I love a good BBQ, and when you can find a hole-in-the-wall place that serves authentic BBQ, it’s that much better. Carolina Kitchen & BBQ Co. is a hole-in-the-wall place located somewhere you would never think to look – in a rather commercial almost industrial area.
I ordered a two-meat combo (ribs and brisket) with sides of cornbread, coleslaw, and curly fries. I judge ribs on three criteria: meat quality, meat flavoring, and sauce. The quality wasn’t top notch but it was definitely above the dregs (you know, the $4.99 prime-rib special that you see – yes what animal is that from? Good prime-rib actually costs money -telling me you have cheap prime rib doesn’t make me want to eat it.). The meat was definitely smoked low and slow – it had a deep pink ring, with a deep smoky flavor that permeated the whole rib, giving the meat an excellent flavor. You had a choice of sauce – Mild, Honey, Hot, and Nitro. All of the sauces (except the Nitro) were a bit too sweet for me and a bit too runny (or thin). The Nitro was hot, but didn’t have a lot of flavor. The best blend for me was the Hot sauce (but as I said a bit too thin). On the whole the ribs were above average – a little bit better quality meat. A thicker, less sweet sauce would have put it at the top of the charts.
The brisket was shredded; I like my brisket more slab-y than shred-y. And as previously mentioned, the sauce was so thin, it just ran over the brisket to the bottom of the basket rather than sticking to the meat and enhancing the flavor.
The sides were top-notch. The cornbread was moist and flavorful. The coleslaw actually had flavor (too many places have bland coleslaw), and the curly fries were as good as you are going to get anywhere. They also had a good looking mac and cheese.
Carolina Kitchen & BBQ Co. is a true BBQ place, too many BBQ places have the name but not the style. The ribs were well smoked, and the side dishes were all worth eating rather than just filling out the plate. With a thicker sauce and a bit less sweetness and I would put this as a top BBQ place. As it is, I will still give it a solid, high rating.
WWYT Rating: 7.9