Though Carolina Smokehouse Grill is relatively new to the triangle culinary scene, the eatery has wasted no time making its mark. Under the direction of restaurateur Matt Naugle and executive chef Caroline Pudova, grillmasters smoke up tasty southern favorites that have earned spots on WRAL’s Five Favorites lists for Best Ribs and Best Mac and Cheese. Braised short ribs simmer slowly in beef broth, or pork ribs smoke slowly before dressing in sauce or keeping it casual by arriving to the table dry-rubbed and singing Journey songs. Pudova also prepares eastern North Carolina–style chopped pork barbecue with vinegar-based sauce, or beef brisket that grills for nine hours before sliding onto plates underneath a tomato-based sauce. Carolina Smokehouse Grill pairs these entrees with sides such as fried okra or cheesy bacon grits, as well as specialty peach and berry cobblers topped with vanilla ice cream.