Carolina Ale House

03 Apr

I’m sure as full as the parking lot is at this place (on a regular basis) this place is quite popular, but I really do not understand why. It is, in my opinion, just another sports bar full of large screen tvs and lots of beer.

Let me begin by saying that it LOOKS like a lot of fun. As you approach the door, you’ll see a large open dining patio on your right, and another large, but covered, patio on your left with a bar. There were more people outside than inside on the afternoon I visited. Atmosphere was light, people were visiting and sipping large glasses of brews, and the clientele was both groups of folks relaxing after work with an ale or two as well as families eating an early dinner.

The pleasantries almost ended there. I was seated quickly and after a short wait my server approached with menus. He asked what I would be drinking, and I responded that it would depend on what I was eating. He stood there mute yet fidgeting until I said “Can you give me a minute?” I shouldn’t have said a minute because he spent much of the rest of the evening talking and joking with one of the many pretty bartenders.

I ordered a French Onion soup for a starter and had barely finished the bread and cheese topper when my entrée arrived. BAD TIMING. I didn’t seem to matter, however, as my veggies were cold on arrival at my table. I finished my soup (which was actually quite good, made of a rich broth, carmelized onions, and a very nice topping of thick melted cheese and croutons) and started my meal.

As I said before, the veggies (thin green beans, sweet peppers, onions, carrot shreds, squash, — nice combination, but cold and inedible nonetheless) had to be replaced and were actually not bad when served hot. The pork chops, however, were dry and flavorless. The menu said they came with an applesauce/bourbon glaze. I’ll admit there was a spoon or two of applesauce on them, but hardly what I would call anything as exotic as a “glaze” and if there was any bourbon in it I could not detect it.

As I left, the hostess was on the phone talking to someone about texting. She did pause long enough to wave and then continue her conversation with an “Ok, now what were you saying?”

With such a large building and impressive number of customers enjoying the outdoor areas, I expected much more than I received. The food, for the most part, was simply ho-hum.

And to top it all off–my ale was not cold. Yep–I wish I had brought a thermometer to verify this, but it was just not cold. You would think anyplace that puts enough emphasis on frosty adult beverages to include it in their name would at least make sure their drinks were cold enough.

In summary:

The Good: lots of tvs, lots of drink choices, good soup, good veggies (when served hot)

The Could be Better: service efficiency, food temperature, drink temperature, food taste.


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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in American, Sports Bar


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