mark, if its just down the road, then head over tonight and do yourself a favour :)

    1. I tried a couple of items over a few days, I thought the the chilli dog was kinda Meh, but i loved the wings.., i just need another follow up to try the ribs as they look like the goods ;-)

    2. cool. I have tried a few chilli dogs over here in the US and the one I had at Carolina Kitchen was way better. If you have had better chilli dogs in Brisbane, then you need to tell me where, so I can check them out :)


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