38 Macaulay Street
Coorparoo QLD 4151
+61 7 3847 8227
The depths of Brisbane’s suburbia is not the first place you’d think of when you’re looking for good ol’ honest American food with a whole lot of attitude and soul. Yet Coorparoo’s Carolina Kitchen delivers that and a whole lot more.
I took my friend Greg here for his 30th birthday lunch one overcast Sunday afternoon. It’s a place we’d both been wanting to try for a while – I’d heard about this place from two Melbourne friends who were in Brisbane for a wedding and this was their favourite restaurant of the trip.
Coorparoo is an odd place to put a diner in; in a suburb full of brick units and weathered Queenslander houses, the diner almost looked out of place. And although I’m not well-versed on Brisbane’s dining scene as yet, I’m pretty sure Coorparoo is nothing like bustling West End, New Farm, Fortitude Valley and all those places people typically go for a good feed. Still, I liked the fact that we had to venture into unknown territory for lunch.
Carolina Kitchen has pretty much everything you’d want to find in an American diner: wings, burgers, hot dogs, ribs and hoagies in addition to sweet dessert pies and American soft drinks. With Procol Harum’s ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ playing in the background (and in our head for the next 24 hours), we happily set down to enjoy an all American feast.
The BBQ ribs were finger lickin’ gewwwwd. The regular-sized ribs (so, maybe a third of a rack) were deliciously sticky and sweet with just the right amount of necessary tang. Served with a creamy Southern potato salad, they went down a treat.
The fries were also fantastic. Topped with cheese, sour cream and chilli sauce (and by that, I meant the hearty meaty kind), they had enough calories to form a complete meal.
Our Buffalo wings came out hot and spicy with a slight tang, just the way we Asians love it. They were fine on their own but the blue cheese dipping sauce was also great for a bit of creamy contrast.
We went halfies on a hot dog. The dog instead wasn’t anything special – just a frankfurter in boring white bread. However, all the trimmings made it something worth trying: American mustard, coleslaw, special chilli sauce and red onion. Oh yes.
We also ordered corn bread ($3.95) but unfortunately, it was the most disappointing thing we had all afternoon; it was tough and sweet – and tasted very one-dimensional. That was a shame because everything else was fantastic.
Greg was keen on sampling one of the homemade dessert pies that came in flavours such as pumpkin, cherry, key lime and more. Unfortunately, we were both too full from our feast so we walked away without a sugar fix. Not that we really needed one anyway.
Carolina Kitchen is definitely worth a detour if you feel like honest diner fare in Brisbane without having to pay exorbitant prices and put up with try-hard hipsters at American-themed eateries closer to the city. It’s honest soul food served with a friendly smile and a bit of suburban attitude that makes you wanting to come back for more.